Poor Parenting and The Dynamics Behind it

Poor Parenting and The Dynamics Behind it If you think the scariest hood to be in is Parenthood, then you’re right, but there’s a way to make Parenthood a little less scary. A lot of people ask for parenting advice or have parenting questions and poor parenting concerns. This is not just me as a psychiatrist, talking to you, I’m also a parent, and I really believe that parents help parents. Parenting isn’t about a checklist of how to do something right. It’s hard to know when you’ve gone off course, and, if you’re off course, it’s hard to know how to get back on course. If parents help each other out, then we’re helping our whole community and our entire society. I do have adult kids, and I can empathize greatly. I have been through a lot of the struggles that you’ve been through with my patients, my clients, and in my personal life. What are the dynamics behind poor parenting? We hear different names such as a helicopter parent, snowplow parent, and I have a phrase I’ve used for a long time called tractor-trailer parents.  There is a lot of people who are afraid they are one of those parents or worried they’re going to become one of those parents. I always start any session or any treatment by stating, if you understand why poor parenting is happening, then you can stop it. It’s important to understand what’s going on, to see the patterns behind the poor parenting, and to come to realize it’s not what you want to be doing. If you don’t understand the patterns, the dynamics,  and what’s going on underneath; it’s a lot less likely you’re going to figure out what’s wrong and where to go that’s better. The dynamics of the controlling parent The dynamics of the controlling parent, in general, this is the issue here. It’d be easy to say controlling parents are control freaks. That’s part of it because nobody likes to feel out of control and certainly parents don’t want to feel out of control. Parents may fear if they’re losing control, that’s making them a bad parent. Parents are, by definition in control when their kids are not. So it makes sense that control plays a role in all these different parenting issues or problems. It’s not just a lack of loss of control that parents are fighting when …

Common Problems with Blended Families

The Three Biggest Parenting Mistakes in Blended Families Divorce and remarriage are significant life events, and when those changes also involve kids, the stakes multiply for everyone. Many couples, of course, create happy blended families with lasting bonds, while others face challenges their marriage cannot withstand. What’s the difference? Learn about the three most common and biggest mistakes parents make when blending their new families, and what it takes to avoid them. Mistake #1: Allowing step-parents to discipline their step-kids Overstepping disciplinary boundaries is, by far, one of the most common problems with blended families that I see. In some cases, parents want the blended family to function just as the original family did. In others, biological parents feel overwhelmed by the demands of parenting and want a partner to share the responsibility. Some others worry that if a parent does not discipline a child, the child will not respect them. But here’s the bottom line: Disciplinary decisions are the sole responsibility of the child’s biological parents. Step-parents have no disciplinary role. Here’s why: By the time we start disciplining our biological kids, we’ve had years to develop a relationship with them. Over the years, that closeness helps balance the inevitable distancing that follows discipline. In other words, a healthy relationship helps cushion the blow of discipline. When a step-parent disciplines a step-child without that relationship cushion, they are bound to alienate that child forever. The parent-child relationship required for healthy and effective discipline takes years to develop and cannot be rushed. Mistake #2: “Pushing” relationships It’s a natural instinct to try and force the new family members to like each other. A divorced mother wants her kids to like her new husband. A divorced dad wants his kids to like their new step-siblings. A new step-father wants his wife’s kids to like him. However, parents must remember they cannot force their kids to like anyone, including a step-parent, step-sibling, or an ex-spouse. After all, this change in family circumstance was not the child’s choice. Instead of pushing relationships, maintain as many of the old family routines as possible while everyone learns to adjust. Emphasize respect and allow relationships to grow at their own speed. Blending new families can be a long process. It is filled with trial and error. The more parents can maintain stability for their kids, the better it is for everyone to adjust in both the …

