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Model Parenting Advice introduces one factor that trumps the 3 key features in almost every parenting plan...self-esteem, temperament and discipline. Find out how this factor can make or break any parenting program.

Model Parenting Advice

Model Parenting is too often a buzz-word for THE way to raise kids.  Usually, these wonder plans are wrapped around 3 concepts of child development we'll call Self-Esteem, Temperament, and Discipline.  Caring parents will try to get every advantage to do the best job possible for their kids.  This article is for those offer one common-sense factor that can render any parenting plan a success or a failure.  In fact, this factor can often replace parenting plans entirely.  Here are the latest top-selling books with model parenting advice.

Kids and Self-Esteem:  While most parenting plans address the positive self-esteem kids need, they differ widely in how to achieve it.  Many teach parents to be always  gentle and flexible.  I remember my brother trying to reason and negotiate with his 2-year-old daughter over a behavior issue.  Kids need to know where the line is and the consequences of crossing it.  On the other hand, they also need enough room to play and breathe.  Other parenting plans call for so much rigidity the children are afraid to do anything.  The sensible approach seems somewhere between the two choosing the few areas where absolutes naturally exist (honesty, generosity, respect, etc.) and setting the limits so there's a little room for life between here and there.  This could give them a secure environment with room to live and grow.  Whatever your plan calls for in limits, your effectiveness communicating those limits will depend on their temperaments and your discipline. 

Different Temperaments and Tests:  Whether it's nature or nurture, from the time they are babies children have a variety of temperaments.  Many feel one set of limits can't be successfully applied to a variety of children.  This makes no more sense than condoning murder for one set of adults but not another.  Temperaments should be considered only in how you explain and teach the limits, not how you apply them.  Based on their temperaments, kids will test the limits in every, subtle, reasoning, humorous.  From K-6, they'll get more inventive at finding exceptions to the limits.  All this is to see if you're serious.  In the pre-teen and teen years, you'll have to begin showing them you trust them to keep themselves within the limits...often letting them fail and experience the consequences.  If the foundation has been laid well, it will be obvious in the later teen years.  If not, discipline will be difficult to impossible.

Discipline And Leadership:  This is probably the most controversial area in parenting.  Some parenting plans say to be the authoritarian, doling out punishment like an executioner.  Others call for non-judgmental friendship, tolerating and accepting any behavior.  There are times in every child's life that they need to be punished...yes, punished.  Other times, particularly in their later teens, punishment will just end the relationship, so, sometimes it's better to be a coach or friend.  The purpose of this article isn't to give anyone a set parenting plan, but to encourage parents in one factor that can make or break, maybe even replace, any parenting plan.

The one factor that works with any parenting plan is a living example.  The discipline method most needed by parents is self-discipline.  You know this to be true!  For most of their childhood they just want to be like you.  The sensible way to teach them how to act is to act that way.  My father taught us kids to be honest, save money, not smoke and not drink.  Since he smoked, drank, stole from his employers and managed money like a drunken sailor, most of us grew up to disappoint him by being like him.  A friend of mine had a Playboy Bunny key chain most of the years of his daughter's childhood, but he was devastated and angry at her for becoming promiscuous in her mid-teens.   I learned in a leadership seminar...

What you do speaks so loudly they can't hear what you say.

Usually when you hear the phrase model parent, you think of some 5-step plan on sale or someone getting an award because their kids are little darlings.  Real model parenting means to be a parent the way you want them to live.  If you want them to be unselfish, you give some of your time and money to a good local cause.  If you want them to be honest, you don't lie...don't cheat on your taxes...don't let the clerk give you too much change.  If you want them to be devoted to their spouse, you stop eying the waitress.  If you want them to have money, you begin saving, cut up the credit cards and get out of debt.  Think of everything you want to teach your children and then just do it in front of them every day. 

This, really, is the only plan a parent needs.  Just be who you want them to be...that way you'll have less explaining to do in their teen years.  What are your opinions or advice on model parenting?

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