As I discussed in my last post, there are many times I want to be a permissive parent, but I know that realistically, I canâ€™t be. I take comfort in what the Ezzos have taught me and aside from a few minor tweaks I could make, I know that I am the parent I want to be.
How about you? Are you the parent you want to be? Do you enjoy your children? Do other people enjoy your children?
I think itâ€™s important to take a step back and reflect on our parenting every now and then. Understand the characteristics of permissiveness vs. legalism. Think about both the big picture and your day-to-day lives.
Ask yourself about your children:
- Do they seem happy and content or argumentative and stressed out?
- Are they learning everything youâ€™d like them to learn?
- Are they responsible and independent, or do they rely on you too much?
- Do they respect your authority or consistently talk back and defy you?
- When you think of your children 5-10 years from now, do you like what you see?
Ask yourself about yourself:
- Do you enjoy being around your children?
- Do you take every opportunity to be away from them (or turn on the TV)?
- Are you happy and content around them, or are you a stressed-out yeller?
- Do other people think youâ€™re too strict or too permissive?
- Do you take the time to teach them what you want them to learn?
- Do you do so happily and lovingly, or do you do nothing but lecture, guilt and nag?
- Are you able to command respect, or do you avoid taking a position of authority?
- Do you put in the work it takes to train your children? Do you realize that it takes work?
- Do you blame your child for his misdeeds, or do you look to yourself first?
- Do you have a plan for what to do when things go sideways?
- Are you able to balance discipline with love, encouragement and fun?
These are just a few questions you can ask yourself. If you donâ€™t like the answers, do what it takes to become the parent you want to be. Parenting starts with parents. So if you donâ€™t like what you see, you have the power to change.
Do it now before itâ€™s too late. As trite as this sounds, our children grow up too fast. It would be sad to look back 10 years from now and realize that you didnâ€™t enjoy 80% of those years. Vow to yourself that you will enjoy your children and become the parent it takes to get yourselves there. I canâ€™t think of anything more important. So do whatever it takes.