The topic for today will be a discussion on the problem parents write to me about often. The issue is that they try various parenting techniques that work for awhile and then stop working. They are frustrated by this, so I would like to discuss why this frustration exists.
There are two basic reasons why some types of parenting techniques stop working.
Number one, the most basic reason is because they are really faulty from the beginning and that means that basically the techniques were never really based upon solid parenting principles such as the relationship and building upon the relationship.
Many times these programs are built upon enforcing consequences, which are really not a good direction to focus upon for proper parenting techniques. For that reason, these programs work very well initially but after awhile they stop working. This is usually because it is when the novelty wears off.
This is one of the faults in programs many parenting programs that offer short term methods. The methods work initially and people have said they work. Many parents have told me that they have tried these programs and for a short while they worked, but then failed.
The reason these other programs do not work is because they are not based upon relationship building techniques. They tend to be based more upon enforcing your power as a parent, which is not really a good long term strategy. Relationship building is a much better and healthier long-term parenting technique.
There is a second and more basic reason why these short-term parenting techniques stop working. This is because your child today is a different person than he or she will be six months from now. The techniques that might work with you child today are not going to work with the child who is going to be in your house six months later.
This may seem very frustrating and like a lot of work, but it is the truth. It is really the job of the parent to change with their child.
I will give you an example in my life. When my oldest son, who is now a teenager, was in the third grade, he was having a lot of trouble with his teachers. He had a difficult time with school and also got into a lot of trouble with behavior while in school. What we did was arrange for the teacher in school to tutor him privately after school.
That extra relationship he had with the teacher turned the whole year around for him. He did that in the middle of the year and he became an excellent child and did very well the rest of the year. We felt we had the answer.
The next year, we hired the fourth grade teacher to tutor our child and he reluctantly went. It ended up not working at all and did not make a difference. There were still problems all year long. The reason for this is because our son was a different person in the third grade than he was in the fourth grade. Also, the teacher was different.
The whole idea is the principles change and the rules change because the child changes. That is really a fact of life and a fact of parenting. Your child is going to be constantly changing and you are going to have to change with your child in order to meet your child’s needs as they come arise.
The techniques you try this year are not necessarily going to work next year because your child is a different person. This is one of the unfortunate things, but it is also one of the great challenges of parenting. It does not mean you are a bad parent and it does not mean you are failing, it just means you have to grow and change with your child.
Your job as a parent is not over when you find one solution that works, you have to keep monitoring it and make sure it continues to work.