Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Parenting Pyramid

Have you ever asked yourself questions like, "What do I do to stop my child from fighting with their siblings?" or "What do I do if my child isn't completing their homework?" or "What do I do to get my child to clean their room?" Simply put the question, "What do I do when things go wrong?" is most often the question we ask ourselves in parenting. The Arbinger Company (1998) suggests first asking yourself, "How can I help things go right?" and then offers four more questions to ask yourself to help in the parenting process.

1. Am I Correcting My Children Without Teaching Them?

There is tons of advice out there about how to discipline your children. But The Arbinger Company (1998) states that "the most important fact to understand about correction is this: the effectiveness of our correction of our children, whatever method we use, will always depend on the effectiveness of our prior teaching of them." When you need to correct, it will become easier because it is connected to your teaching. Ask yourself, "How can I help my child learn to love their siblings?" or "How can I teach my child the importance of hard work and getting things done on time?" or "How can I teach my child responsibility?" This will help you adopt a loving attitude rather than irritation.

2. What is the Quality of My Relationship with My Children?

If your children don't have a good relationship with you, they are less likely to listen to your teaching and correction. Children should know that they are loved. You can do this by spending quality time with them and showing affection through your words and actions.

3. What is the Quality of My Relationship with My Spouse?

The quality of your relationship with your children is largely determined by the relationship you have with your spouse. We often like to think that the two relationships are separated, but that is not the case. Marriage is the central relationship in a family and all others are affected by it. For example, conflict in a marriage may cause a parent to feel frustrated and these frustrations can be taken out on their kids through harsher punishments, angry tones, etc.

4. How Pure is my "Way of Being"?

Our personal way of being means "who we are as people. Who we are is a function of our deepest attitudes and sensibilities toward others. It is the very way we see and experience people in our world. It is our way of being in the world with them." As a parent, you want to make sure you are building a relationship with your children and spouse out of a love for them and not just to benefit yourself.

The most important thing to note from this pyramid is that if you want to know what to do to solve a problem in one area of the pyramid, the answer can most likely be found in working on the area below it. Now, this approach will not fix all of your problems. In fact, the Parenting Pyramid is a prevention plan. There may be times when prevention is too late and correction is needed immediately. But, you must remember to work on the other parts of the pyramid along with your correction.

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