The greatest challenge that we have as parents is to take all that we have heard from our parents, what we have seen of other parents and what we have read and try and turn it into actions to raise our kids “right”. This is no small task and the only thing that out weighs it is the amount of “expert advice” out there. It can become nauseating.
While there is a great deal of quality information out there, the place the real change starts in your own head. You want to make sure you raise your child “right”? Want to somehow see into their future and know how to avoid making them disrespectful and a “problem child”? The solution is to have the correct view of them in your own mind. Your view of them and your perception of what kind of kid they are will unconsciously shape so many of your actions toward them. It is the easiest and most effective thing you can do.
Your son, let’s just call him little Jimmy. He’s as they say “all boy”, he’s a “wild child”. These labels all coming from your peers and possibly even your family or you. As a father you may have a small sense of joy form these labels, interpreting them as him being tough and no sissy. Thats fine, the problem starts to arise when you discipline him. If you hold to the fact that he is in fact just a wild child and that its in his nature and he needs to be corrected, this will become a self fulfilling prophesy. It all starts in the way that you (or anyone) approaches him. The more the label is put on him the more that his elders will treat him as such. Discipline will be swifter, patience will be shorter, and comments will be made to other parents that he over hears (they alway hear more than you think). He starts to accept that he is the bad seat and he accepts it, and embraces it. Why should he think otherwise? This then becomes a downward spiral; more affirming results in more “bad” behavior and sharper discipline, more comments and an even stronger identity is built within him.
So what to do? Some introspection, think about how you think of your kids. Do you put them in a certain personality category? As you dwell on that idea, you will start to see how this could be manifesting itself in your behavior toward him. As you start to acknowledge this you will start to change your views and you will see a change. Our belief of ourselves shapes so much of our actions, self worth, and outlook on life. As a parent we craft our child’s belief system in so many way, make sure you are crafting the right one.