Newsletter: Parent logic: Development and Implementation
Watch your children grow and they will teach you what you have taught them…
Welcome to the first publication of FACES, Inc Newsletter. Each month a new article will be presented on mental health issues. I welcome your comments, thoughts or questions.
Parenting Plan 101: Development and Implementation
A parenting plan starts with outlining goals that reflect the character traits, values, morals and life lessons you would like your child to learn over the course of their lifetime. The plan can be developed as your child grows or it can be something you have in place before your child is born. Either way it will consists of objectives that will be strategically implemented in a step by step plan over the course of a child’s life. It will take patience, being present and active in your child’s life on a day to day basis. The child will have their own unique response to the plan. Therefore, once a goal is implemented the parent will have to periodically review and adjust their execution of the plan so to take into account the child’s age, development, individual understanding and response, the emotional and physical development as well as the changing life circumstances of the child.
To begin to develop your parenting plan, think of your child as an adult. Ask yourself what character traits, values, morals, beliefs would you wish them to have? i.e. responsible, loyal, integrity…beliefs such as: hard work pays off, kindness matters, financially responsibility, caring for the environment, importance of giving to those in need, education is the key to success, family is number one, keeping a balance in life…etc. There are 1000′s to choose from. Now look at your life and determine what lessons, examples, beliefs, morals and values you would be teaching your child if you did not implement a conscious plan. Now, determine what changes you need to make in order to begin to get the results you want for your child. If you find that you are not an example to these traits, values, morals and beliefs you want for your child, determine if you want to make the changes or if you need to change your parenting plan to incorporate what examples you are providing to your child. At this point you have the rough draft of your parenting plan.
Example of a ‘Single Parenting plan’: CONSIDERATION FOR OTHERS
Let’s say you would like to teach your child to have consideration for others.
Think of all the examples where you are considerate of others. Do you open doors for people you know? For strangers? If you see someone with one item at a grocery store do you let them go ahead of you when you have 20+ items? Are you even aware of these opportunities for consideration? Do you bring a small gift for the host and hostess when you are invited to their home? Do offer a beverage or snack when others visit you? Do you ask friends how they are doing? Do you take an interest in what is happening in their life before you talk about yourself? Do you consider how you effect others that you live, work or play with by not leaving messes or taking your turn or not imposing on others without asking them first? Do you help a neighbor in need or family member or even a stranger? Do you consider how others will feel before you speak or act? Do you have consideration for other people’s time by not being late or not making them wait for you or your response when they contact you. These are all examples of how you can role model consideration for your child. They are watching you. The second step is implementing this plan with your child. Your child will begin to watch you from a very early age. At some point they will be able to begin to model after your consideration or lack of consideration appropriately to their age and development. As soon as they are able to speak, teach them to say thank you, please and then to pick up after themselves. Guide them to have manners towards you and others and proper etiquette when in public places or in the homes of others. Teach them to ask before taking, or ask before doing something that may interfere with another person’s personal space or things. Teach them that if they are given a gift they are to say thank you and follow up with a written thank you note (digital or hard copy) or a phone contact. If you anticipate your child getting a gift such as at Christmas time, help them to make a card, picture or pick out a small gift to give to the person giving a gift to them. Have them make a small gift or card for family members for birthdays and special occasions to teach them consideration of important events. Teach then to say thank you after a compliment or after someone does something nice for them. This is an important part of consideration. If your child only takes from others they will not learn to give. They will learn that they are entitled and will expect or worse yet they could feel the opposite. Either way it will build a false sense of self esteem from external stimulus rather than from within themselves. They will feel inside they are not entitled and are undeserving because they are not able to give back when others give to them thus causing their self esteem to suffer. Building a sense of consideration gives a child a balance to their needs and the needs of others. They will be less apt to judge others or themselves, feel resentful, jealous or bully others. They will be less apt to make the world about themselves. They will have a stronger sense of self, of confidence, empowerment and will have insight into how they effect others. They will be helpful, kinder and have more compassion. This is just one example of a single parenting plan.
Parenting plans are important for the healthy growth and development of your child. Yes, there are always exceptions to the rules. Many children grow up in the worst of conditions, over coming many adversities and still become successful. There are stories after stories that prove this can happen. Do you want to take the chance? There are just as many or more stories of children that grow up disadvantaged and remain disadvantaged. If you are reading this you can make the choice. You can choose to be a responsible parent and take on the challenge of parenting your child with advantages, opportunities and the choices to be all they can be or you can wing it and take a chance that your child, despite YOU will choose to have a successful life. It is a difficult challenge. Ask for help, admit to your mistakes, do a “do-over”, love your child and be all that you can be so that they can be all they can be.
After 18 years at my present location, the office of FACES, INC and Theresa K. Cooke will be moving! Please make a note of this change of location as of October 1, 2011. My new address will be: 5524 S. Saginaw Street, Flint, MI 48439. My new location is across from the Grand Blanc Township offices. The phone number and email address to the office will remain the same.