Parenting: It’s all about attitude


Your attitude as a parent is what defines the type of parent you are. Attitude is also one of the key components of any child trained in first-time obedience. It’s important to understand that both the parent’s and child’s attitudes must be in the right place.

Before working on first-time obedience training, mom and dad must work on their own attitudes. Establishing authority and requiring respect must form the basis of all parenting.

“Teaching children to respect and honor their parents is basic to teaching them how to show respect for others. It starts with the parents,” (Growing Kids God’s Way, p. 92).

There are three important parenting attitude types to consider:

  • Threatening, repeating parent
  • Permissive parent
  • Authoritarian parent

The threatening, repeating parent
Beware of the threatening, repeating parent syndrome. This represents the antithesis of first-time obedience. As you can imagine, threatening and repeating parents do everything but require a high standard of obedience. The threatening, repeating parent yells at the child to get his attention, repeats himself at every turn and spouts empty threats. These parents flip-flop between letting behaviors go and yelling when they get to be too much.

The permissive parent
Permissive parents are guided by laziness and fear. They tend to let their children do as they please because they are fearful of damaging the child’s self-esteem, fearful of the child’s inability to obey, fearful of losing their child’s friendship, fearful of imposing boundaries, fearful of being as strict as their own parents were. Many permissive parenting households are run very democratically with the child’s opinions being weighted just as highly as the parents’ (if not more so). In permissive parenting circles, the word “obey” is considered a four-letter word.

The authoritarian parent
Authoritarian parents are guided by the principles, “Do a I say, not as I do,” “Because I said so,” and “Children are to be seen and not heard.” Authority and obedience are the name of the game. There’s nothing wrong with authority and obedience, but the authoritarian parent takes it to the extreme and refuses to understand that love and encouragement are just as important. Legalism, not balance, guide the authoritarian parent. These parents stick to the letter of the law no matter what. The child’s needs and desires aren’t considered. These parents also fail to realize that you cannot treat a teenager like a toddler. The relationship falls apart (if it was ever there to begin with), and the teenager rebels and wants nothing to do with his parents.

Find the balance
If you follow the Ezzos’ teachings, you will command respect like the authoritarian parent, but you will also choose your battles like the permissive parent. You will have the strength to warn your children of discipline, but you won’t spout empty threats like the threatening, repeating parent. Like the permissive parent, you will consider your relationship and self-esteem, but you won’t let fear guide your parenting. Like the authoritarian parent, you will teach your children to respect your word, but you will also be fair when your child respectfully disagrees.

All this week, I’ll discuss this idea a bit more so you can make sure you are finding the right balance in your parenting attitude.

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