|Kids (Photo credit: JamSmooth)|
1-5 years: Discipline
5-12 years: Training
I believe this is a great strategy! Just having a conceptual framework for the task at hand can often give us clarity in specific situations. This doesn't mean of course that you can't enjoy your children at younger ages or even be friends. It also doesn't mean that a parent tries to mold children into a style or direct them in things that aren't of interest to them. It does mean that the main focus in early years is developing character traits, discipline and self-control that will serve them well in later life. In the series, Andy points out that he has talked with many parents who have parenting backwards. In other words, they try to be friends and well liked by their children during the time when they should be discipling and training them and then resort to discipline when they should be coaching. Instead, following these guidelines strengthens and deepens family relationships. It steers children and young adults into habits of success.
Much of what a counselor does in the elementary school guidance lessons could be considered training. Whenever I teach a lesson on responsibility, good citizenship, generosity etc, I am always looking for some good books that illustrate concrete examples of this behavior. Here are some great books to go along with many of these lessons: Kids of Character, published by Gareth Stevens Publishing. In particular I've used: I am Responsible and I Am Helpful for lessons on resonsibility and cooperation.
What about you? Do you feel this framework provides a good guideline for parents to focus on throughout the parenting years? Would you change or add to it?
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