Tag Archives: parenting

2329. Suggestions for Raising Children — Part III


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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.)
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.

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1828. Sex Difference Redux—Part 76: Created to Do Good — I


This is a tough mission assignment for me and I hope the design holds. I anticipate three daily articles with these themes.

I — Although we each are born with the capability to do good as both mate and parent, our upbringing and self-underdevelopment overwhelm our natural talent.

II — As mate and parent, we often slip, slide, grope, and sometimes fail. Both prevention and recovery are possible.

III — The female sex can use a unique genetic predisposition for exemplary leadership.

Love and other affirming emotions—the ‘positives’—are insufficient to hold mates together. Criticism and other demeaning emotions—the ‘negatives’—are far too powerful. Consequently, marriage thrives to the extent that belittling emotions are absent.  

Both sexes emerge the womb with an inheritance of two major capabilities. God designs, Nature endows, and hormones energize each individual to live compatibly as a couple with a member of the opposite sex. The same genetic inheritance makes every couple capable of harmonizing* their home on behalf of the next generation (so that the species continues).

A compatible couple is bonded by affirmations of their connectedness and rewards of togetherness. Positive concepts enable it. We each inherited the capability of delivering goodness through the use of these positives. They include romantic love, mother love, familial love, pledges, promises, vows, responsibility, pleasant associations, mutual trust, mutual respect, forgiveness and forgetfulness, mature leadership, beneficial social pressures, personal likeability, sex as physical reward for men, sex as intimate opportunity for women, family closeness, religious beliefs, common values, extended family support, and many other blessings and expectations. Each positive is a concept that has a range from great to poor and every relationship has some mixture. Benefit of the positives depends on the acceptance of beneficiaries and belief in the deliverer.

People generally know and expect that continued family success depends on the stability and mutually attractive influence of those positives. They also believe that marital compatibility and family harmonizing come from building up and continually strengthening those factors. It’s easy to believe that and it’s necessary, to be sure.

It’s necessary because the negatives are far more powerful. They easily outweigh the positives in effects that linger. Each negative works like an on-off switch. It’s an act that’s present or absent. The degrees of intensity vary with specific incidents that are repeated. The effect on a ‘victim’ is profound. To judge the deliverer of a negative, the victim need not have belief, faith, or trust in him or her.  The positives satisfy beneficiaries but the negatives motivate victims to take negative action. 

Positives are concepts. Negatives happen as incidents and these are ‘ungood’. Criticism weakens acceptance of the criticizer. Lack of trust weakens respect and vice versa. Faultfinding weakens mutual respect and likeability. Contradiction of mom weakens motherly authority. Reproach of father weakens his usefulness. Censure of husband weakens his value. Censure of wife weakens her harmonizing leadership. Complaining weakens the leadership ability of the complainer. Blaming others for one’s mistakes sparks hatred. False accusers lose credibility. Disapproval of a girl’s choices devalues her importance. Scorn of masculine behavior turns boys toward rejection of parental values. Contempt for a child’s immature values causes loss of self-respect. Condemnation of children’s friends solidifies child’s opinions. Immature, disrespectful, and untrusting treatment wires children to duplicate it later with their own. Parental scorn of adults and authority figures causes children to disrespect them. Continual scorn of father and men in general inspires boys to be something else and girls to do without men. Impatience spreads unwanted pressure to others. Sour attitude causes loss of respect and full appreciation of others and generates the same from them. Manipulation destroys manipulator’s credibility. Wife denying sex insults husband. Husband denying sex convinces wife she’s unimportant. Not respecting teen as an adult and toddler as a person stimulates rebellious thoughts. Verbalizing parents’ disagreement before children empowers kids to play parents against each other. A negative spirit makes positive affirmations virtually worthless. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

Some negative factors have greater impact than others. When the effects demean the importance of females or suppress admiration of males, they are both egregious and unforgiving. The ‘victims’ react with their own form of negatives. For example, adults may find physical diversions outside the home. Children may use mental diversions to disturb family harmony.

