Strategic Parenting Shapes the Family Environment
Theme: It’s the wife and not the mother that keeps a father in the home.
Whatever children learn well before puberty that makes them feel good about themselves, you can expect to last for life. If they learn and feel good acting as adults albeit immature, they are not nearly as vulnerable to teen peer pressure.
- Organize first. Arrange family thinking around dual roles for each adult. That is, four roles and with this rank structure: husband, wife, mother, father. Each ‘reports’ to the one next left. The most vital role is the wife. Her responsibility is home and family. She catches it from both sides and is the only one capable and therefore most responsible for coordinating family efforts and trying to orchestrate harmony.
- Start with good material. Good father-candidates are identified by their character and willingness to follow this model in the home: Husband bosses wife but mother bosses father. If husband has issues with the kids, he takes it up with his wife and not with the kids themselves. His leadership is most effective when he never imposes it directly except to back up his wife as she does her mothering thing. He stays above the fray of getting children to do what they’re supposed to do and not do. (I know you don’t like “bosses,” but nothing else works in so few words. Two cooks spoil the pie. Two bosses ruin an organization. Wife-mother is in the middle, so let her direct the home orchestrations to achieve harmony. She reports to husband for her performance in raising children, and expects him as father to help and not interfere with her ‘bossing’ them. IOW, husband tells wife what he expects and then as father he enjoys what mother has produced.)
- Recruit a better-than-good man. One who has the patience to accept the reality that mom can’t immediately change a child’s excursions into what or where they shouldn’t go just to please her husband’s expectations. If he frustrates easily over small things, put him back in the parade. He likely will harangue his wife or their mother just because he’s irritated or angry with himself. Red flag.
- Build the family attitude. Base and continually promote respect for each other first as person, then as male/female, then according to their respective roles and responsibilities within the family. Then, follow up the teaching and promoting with heapings of love spread evenly among all members. Without mutual respect first however, mutual love is seldom achieved.
- Moms shouldn’t suffer. Mother has the hardest time earning mutual respect. She earns it easiest and best this way. a) She keeps the children advised that most importantly she’s the wife of and responsible to her husband. It’s easier to earn the respect of others when you live up to someone bigger than yourself. Such as wife up to husband and children up to parents. b) As mother, she’s responsible for the upbringing of her children. c) She has the constant approval of husband as the kids see it. As much as husband displays lack of respect for his wife, it weakens respect of children for mother. (It happens most easily when father sides with the kids against mom. He elevates father over mother and it undercuts his wife, which displays lack of respect and reduces kids’ respect of mother.)
- Disagreement stifles. Effective parents never let the kids see them disagree over decisions about them. Permission to do this or that, for example. The first parent to make a decision, the other backs them. Parents subsequently take it behind closed door to resolve differences. Otherwise, children learn to play one parent against the other, which makes parenting much more difficult.
- The right target beckons. Raise children to be good adults and they will turn out to be average or good children. Raise them aimed at becoming great children and they will turn out to be poor or less-than-average or poor adults.
- The future beckons. Always focused on the future, mothers predominantly shape behaviors by shaping childish thoughts into more mature thoughts. ‘Stop that and learn this’ type of leadership. Parents do best by helping rather than directing a child’s aspirations and ambitions and aiming them toward adulthood instead of some earlier period in life such as adolescence.
- Self-developers emerge. Children develop best when they and peers organize playtime activities. Parental organizing for play interferes with self-development. It demonstrates with action that kids are not trusted even in their own domain of play.
- Guidance tops directness. Focus parental effort on guiding and encouraging kids and less on discipline and punishment. As self-developers, they develop aspirations and ambitions beyond the present. If well respected by parents and siblings, they dream about becoming adults. If not respected that way, they dream about earning self-respect through immature methods such as adolescent lures and behaviors, games and drugs for example. Respect compounded by parental love keeps their aims aligned as parents hope. Parental guidance is most productive by helping bring to fruition dreams for their adult lives.
- Kids make mistakes. They learn quickly from experience. Prevent their making mistakes and over supervise and it slows or discourages their development. Enhance their self-development and you raise good adult-minded kids. Teach and don’t fight against their efforts to play-now-and-get-serious-later, or you raise poorly behaved children. Each child has ways of letting parents know when they over supervised. It’s not over-supervision that is the culprit but the child’s perception and growing conviction of it. Respecting each child as a person provides feedback for parents to determine when appropriate to guide or supervise.
- Don’t become friends. Parents who would first be friends with their children abrogate leadership responsibility. They try to lead without authority they give away by making the child equal as friend, which the child sees as a huge competitive advantage and can’t resist using. When it doesn’t turn out as equal as expected and parent still governs the child’s behavior, the child rebels internally but not so evidently to the parent. The crux is here: The parent is well intentioned, but the child seeks advantages that inspire disingenuousness and even hidden dishonesty. The end result promotes disrespect for the parent that is overlooked because of their good intentions and conviction they are doing right. The child’s behavior out of parent’s sight deteriorates to the opposite that the parent hopes for.
- Life ain’t easy. Don’t make it easy for kids. It teaches them to continually look for the easier way throughout life, and it later shows up harmfully as weak sense of family responsibility.
- Assign responsibility. Match their maturity. Even toddlers should have something to do routinely. Nothing teaches character better than having responsibility and being held accountable. Responsibility assigned to match maturity. Accountability imposed seriously but gently and forgivingly by mom enables kids to learn they like to please her. As they mature it turns into liking to do their duty. First they learn to please mom. Next, they learn that they like to please her. The long range effect is a stronger sense of family responsibility. Finally, boys learn that they please themselves by pleasing mom. Girls learn from being gently and forgivingly held accountable that it works later for raising their children and coaching the man they love.
- Worth repeating. Men thrive on responsibility, and so nothing raises boys into good men any better than an early-developed sense of duty. Don’t expect or teach perfection. Teach stick-to-it-iveness, finish the job. Kids understand completion or finish much, much better than perfection or adult standards or expectations. Respect them enough to let them determine the quality they can produce. Boys start by trying to outfox mom. When they see that inadequate performance doesn’t displease her, through repetition they teach themselves to do better. Think of keeping their room uncluttered or well organized. After awhile they do it well in order to please themselves for pleasing mom. It’s the same process by which they will later love their wives.
- Mothers reward themselves. They routinely express their love and affection to a child they birthed or someone else. She feels better for just having expressed her love. Once the conscious mind opens and a child recognizes he or she is also a person, they can figure things out accurately as they sense it but immaturely for others. By mom showing trust as more important than her love, her child is more easily convinced of mom’s love. IOW, without respect mostly in the form of trust, even showers of abundant love can be unimpressive and unconvincing.
Strategically, the home environment is a complicated place. It’s run more by subconscious habits than conscious thought. Shaping and arranging personal habits to produce a harmonized setting for a good family is primarily the work of woman.
Men sense it to be true but low self-esteem, self-image, or both often cause husbands to interfere, which sends loud messages that wife is not respected, which means not truly loved. Also uninformed about making organizations function well, such men take literally the practice of submission and use dominance to interfere with woman’s work of raising children to become good adults.
Wife responds by fighting back to defend, protect, or win her way of doing things. It triggers disrespect from husband, wife responds with her own version of disrespect, and the war begins.
As children view it, their future turns bleak. Even they can guess groundwork being laid for parental separation. Instinctively they sense but probably don’t recognize that repeated disrespect foretells the likely death and prevention of restoring love.
Editorial comment is next at 2330 and Tactical Parenting: Guidance and Encouragement follows at 2331.