Poor or Ineffective parenting can be passed from generation to generation. Ineffective parenting can turn out to be a generational thing if not handled correctly. Many people at some point ask themselves these questions:
“How do I know that I am parenting effectively?
“ What do I need to know to ascertain if I am actually on the right track?
” A lot of parents have come to ask me these questions. They want to know if what they are doing is right or wrong.
I’ve had parents say things like, “but I’m providing food, water, house, clothing, etc. What else do my kids want?” All these are the minimum entry-level for parenting. Provision of food, shelter and other financial obligations is just the least entry-level. Just like when you want to enter the University, you will need to start from the lowest level. This means that there is more to parenting than just the provision of food, shelter and other financial obligations.
I have explained to parents over and over again each time they come to me bearing the ‘provider tag. The provider tag is just the cutoff point and the cutoff point initiates the beginning of the real process. There are other things you need to know to parent effectively. I am going to share with you the things that you should look out for to determine if your parenting is effective or ineffective.
HOW DO I KNOW MY PARENTING MIGHT BE INEFFECTIVE?
1. Ineffective Parenting Tends To See Their Children’s Behaviour As Willful And Manipulative:
If you are in the place where you are still thinking, “oh, it’s all about my children”, “oh, they are deliberately making me angry”, “oh, they know what they are doing.” If this is you then it’s a sign of ineffective parenting. This springs from a lack of parenting tools. When you have no parenting tool, you feel your child is trying to intentionally hurt. Also, for this kind of parent, discipline has no structure. Anything goes!
2. Lack Of Balance.
Some parents will say “My children are my life.” “My life revolves around my children.” They have nothing else. They depend on their children all-around. Depending on children is just one extreme of the lack of balance. Another extreme is the lackadaisical attitude towards parenting. Such parents have no time to parent anybody. These are two extremes that are dangerous.Lack of balance is a sign that you are parenting ineffectively. Some parents say that they don’t like to discipline their children or they don’t like correcting them. While another set believes in hitting them hard. Everything is hard in their structure. The moment you can’t strike a balance on your journey as a parent, it is a sign of ineffective parenting.
3. Unpredictability.The third sign of ineffective parenting is when you are unpredictable. Children do not thrive well in unpredictability. They get confused when they don’t know what to do and what not to do. Some time ago, I was taking a class on learnt helplessness in the Inner circle program. I realised that parents create the concept of learnt helplessness with their children when they are unpredictable. The children don’t know what to do, it looks more like they’re walking on eggshells. They don’t know how you will react when they open up to you, which leads to constant struggle on the part of the children.
4. No Consistency In Connection
As a parent, your number one priority is to connect with your children. A lot of parents think that they can parent effectively by buying their children off with gifts. Giving gifts will not take the place of connecting deeply with your children. Part of what we do at the inner circle is to get you and hold you accountable to become consistent with connection. I have discovered that connection is the bedrock of parenting.
I was in the church on Sunday when the teenagers asked some questions. They wrote on a piece of paper and passed it across to the facilitator. The questions that came in from the teenagers were overwhelming. The bottom line was that there was no connection between the teenagers and their parents.
Many parents refuse to connect to their children at a tender age which makes it more difficult to connect with their children when they grow older. So many children are struggling to talk to their parents. Our curve in the Inner circle program is connection. The moment you put the connection in your parenting journey, you have solved more than half of your problem.
One of the things that happen to parents who are not consistent with connection is that they begin to guilt parent. Guilt parenting makes you feel guilty for not being there which leads to buying your children off with gifts. Unfortunately, buying your children off does not work. Rather, it is a sign of ineffective parenting. Remember, children will only thrive in the face of true connection.
5. Self-Blaming: Another sign of ineffective parenting is that you blame yourself when your children have issues. When your child misbehaves the first thing that comes to your mind is, “What will people say?” “People will say that I have not raised my chiildren well.” If this is you then it is a sign that you are parenting ineffectively.
When your child has issues you tend to come down with self-blaming emotions on your child. No matter what it is that you feel about what happened, you just go ahead and hit on your child because you are parenting in a way that questions whatever it is that you are doing.
When you self-blame, you will make mistakes and you will get on your child with that feeling which brings about no learning on the part of the child. Your authority and power are what helps your child thrive. They are the real motivators of good behaviour in your child, not your child’s sense of control because a child at some point does not even understand all of that.
6. Failing To Recognize The Examples You Are Setting.
Do you think that telling your children what to do right is an effective tool?
You say things like, “I’m telling my children what to do right.” “I’m always teaching my children what they need to do.” If you don’t recognise the examples that you are setting then it’s a sign of ineffective parenting.
