A change of heart is vital in parenting today. If you have had the chance to read our previous blog you’ve read my personal experience of “Change of Heart”. Prior to this change I was not a positive parent. My focus on expectations and boundaries had me focused on my kids shortfalls and behavior issues. Kids today require a different approach. Why? Because the whole way of life for kids has changed! Stop and consider for a moment how many changes that our country has gone through.
- Discrimination once ran unchecked, now it is in the spotlight.
- Polio once debilitated many of our children.
- Neighborhoods have broken down.
- Technology has changed the way our kids interact, acquire information, and are entertained.
- The way kids view reality and evaluate life has dramatically changed.
In the face of these dramatic changes, relatively little has changed in our basic approach to parenting. A change is needed. With depression, anxiety, and suicide on the rise with our kids, we need to stop and ask ourselves, “Have we fallen prey to that age old definition of insanity, doing the same thing and expecting different results?”
After talking with thousands of kids and changing the way we approached our four kids with great results, I am convinced that what we most need in parenting today is a change of heart. Here is the reason. Today our kids’ views, desires, and priorities are dramatically different than previous generations. With being taught information and knowledge only by teachers and wise elders, as well as the perception of the black and white truth were how previous generations of young people viewed their world. Today’s kids value a different set of factors.
The Way Your Kids See Life
COMMUNITY, AUTHENTICITY, EXPERIENCE, AND FAIRNESS are how our kids evaluate their family and world and on what they base their decisions. This change places a premium on relationships and experiences over facts, knowledge and truth. As parents we see our knowledge and wisdom as the tools needed to help our kids succeed and make good decisions. Our kids see things very differently. This is why a change of heart is so vital.
Our kids are relationally focused. Things that damage generations. In the past when parents came down harshly on kids, their kids may not have liked it and distanced themselves a bit from their parents. However, it did not cause the amount of emotional pain and anxiety that it produces in kids’ lives today. Why? Previous generations focused on the knowledge and truth of the facts of what had happened. They could understand their parent’s anger and the consequences. In contrast the current generation does not focus on the facts, but on the relationship, fairness and the very real pain harsh responses and consequences generate in relationships. Imagine if every time your spouse fell short, you issued a consequence like taking the cell phone or car keys away. What would that do to your relationship? What frustration would it cause in your spouse? It is the same with our kids today.
Because our kids focus on community, authenticity and fairness, the old ways are no longer effective. We need a change of heart, valuing the relationships and community of our family more than our knowledge, wisdom and expectations. When we have a change of heart and parent relationally rather than factually, it prevents relational damage. It keeps our kid’s desire to please us strong and results in open communication, better decisions, and more responsible kids.
“ The turn around in our kids’ lives and the parental relationship was amazing.”
Want to learn more on how to have a change of heart and become a more positive relational parent? Consider taking our dynamic new online class, Influential Parenting.
It will change your perspective as well as your heart!