I am pleased to bring you the exclusive online presentation of "How to Be Told by Your Children That You Are So Not Cool in 12 Easy Steps" by Rev. Dr. Trey Kuhne, LMFT. I will publish this three part series over the next few Wednesdays, and I hope that it is helpful to you. I want to thank Dr. Kuhne for allowing me to once again present his series to you on my blog. Here is Part One:
Having 18+ years of hands on real world experience being a child, I live in the awareness of the challenges my own parents experienced in raising me and my sister. With my own experience in hand and with a number of requests from young families in the community, I have set out for these next three weeks to offer some suggestions for parenting today’s child.
I have gleaned this information from various practical and clinical resources. One is a valuable resource called Parent Talk, a quarterly publication produced by the Health Resource Center in partnership with Spartanburg Regional Hospital System here in town. The other resource is the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, of which I am a clinical member in practice.
In this three part series, I would like to offer 12 practical and clinically effective suggestions for parents and family members in raising, nurturing, and caring for your children. All of these suggestions agree with the Structural Family Therapy model that I teach and propose in my work in helping parents and families. So, without further ado, let’s get started:
1. Accept your role of parent as YOUR responsibility. You are the only parent(s) that your children have, though others can make it seem as if they could do a better job. Those “others” can’t do a better job because they are not you. God entrusted your children to no one else. Please accept this important role as your responsibility. Though society may expect school, church, clubs, and sports to parent your children, only you can really do it.
2. Make parenting a priority. Whether a surprise gift from God or a planned decision, make your parenting a priority. Stick to consistent and effective parenting even when it is inconvenient and difficult. Seek help when it is needed. God did not intend for you to go about parenting alone. Extended family, the Body of Christ, and wise counsel are available to aid you and support you but you have to ask.
3. Educate yourself about the problems facing today’s children – those problems are
different from the problems you faced. There are similarities to your era but be aware of the differences. There are pressures that come to your children from many different sources compared to those that came in your time. From media sources to peer relationships, your children are constantly being bombarded with information demanding them to respond in various ways. Learn what they are experiencing as best you can. Learn first, then judge. Remember that knowledge is power!
4. Give clear messages about your expectations – Be specific about how you expect your children to behave. Parental inconsistency is the root of all evil! Parental inconsistency is the primary reason for family difficulties in children. Parents threaten and do not follow through. If you are not consistent in your parenting, it is difficult for your children to be consistent in their following. Define what you mean by “You must clean up your room!” Set measurable expectations that are not vague but clear for your children. Clarity helps your children know the boundaries of how far they can wander on their own. Clarity also help you as parents know where the boundaries are in the family.
See you next week with four more ways to be told by your children that you are So Not Cool!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Trey Kuhne
Dr. Trey Kuhne is a pastoral counselor and licensed marriage and family therapist with Pathways Pastoral Counseling located at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, 400 Dupre Drive, Spartanburg, SC 29307. He specializes in working with individuals, couples and families. Call (864) 542-3019 for an appointment. He may be reach via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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