Parenting: Revolution comes from Revelation
By Dr Robi Sonderegger
For many parents, having obedient children is all about achieving behavioural compliance and maintaining order in the home.
Let’s face it, when our children are doing the right thing it makes our job as parents easier. Parents naturally desire a home environment that’s peaceful and quiet. Tired of the sibling rivalry, whining and complaining, we typically long for co-operative and polite children that are a delight to be around. However, all too often there is a significant gap between what we desire and what we experience. As frustration levels rise we seek behaviour management advice and attempt to close the gap. Yet despite trying the 101 ‘behaviour management’ techniques recommended to us, we are not satisfied with the results. Many behaviour management strategies turn out to be little more than a tease. While the ‘star-chart’ and ‘time-out-chair’ initially seem promising, we quickly realise that any behavioural change is superficial and short lived. Too many parents are tempted to conclude, ‘I’ve tried everything and nothing works!’ At this point, we are ready to take our child back to the store and demand a refund!
No parent will argue the immediate benefits of managed behaviour. However, parents quickly discover behaviour management techniques do not typically transform behaviour. Rather, interventions only serve to ‘manage’ behaviour in the short term. In a way, behaviour management is like shovelling snow in winter. We wake up in the morning only to discover that it has snowed overnight. In order to get our car out of the garage, we have to ‘manage’ the situation. So we rug up, grab our shovel, and head out into the snow and start shovelling. After some time, we admire the progress we have made and determine that we can now back our car out of the garage. We have successfully managed the snowy challenge. However, as is all too typical of winter, it snows again and again. Regardless of how good a job we initially thought we did, when we continually have to manage the same situation over and over our motivation wanes.
For some reason many parents have developed an ideology that good parenting is all about jumping at the opportunity to correct poor behaviour. However, if we have to continually tell our children to stop fighting, have another mouthful, or pick up their mess, we have become well entrenched in the frustrating process of behaviour management, with little or no long term effects. Investing our energy into repeatedly correcting poor behaviour doesn’t bring about the desired transformation we seek. It’s one thing to temporarily manage a child’s behaviour; it’s another to transform the driving force behind why they do what
According to the book of Proverbs, “as a child thinks in their heart, so they become”. To effectively achieve sustainable transformation in our children’s lives, the heart connection we make has to be both deep and sustainable. Genuine transformation requires heart surgery, with unconditional love being the chief surgeon. You can’t get to the heart through the mere correction of behaviour. Genuine transformation takes place from the inside out.
When we are deeply entrenched in managing behaviour, we often lose sight of the real reason why we should ‘train our child up in the way in which they should go’. Behaviour management requires us to constantly tell our children WHAT they should and shouldn’t be doing. However, to achieve behavioural transformation, we need to identify and communicate WHO our children are and WHO they have the potential to become. Identity transformation is like seasonal change. If it stops snowing, we no longer need to keep shovelling. Is it time to bring the blizzard of your parenting to an end? Are you in need of a little springtime: a fresh start and new beginning? That’s what the Parenting RevolutionTM endeavours to achieve.
The Parenting RevolutionTM is part of the eCOUCH series (an intimate one-on-one Parent-Coaching simulation ~ facilitated via DVD vignettes and accompanying workbook) that has been rolled out in schools and churches worldwide with great success. The educational program takes the latest empirical evidence in child psychology and explains how to practically transform behavior in easy-to-understand ways. At the core of the Parenting RevolutionTM lies an easy to understand approach to capturing the heart of a child through the love of a parent. It is simple, easy to follow, and highly effective… that’s the revolution!
The Parenting RevolutionTM teaches parents and teachers:
• How to inspire, nurture and capture children’s hearts
• The value and importance of working as a team
• Strategic order of rules and relationships in the home or class setting
• How to eliminate destructive attitudes and behaviours
• Ways to cultivate and sustain positive behaviour
• Ways to create and achieve family or class goals.
Dr Robi Sonderegger is a Clinical Psychologist renowned for taking psychology from the frontline to the home frontTM. He is best known as a compelling, passionate and highly entertaining presenter. As a devoted husband and father of three children, Dr Robi dedicates his life to ‘celebrating the value of family’ and ‘being a voice for children whose cry goes unheard.’ www.drrobi.com
Hear more from Dr Robi at LifeWell Conference www.lifewellconference.com.au