Even though we enter life well prepared to shine as both mate and parent, we fall prey to real life growing up. Home, parental, social, and experiential pressures steer us astray. The result is poorer mating and parenting. We can both survive and recover with a simple change in our strategic aim in life but a rather large change in our habits of thought. I describe them next at #1829.

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*Take ‘harmonize’ to mean emotional attachment, mutual acceptance, and interpersonal agreement on family matters.

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278. Female malpractice — Part 8


Feminists popularized complaints about men. This one pressures women into wifely malpractice: ‘A woman’s work is never done’.

First, work-never-ends is the woman’s natural state. She needs a brighter future. She feels compelled to make it so through corrections and improvements.

Second, everything needs care, requires time, or must be made better. But those ‘everythings’ interfere with each other: job, housework, kids, step kids, husband, parents, and maybe even an ex. 

Third, she focuses more on the bad in others than the good around her. Complaints erode her gratefulness, and lack of gratitude erodes her happiness. The ‘everythings’ worsen.

Fourth, she can attack her misery by stopping malpractice in the home. For example:

·        Expecting too much of herself and others.

·        Living her life vicariously through kids.

·        Supervising kids beyond their maturity, hovering as helo mom.

·        Parenting her husband, especially as an intolerable ‘nagatha’.

·        Striving for perfection at work or home.

·        Equalizing domestic and childcare workloads with husband. (Sharing is possible, equality is not. Endless squabbles and resentments are easy.)

·        Letting kids escape responsibility for housework and domestic tranquility.

·        Failing to anticipate family squabbles that lead to further disruptions.

·        Bossing instead of negotiating with husband. (She and not him is the relationship expert.)

·        Bossing kids angrily. Stirring passions unnecessarily, including her own.

·        Letting kids see mom-dad disputes, arguments, fights.  

Malpractice adds burdens, but better choices can be made.

[More about female malpractice appears in posts 236, 221, 206, 189, 175, 164, and 150. Scroll down or search for the number with a dot and space following it.]

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268. Weans, tweens, and teens #10 — Self-centered


          This post continues the description of subsets that make up the universal motivator, self-interest (post 223). Mature self-interest arrives after a child passes through three stages that are simplified here for clarity.

Selfish (post 239), self-centered, and self-tests are actions that motivate children at various stages of growing up. This post summarizes selfishness and then addresses self-centeredness.

In the last half of the weans, selfishness is the standard order of the day for toddlers. Such children promote their interests ahead of what’s agreeable with others. It becomes an undesirable habit, when they learn that it pays off. 

As effective parenting discourages selfishness, the child learns to think long instead of short term. He learns that spitefulness does not pay but fairness usually does. Groundwork is thus laid for the next stage after toddlerhood.

Self-centeredness arises during the tweens and takes two forms in every child. Whether viewed as good or bad, he behaves to make himself feel good about himself.

Parents consider it bad, when a child focuses repeatedly on getting others to make him feel good about himself. The child dwells on getting attention, affection, or appreciation. After repeated failures to be satisfied, he often escalates to outrageous behavior.  

Parents consider it good, when a child energizes himself to make his life better or more interesting. He depends upon himself to feel good about himself. He learns to benefit from turning off his selfish and self-centered switches when associating with others.

Self-centeredness in the tweens determines what’s ahead for the child and helps shapes his adult self-interest.

Lessons learned take on permanence as puberty arrives. Following that, the teen years provide the third stage of developing adult self-interest—self-testing. That’s the next post in this series.

[More about childhood mental growth appears in posts 239, 223, 208, 197, 193, 192, 187, 178, and 177. Scroll down or search by the number with a dot and space following it.]

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197. Weans, tweens, and teens #6 —Self-worth


Self-worth determines how well people get along with other people. In the grand scheme of life, we can’t or don’t respect and appreciate others more than ourselves. Until proven otherwise, they have the same shortcomings we do. And, how we view others governs how well they get along with us. Early childhood makes all the difference.     