For example, you’re in your house and a friend calls you saying, “Oh are you there? Are you on your way?”
I’m almost there, you replied. Whereas you’re seated right in your home. Yet, you go back to your children, pounce on them and say that they are liars. When some parents come to me and complain about their children’s bad behaviour. I smile because such parents have failed to recognise the example that they are setting. What example are you setting in your home? If you say it and you’re not living the life you want your children to live, then you are setting your child up for the same way or even worse.
I was in the church over the weekend and I heard one of the questions that a young boy asked. He said, “My father is always telling me not to have sex and live a life of purity, yet I know that he has a side chick. I laughed so hard that day. Who was the father deceiving because the boy saw the wrong example that the father was showing?
A particular nine-year-old said in one of the questions, “My father is so unforgiving yet he preaches about forgiveness, he has refused to forgive my mother because of wrongdoing on my mother’s part.”
What examples are you setting as a parent? Your children see you bad-mouth and talk down on people, yet you want to have well-mannered and cultured children.Hypocrisy in parenting is one of the spoilers of your journey. Hypocrisy is telling your children to do as you say and not as you do. When you begin to tell your children to do as you say and not as you do then that’s a sign of ineffective parenting.
7. Using Ineffective Disciplinary Tools:
Lack of tools will lead to ineffective parenting. You are going on a journey. A whole 18 years journey and you have nothing to support that journey.
What tools do you have on your journey? Parents often argue that they know what they are doing only for them to get stuck on the journey as a result of a lack of tools. Lack of tools is a sign of ineffective parenting.
One of the examples of the ineffective disciplinary tool is;
Yelling & Shaming: I’ve had a lot of people underplay the effect of yelling on a child. I was in a session with a parent when she said to me, “I have stopped yelling, but my children have become chronic yellers.” She sees herself in her children daily as they have also become chronic yellers, they’ve become so antagonistic and angry. She wondered how terrible she had been before now and wished she didn’t make such a mistake in her life.
If you have a toddler or you are yet to have a child then this is the best time to learn. You can’t begin to imagine errors that parents have made and fighting so hard to undo today. I tell a lot of parents in the inner circle who have little children that they should thank God for the information at their disposal..Human beings ought to operate at higher functions but they end up being just okay and on an average level because of the kind of disciplinary tools that were used.
The end goal of our parents was to raise children who could do better but the routine was wrong. There is a cost to bear for every wrongdoing. Sadly, the cost means turning out just okay, when we could have been better. I have been able to work with over 5,000 parents and everyone that comes across to me have a common faulty upbringing.
Shaming a child might lead to the child having issues with perfection or the child develops a fear for failure. Many people are afraid to try because they don’t want to fail.
8. Withdrawing Affection & Attention: When you withdraw affection and attention from your child, you’re simply telling your child that your love is conditional. Many of us have our love conditional; you love the child only when the child is doing your bidding, you love the child only when the child is a ‘good’ child.
Withdrawing affection from your child can also cause the child to have low self-esteem and codependency. Codependency is when a child begins to adapt to how you feel they should act. At every point in time, the child begins to act the way you want. Co-dependency leads to an abusive relationship, stop raising your children to have issues that they will need to deal with later in life.
9. Lack Of Routines, Structures And Boundaries:
A lot of parents allow their children to do whatever they like and when they have had enough, they will pull out the cane. This Is a sign of ineffective parenting. When you have routines, structures and boundaries and you stay consistent on them, your parenting begins to take a new shape. People come to me expressing their desire not to beat and yell at their children, so they let their children do whatever they like. I’m always shocked at such parents. If your home lacks routines, structures and boundaries, then you’re going to be relying on negative discipline. You will end up screaming and yelling.
If you parent without boundaries and structure, then it’s a sign that you are parenting ineffectively
Your children need to learn certain skills. I have seen a lot of parents who are constantly flogging their children yet they complain about how their kids can’t do anything. Ineffective parenting results in waiting until the child does something wrong, then you bring out the cane-This is not parenting. If you don’t have routines, structures and boundaries, then you don’t have discipline in your home. Discipline is in your ability to lead yourself. if you can’t lead yourself then there is something wrong with the structure you’ve created. If you don’t have this kind of system, then you need to re-parent yourself and create that structure.
failed.Check your life, are there structures? Are you disciplined enough to push through your goals, tasks and assignments? If you can’t answer these questions truthfully, then you need to reparent yourself.
When you’re constantly comparing your children with their pairs, siblings and others, that’s a sign that you lack tools. When you don’t have tools to correct, you will begin to use tools that are not useful and you will end up comparing your children with others. The moment you have access to tools, you wouldn’t need to compare your children with others. Having tools will help you stay on course.
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