By Darren J. Gillespie
Back in the day we all heard about how Kellogg’s put 2 scoops of raisins in each box of Raisin Bran. That’s nice and all. I don’t think kids nowadays really like raisins that much, but they do like two things – structure and love. There are hundreds of books written about how to properly parent. If you summarized them all down to some simple points, you would be left with what I call the 2 pillars of effective parenting – Structure and Relationship. Structure meaning: expectations, rules, consequences, discipline, routine, consistency, order and parental authority. Relationship meaning: love, bonding, attachment, closeness, nurturance, gentleness, and positive interactions. You need a “scoop” of each for things to work well. Issues arise when you only have one or the other. If you only have structure and no relationship, children will either rebel or comply with low self esteem. If you have only relationship, children will go completely hog wild. There will be lots of disrespect, defiance, and chaos. Under all that, the child will also be anxious about all the disorder and have a feeling of “who is in charge around here”.
So what can parents do? You can start by looking at this chart and giving yourself an honest assessment of how you are doing in each area or pillar. Continue doing what you are doing in the area that you are doing well in – good job. If one area is low, explore why that is. Work on increasing this pillar. Remember you want to have a big “scoop” of each for a happy home.