I have years of experience helping parents negotiate the challenges of parenting, step-parenting, parenting through divorce, parenting children who have mental health or substance abuse problems, and parenting alone. I have worked with children and their families in my private office, in residential care, partial care, scholastic, and hospital settings.
Effective parenting is often measured by:
- Demonstrating clear and respectful communication
- Avoiding arguments and power struggles
- Setting clear and realistic expectations
- Being consistent when you discover what works
- Being flexible when something is not working
- Supporting (not undermining) the other parent (if there is a second parent)
- A willingness to let children struggle and sometimes fail
- Focusing much more on setting a child up to succeed and acknowledging them, than on catching them doing something wrong and punishing them
Someone I once knew told me that we should listen twice as much as we speak because God gave us two ears and only one mouth. At first blush, it would seem that listening would be a relatively easy – even passive act. If only it were so easy. Of all the skills I...
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