A lot of people I’ve come across don’t agree with my parenting style or ideas. I suppose it’s because I don’t believe in the time-out, freedom-loving, children-are-fragile new school construct nor am I sold on the old school spanking, grounding framework.
I don’t believe in the concept of one-size fits all. Each child is an individual, therefore each child requires a unique approach that caters to their needs and character.
The principles you read about in books and online do work, but what they don’t tell you is they don’t work 100% of the time and with 100% of children. That’s why every parent has a duty to find what works best for their children.
With my own son, I push him hard. But only because he can handle it. I push with love. I push from a place of caring. I explain why I push. I explain that one day I won’t be around and so I want to share with him as much as I can while I can.
For children with a chip on their shoulder, I think they need to be brought down to earth. For children that lack confidence, I aim to boost their belief in themselves. I am constantly tweaking my son’s education depending on his growth. Sometimes I need to be stricter, other times I can back off. I don’t give my son freedom, he earns it. If his grades are good enough, I leave him to it. When they drop, I intervene. As I said, I adjust.
One thing my parents got right with me was giving me freedom in my teens, with a catch. I could go where I wanted and do pretty much anything within reason. I just had to follow three simple rules:
- Let them know where I was.
- Let them know when I got home.
- Tell them about my adventures.
I know many parents that do everything in their power to prevent their teenagers partying and drinking. The problem is they’re fighting a losing battle. Most teenagers I know will find a way. After all, it isn’t hard to sneak out at night or get their hands on a six-pack with a little ingenuity.
My parents took the opposite approach. It may not have been right, and I’m not saying it’s the right way, but my parents let me drink. But it worked. While I did go out almost every Friday in my junior and senior years, I was no party animal. I just did it to fit in. With my parents being so chill about alcohol, I never saw it as a thrill which so many teens do.
By the time I was 18, I had no desire to get drunk. I’d been there, done that.
Would a similar approach work for your children? I wish I could say it would, but as I said earlier, every kid is different. What works for one child might not work for the next. Anyone who tells you there’s only one right way is the last person you should listen to.
As my mentor, Jim Rohn, used to say, “Don’t be a follower, be a student. Take advice but not orders.” I don’t ask that people agree with me, but I do ask that they consider what I have to share.
I’m an English teacher turned time management expert. I’ve lived most of my life outside of my own country. I survived the tsunami that ravaged Thailand back in 2004. I’ve made my fair share of mistakes. I taught myself magic, financial history and personal development. And today I’m a best-selling author in the book, The One Thing That Changed Everything with 35+ amazing individuals including Kyle Wilson, 18-year business partner of Jim Rohn, 2x US memory champion Ron White, and Robert Helms, creator of the #1 real estate podcast.
I may not have all the answers, but I have some.
Photo by Lord Cuahtli