|By Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller|
Do you believe that parenting is the single most important thing you will ever do? If so, do you regularly question your parenting style, responses, beliefs and attitudes? If not, why? Wouldn’t examining your parenting strategies and skills be a worthwhile endeavor from time to time? If you think so, here are 20 more questions you can use to check your current parenting consciousness level.
21. Do you see mistakes as learning experiences and opportunities for teaching, or do you judge mistakes as bad and see them as behavior to be avoided?
22. Do you create structure to meet the needs of children and expect adults to adapt their schedules accordingly, or do you create structure to meet the needs of adults and expect children to adapt their schedules accordingly?
23. Do you see yourself as empowered and at choice about your children and your family, or do you see yourself as a victim who is unable to choose effective parenting strategies?
24. Is your response to holding children accountable for their actions, to talk less and act more, or to talk more and act less?
25. Are you present when you are with children, focusing your attention on the activity at hand, or do you multitask when you are with children, focusing your attention on several things at the same time?
26. Do you invest your time searching for solutions, or do you invest your children's time in your doing blame and punishment?
27. Have you figured out that being right doesn't work, or do you still believe that you are right and force compliance?
28. Do you teach children to speak for themselves, or do you speak for your children, often telling other people what they think?
29. Do you refuse to rescue children and do not protect them from experiencing the legitimate consequences of their actions, or do you rescue children frequently, denying them opportunities to experience the legitimate consequences of their actions?
30. Have you learned a style of praise that allows the child to make the evaluation so their self-esteem becomes internal, or do you still use a style of praise that is predominately evaluative so the child's self-esteem becomes external and they chase after praise?
31. Do you communicate anger, irritation, and annoyance in ways that preserve the child's dignity, or do you communicate anger, irritation, and annoyance in ways that attack character and personality and wound the child’s spirit?
32. Are you offering children choices to help them become empowered and learn to make their own decisions, or do you offer children no choices, telling them what and how they will do things?
33. Do you treat parenting as the most important role you will ever have, or do you treat parenting as an inconvenience and intrusion on the adult's time, schedule, and needs?
34. Do you steadfastly refrain from using verbal or physical violence at all times, or do you spank and yell at children and defend your actions as appropriate?
35. Are you working to make yourself dispensable to your children, or do your actions serve to make yourself indispensable to your children?
36. Do you treat every incident as if it were a first-time occurrence, or are you a proponent of mental score keeping, unknowingly dragging the past into the present and projecting it into the future?
37. Have you come to the realization that shame, blame, and guilt have long-lasting effects on children and create negative core beliefs, or do you use shame, blame, and guilt on children, manipulating them into a quick-fix compliance to your wishes?
38. Can you emotionally accept that "what is" is, even as you work to alter the "what is" on a physical level, or do you emotionally resist "what is" with judging, labeling, and shoulding?
39. Have you learned to accept emotionally and then act, or do you take action from a state of nonacceptance?
40. Have you learned to be the silent watcher without judging, analyzing, or intervening, or do you judge, think, emote, and act without observing silently?
Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller are the authors of The Abracadabra Effect: The 13 Verbally Transmitted Diseases and How to Cure Them. They are two of the world's foremost authorities on raising responsible, caring, confident children. They publish free parent and educator newsletters. To subscribe to the newsletters or obtain information about how they can help you or your group meet your parenting needs, visit their websites today: www.thomashaller.com or www.chickmoorman.com.