Baby-care adults infuse a child’s subconscious mind with three major factors that govern human behavior: self-worth, self-image, and self-interest. They help with two others: self-talk and self-fulfilling prophecy. This post focuses on the first factor.

Definition. Self-worth is how a person likes, loves, respects, and appreciates himself as a person. It’s his subconscious value of himself to himself.

Development. For simplicity only, I explain it this way: Nature and genetics wire the newborn brain. Care givers, people nearby, and surroundings program the baby’s subconscious—whether intended or not.

·        Self-worth develops in infancy and mostly before an infant’s conscious mind develops.

·        Intensity of development is exponentially high in the first three months of life and less intense for the rest of the first three years. (Times are approximate and vary.)

·        Both a floor and ceiling on self-worth are ‘built’ in these early years. In the tweens,  minor up and down adjustments occur until they stabilize in puberty. Movements pretty much stop after that.  

·        Many childhood mistakes and corrections push self-worth downward. Kind and appreciative words uplift. However, both are outweighed by wiring and programming already made permanent in the earliest years. So, daily ups and downs of feeling good and bad about oneself bump into a floor and a ceiling.

·        In the tweens, a child’s conscious mind interferes. It evaluates, accepts, and rejects the validity of how he’s treated and what he’s told. This process eventually stabilizes both the upper and lower limits of self-worth.

·        In the teens, hormones solidly seal self-worth into whatever it was at puberty. A primary cause of teen angst, it will be visited later.

·        Floor and ceiling work for life as limitations on how one likes and appreciates himself. After puberty, penetrations occur during personal highs such as success and lows such as failures, but they’re temporary.

Child-care adult behaviors that program both high and low self-worth will be presented in new posts.

[More about the mind appears in posts 193, 192, 187, 178, and 177. If not hyperlinked yet, scroll down or search by the number. ]

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193. Weans, tweens, and teens #5—The subconscious


According to one researcher, over 99 percent of a person’s behavior is controlled by the subconscious. It guides us through habits and routine tasks that require little or no thinking. It does so from early toddling to deep dementia.

For example, most body movements require little thought. Drive to work. Get ready for bed. Eat the meal before you. Prepare for sex.

Much behavior is involved in these efforts, but few conscious thoughts are required. The details need little attention, because the subconscious automates those tasks within boundaries of safety, sleep, taste, and enjoyment respectively.

Social success in adulthood needs good programming. Inadequate, abnormal, and poisonous programming—aka bad upbringing—produces unhappy, immature, and violent adults and even criminal and dysfunctional mates and parents.

Details will follow about five major factors that enable understanding the subconscious mind. Self-worth, self-image, and self-interest explain how it operates. Self-talk and self-fulfilling prophecy explain how it either matures or doesn’t adjust from earlier wiring and programming.

[Earlier posts about the mind are 177, 178, 187, and 192.]

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192. Weans, tweens, and teens #4—Heads Up!


Some natural principles govern development of the mind.

Involved adults ‘program’ the subconscious mind of each child. Successful programming flows primarily from nurturing in the weans and dominant leadership in the tweens. But both of these adult capabilities lose effectiveness after puberty embraces a child.  

Coaching succeeds best with teens, if adequate wiring and programming were done earlier.  

At puberty a child’s subconscious is crowded, partially filled, or empty. It’s works as if the subconscious mind were finite.

If filled to capacity with adult and mature values for self-guidance, teen peer influence will be minimized. When it’s not filled with values that endorse mature adult behavior, ‘leftover room’ will be filled with teen peer values.

Children well-prepared for adulthood aspire to reach it. Rather than claim the glories of post-puberty teen independence, they seek smooth passage through adolescence in order to reach adult goals beyond.

Consequently, those well prepared for adulthood pass mostly unscathed by troubled teens. They minimize rather than add to family problems.

On the flip side, some kids pass through puberty with minds empty or near-empty of mature adult values. They are the troubled teens.

More follows about the subconscious.

[More about the mind appears in posts 187, 178, and 177. Best viewed in that order too. Scroll down or search by a number with dot and space following it.]

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