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PUBLICATIONS & ARTICLES

Yes, parenting does matter and the matters of parenting can seem overwhelming. By reading through some of the articles in this section you will find answers to specific problems but more importantly, you might figure out an approach that can work in many circumstances. Keep in mind that growing to adulthood is a gradual process of their learning and our letting go and that some of the greatest learnings come from not doing it right the first time.
PURCHASE DR. GAFFNEY'S COACHING GUIDE AT BARRINGTONBOOKS.COM

 "INDEPENDENCE ANYONE?"

DID YOU KNOW?

THE END OF ADOLESCENCE IS DEFINED AS THE TIME WHEN SOMEONE IS FINANCIAL, PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY INDEPENDENT.

COACH/KID TRIANGLES

RELATED TOPICS
PARENTS' SUCCESS KIT Assessments, journal, communicate, relax and know what to do - all in one place!
RELAXATION MEDITATION COMPANION A minute a day or twenty minutes a day - relaxation is attainable!
THE NEWSLETTER Release the Leader within.
PARENTING TIPS Simple ideas to help you enjoy your most important relationships.
COACHING TIPS Evaluate yourself and set your course for change!
FAMILY SOLUTIONS If you are concerned about raising a family today, check out the ideas in this section.
TWO-MINUTE MOMENTS Two minutes of relaxation.
DR. GAFFNEY'S PICKS Books on Personal Care & Development as well as Parenting that Dr. Carol Gaffney recommends.
 

PARENTING MATTERS:
"INDEPENDENCE ANYONE?"

Copyright Dr. Carol Renaud Gaffney

"I want to do it my way,!"

"Who's the boss around here, anyway?!"

"Now, dear, don't be so hard on him (or her). After all, he's (she's) only a child!"


Familiar words? All too often parents and children are caught in an age-old battle:

"Who should be in charge of what, when, and how?"

Confused? You're not alone - many parents are feeling inadequately prepared as they face the changing needs of the family, parents and children. In fact, I frequently hear, "I just don't know what went wrong; what ever happened to the good old days when a parent's word was law?"

It may be that the "good old" days-and ways—would be great if the goals of parenting were the "good old" goals. In fact a recent Psychology Today article reviewed research that investigated which traits parents-then and now- most wanted their children to develop. The parents of the 1920s showed a strong preference for traits that emphasized conformity and obedience-to the parents, school and church.

The parents of today prefer traits associated with autonomy such as independence and tolerance. As the desired outcome of parenting shifts, it seems natural that the techniques we learned (yes, we did learn some - remember your own parents?) may also have to shift and be refined.

Perhaps you are in this situation, with words and strategies that no longer seem to work and an increasingly angry child. And perhaps you're sharing this anger. Then read on. If you’re not, read on anyway. The following ideas are just some thoughts to consider as we raise our children. They're food for thought and no one will be checking to see if you actually make any changes. No one will stop you from making any changes, either.

Independence is not rebellion. Independence occurs when a child actually does some thinking for herself and considers consequences before she acts.

Rebellion takes no thinking at all. All a child has to do is listen to what is asked and do the opposite. This usually occurs with no regard for consequences. Once a parent knows what kind of child they're working with, problems can easily decrease because the parent can get the child to go right by asking her to go left. Still, the parent ends up the one doing most of the thinking.

Thinking comes before independence and develops through practice. If a parent wants their child to be thinking by the time he hits junior high, better hope he's had plenty of practice during elementary school! Thinking, unlike pimples, does not develop overnight. As you may already know, the price of poor thinking and rebellion goes way up in junior high. The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities to learn and to think before that because they'll make so many mistakes and ...

Ever time a mistake is made or a problem occurs, there's a new opportunity for thinking. And the person who makes the mistake is the one who gets to solve the problem.

Now this may sound strange to the parent who is a great problem-solver and lectures on the way it should have been done the first time around. It may also feel odd to the parent who thinks that every mistake should be followed by punishment "that will be remembered for a long time to come".

But think about it, even now our best thinking goes along with the greatest mistakes for which we've had to claim responsibility. Our task as the knowing adult is to let the problem be solved without the words "I told you sot" and with a loving message of "Good luck!".

The role of the parents is one of coaching for the child, not playing the game for him. It may be hard for a loving parent to say, "I hope you can work it out with your teacher, let me know if you want to talk about it," rather than "I’ll be up at the school in the morning to set that teacher straight!"

A loving parent can cheer from the sidelines as the child takes that step toward maturity. The parent can also be there to share in the pride of success or help bear the pain of disappointment. The child will play better knowing they aren't paying the game alone-but it's not the parent's game any longer.

Independence thrives on a strong self-concept. All too often when something goes wrong there's a winner and a loser. The apparent winner, usually the powerful parent, often looks back with regret and wonders how it could happen that his child is so upset or angry. When the person with the problem does the thinking, when the parent can be the coach, when the child gets to play the game- they can both be on the winning team.

Now that I've given you some things to consider, let me add one last idea, an idea that every parent can benefit from but all too often few even realize: Independent children leave time for parents to live adult lies of their own.

Order Dr. Gaffney's Coaching Guide for Parents


TAKE AN ASSESSMENT

The more you know about your style, the easier it is to figure out what naturally stresses you and what to do to relax.

TAKE AN ASSESSMENT

TAKE A DEEP BREATH, RELAX
Stress and strain of daily living got you down? Breathe. Relax. Reclaim yourself and your energy – two minutes at a time.

TAKE A DEEP BREATH, RELAX
MORE TWO-MINUTE MOMENTS


MEDITATION & THE RELAXATION RESPONSE
Have you been wondering about meditation? Well, it’s easier than you think. You just have to get started. One breath, one focus, two moments.

MEDITATION & RELAXATION RESPONSE
MORE TWO-MINUTE MOMENTS
 PEOPLE SOLUTIONS

 THE NEWSLETTER
Dr. Gaffney's Newsletters provide insight and direction for successful communication and action to help you create your life – at work, at home and within your community.



PERSONAL
Creating your life requires self-knowledge, planning and taking action otherwise you'll be making the trip but it may be the magical mystery tour. Start here for personal understanding, the basis of success.

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PROFESSIONAL
Do you hire right the first time? Are you and the people you work with at peak performance? Do you have the skills and attitudes for extraordinary success? Start here to learn about excellence in your professional life.

LEARN MORE

FAMILY
If you have children
and are concerned about their development and
well-being and having them become loving, independent,
productive and responsible, check out the materials
in this section.

LEARN MORE
 
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