Not everything in life can be taught and learned. In fact, there are a lot of times when people act on instinct and just have something that seems like a ‘natural’ knack for something. But for many of us, a study that was published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies has determined that becoming a better parent isn’t one of them.
For example, there now is proof that talking and listening to your children in certain ways, absolutely makes a real difference in the way your relationship with them is. And there are courses available, at least if you are in Montreal, Canada, that are assist parents with the skills they need to help them develop and nurture a climate of more respect, cooperation and positive, realistic self-images for themselves and their children.
A component to these particular findings that provides a bit of a twist, is that this program has nothing regarding expressing affection or involving quality time spent with the family. What it did focus on, however, was unconditional regard, mutual respect and how to communication empathy. The skills that promoted these three qualities were taught by staging six common daily-living situations that children and parents face, such as misbehaving, lack of cooperation and feelings of distress. It was found that structure, warmth and autonomy support were taught and increased in parents and that this resulted in higher levels of well-being in the children. Empathy was actually developed.
Let me say that again. Empathy was actually developed in children when their parents provided them with more of the qualities taught in the program. Children may not have been able to acknowledge an improvement in their relationship with their parents right after the program, however, they did report to feeling better about themselves and their parents reported fewer emotional and behavioral problems.
Parents who not only understand the importance of that structure and routine play in their children’s lives, but also buy into it emotionally because they are committed to the benefits provided bring a win-win attitude to the development and implementation of these techniques. They also find a way to provide the continuity and consistency necessary for success. They don’t have the need to hear or see an improvement in the relationship with their children – they will know they are planting a seed and give it the amount of time necessary to have it develop and thrive.
While you may not be from Montreal, and while there may not be a course available to you in your particular community, there is an abundance of information available to you at the local library, bookstore or at your fingertips on the internet.
* Join a Parenting Group online
* See what resources your community DOES offer
But I implore you, learn how to be a better parent to your children. It is something each and every one of us can do. The rewards are never-ending.