Age Appropriate Discipline for Children

Age Appropriate Discipline Techniques   The most common parenting mistake I see comes from parents who fail to change their discipline tactics as their children get older. I am supplying you with a practical guide, a break down of how parenting must evolve as your children do. Lets first understand that discipline should always be in line with the child’s developmental stage, intelligence, and maturity level. Discipline is often hard, and unless it’s developmentally appropriate, it will also be ineffective.   Birth until Two Primary developmental characteristic: No sense of object permanence (the ability to trust that a person or object will not disappear once they are out of sight). Most effective discipline technique: Distraction Distraction is the most common form of discipline for very young children because they do not develop object permanence, until about the age of two. That’s why removing something from the child’s grasp or attention and replacing it with something more appropriate is the best form of correction during this phase.   Toddler, Preschool, and Early Elementary Primary developmental characteristic: Vulnerable to stimulation overload Most effective discipline techniques: Firm but soothing redirection During this phase, parents must understand that very young children act out due to stimulation overload, and not because of willingness, spitefulness, or meanness. The emotional load that a preschooler feels about something, as small as losing a toy can be equivalent to an adult coming home to discover their beloved pet has died. If this happened to you, you might fall to your knees and cry. No one would scold you for your behavior because they’d know that you were experiencing an emotional flood. When toddlers and preschoolers do the same, parents need to see that as an emotional surge, rather than willful malice or naughtiness. Time Outs When a very young child acts out, redirect their behavior calmy. Try to identify the source of overstimulating and eliminate it as best as possible. For example, many parents find that timeouts are useful at this age because it removes the child from the overstimulating event or environment. However, timeouts should be brief (about one minute per year of age), and the parent should remain in the child’s sight or within earshot. Even after the child develops object permanence, it can be traumatic for them if their parent disappears during an already upsetting event. Remaining near your child during a timeout also makes it easier …

How to Avoid Raising a Narcissist or Sociopath

Let’s talk about narcissism and sociopaths. Specifically, how to avoid raising a narcissist or sociopath. I thought I’d combine the two and help teach you how to avoid raising a narcissist or sociopath. How to avoid raising a narcissist or sociopath You don’t want to deal with narcissists or sociopaths anywhere; you certainly don’t want your child to have that kind of problem. Narcissism and sociopathy are descriptive titles of personality disorders. The larger group is personality disorders. Personality disorders are defined as not monsters and horrible people that you hear in the media, but we define personality problem as somebody who has difficulty with intimate relationships. I know it makes no sense. Personality disorder does not mean you have a bad personality; in fact, sociopaths often have lovely personalities; it’s part of their trick, part of the manipulation. The definition means you have not just the typical trouble with intimate relationships that we all have but the extreme problems. Such as, you can’t maintain long-standing intimate relationships. What goes into maintaining long-standing intimate relationships? That way, you can maintain long-term relationships, and you don’t have a personality disorder and therefore are not by definition a narcissist or a sociopath. How to how to raise a child who does not have a personality disorder, means you have to understand what goes behind that. Understanding what the foundation is of maintaining intimate relationships. The key here is to have a good sense in capabilities to give and take, you can give and take. Another way of putting that is to have a good capacity to control yourself and to put up boundaries with the other person. Notice, I didn’t say control yourself and control others. A big problem parents have is controlling themselves and putting up boundaries, which helps a child control themselves. Also, the capacity to change your parenting style as the child grows up. So many parents are using the same techniques for punishment and discipline when the child’s a teenager as when the child was three. Makes no sense, right? But it happens all the time. Three areas to focus on: Controlling yourself Putting up a boundary with a child Changing your parenting techniques Controlling yourself (taking care of yourself). There are lots of things that children do that they need to do, to have healthy self-esteem, to feel autonomous, to feel grown-up, to feel separate from their …

Destroying Your Child’s Self Esteem in The Name of “Good Parenting.”

The toughest job you’ll never be thanked for is being a parent. Let’s about self-esteem.  A lot of people have the wrong impression of what good parenting is, thinking that it’s going to create a great person or a great relationship. When in fact, these methods hurt your child’s self-esteem or keep the self-esteem from growing. There are parenting techniques that seem good to some people or seem good on the surface that really aren’t. Let’s start with the good soldier technique, maybe because I am in a military community there are a lot of parents who think that the child who is obedient, “yes sir, no sir,” type, that that’s a good kid. There is nothing wrong with bad manners, I’m not saying manners are something you need to teach a child for sure but an obedient child is not a good child. When somebody comes in and the child’s in college and they’ve been A-ok the whole time, that means the child has not been able to practice the other thing that they need to be well-developed human beings that can be in a relationship and that is their aggressive skills. By making them or insisting they be obedient you’re giving them one skill and that is to learn how to be passive, humble, to learn to take direction, all those things are important but what about being the leader, the authority figure the one to give direction? How can they learn that if you don’t practice that with them? I hear so much of this obedience part is, “they have to respect me.” But somehow if the child has their own idea, their own way of doing things, or if they’re disobedient; somehow they don’t respect the child. First of all, like anybody else has to, you have to earn their respect but more importantly, the question is why don’t they respect you? That’s the question you should be asking yourself. What’s going on? Why is he acting out? It’s so much more valuable than to keep trying to shove your way and your stuff down his throat. Letting the child have their own way, and give you a little guff, a little pushback is healthy for that child. That is where they get their self-esteem. There’s no self-esteem involved in saying yes sir, yes ma’am. It takes some self-esteem, some guts, some bravery to say, “you …