The days of “Do as I say, not as I do” parenting are over. Just like everything in life, we must grow and evolve to keep up with the ever changing world. With advances in science, technology, and medicine why should we cling to outdated parenting ideals?
We are not merely raising children. We are raising future adults, so it is our job to equip them with the skills to handle any problem that arises in adulthood. If we teach our “future adults” to blindly follow whatever we say “Because I’m the adult and I say so,” they will not be equipped with the emotional intelligence or reasoning skills to make their own sound decisions in the future. The “Do as I say and not as I do” mentality teaches children to blindly rely on someone else’s commands and not think for themselves. It also creates a false belief that upon reaching adulthood, they will magically have all the answers and generates disappointment and disillusionment when that doesn’t happen and life hasn’t turned out how they had hoped.
Parent educator and child advocate Lori Petro recommends that parents “Engage and connect with their children using emotionally intelligent discipline choices rather than punitive methods.” And warns us to “be mindful as you shift your thinking about what kids need and start to decode what’s really going on behind the behavior.” What emotions could be hidden behind their actions? Remember, no two people think and feel exactly alike, so you both may have two completely different interpretations of what is happening.
Clinical psychologist and acclaimed author Dr. Shefali Tsabary explains “Translate it to an adult level. After you have agreed to go on a diet, your spouse catches you cheating with a bag of donuts and takes away your car keys to prevent you from going to the donut shop again. Now, how do you feel? Or you are late for a lunch date with a friend, so your friend demands you give her your favorite piece of jewelry. Again, how do you…