Healthy Parenting

Friday, September 14, 2018

As an educator and administrator, I've seen tons of families come and go through the years. And, I've witnessed many, many types of parenting styles:

Absent parents.
Lenient parents.
Loving parents.
Adventurous parents.
Silly parents.
Committed parents.
Over-bearing parents.
Helicopter parents.
Lawn-mower parents.
Godly parents.

I want to address the last three on the list!

Many of us have heard the term "helicopter parent."

As quoted from

"Helicopter parenting refers to "a style of parents who are over focused on their children," says Carolyn Daitch, Ph.D., director of the Center for the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders near Detroit and author of Anxiety Disorders: The Go-To Guide. "They typically take too much responsibility for their children's experiences and, specifically, their successes or failures," Dr. Daitch says. Ann Dunnewold, Ph. D., a licensed psychologist and author of Even June Cleaver Would Forget the Juice Box, calls it "overparenting." "It means being involved in a child's life in a way that is overcontrolling, overprotecting, and overperfecting, in a way that is in excess of responsible parenting," Dr. Dunnewold explains."

The problem with helicopter parenting is that it backfires leaving kids with decreased confidence, low self-esteem, increased anxiety, or undeveloped life skills (Bayless, I have to admit, I think I did some of this with my own parenting. As a teacher at the school where my own kids attended, I was overly concerned with what was going on in the classroom. When my kids were in high school, the grades were online and I checked their grades every night. I look back now and realize although I had good intentions, I should have had more of a healthy balance.

You may also have heard about the term "lawn-mower parent."

It's been said that the lawn mower parent is the new helicopter parent. "Lawnmower parents go to whatever lengths necessary to prevent their child from having to face adversity, struggle, or failure." (WeTeachers) This is the parent that immediately comes to the child's rescue so that the child does not face a struggle or failure.  "We are creating a generation that has no what idea what to do when they actually encounter struggle. A generation who panics or shuts down at the mere idea of failure." (WeTeachers

I know parents have the best of intentions. And, I realize I was definitely a lawn mower parent. I made sure I mowed down most of the difficulties my kids might face. I placed items in backpacks for my kids even when they were in high school! I drove home to get missing shoes. I  heard it once said that it's good to allow kids to fail while they are young so that they may practice what to do with the failure while in the presence of a wiser person. They learn how to deal with struggles and difficulties. If we mow down all threats, they don't practice and don't learn what to do. Now - don't read into this too much! Parents need to keep their kids safe and loved. Protecting our kids from struggles or difficulties is sometimes necessary.  It's hard to have a healthy balance.

So, I look to the final strategy on the list and that is to use God as the example of parenting. He loves unconditionally. He listens. He instructs. He disciplines. His mercies are new every morning. There are many voices that may tell you how to parent - my answer is to listen to what God says through His Word.  Read the Bible often. Teach your kids to live by His standards. Help them through tough situations by praying for them and with them. Demonstrate patience. Find time to spend quality time together. 

Share! Do you have any great parenting tips?


When the Going Gets Tough...

Saturday, September 1, 2018

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Yes, I know it’s cliche. But, it is really quite true. It’s soooo easy to give up on things when it gets tough. I have to use my daughter as an example of determination. She is my inspiration.

Our daughter is a marathon and ultra runner. She is simply amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone as determined as Lauren. Well, her husband Seth is just as determined! They work hard and train hard. They are both amazing athletes. They have gotten this way through a LOT of hard work...more than the average person would endure. They get up early, eat healthy, work a full day, and put in a second set of training. They push themselves physically and spiritually. They are active with church and their social groups.

Lauren ran in the Olympic trials, and Seth took 4th in the World Duathlon in 2016 (Racing-at-Duathlon-World).  Besides training and working full time, they are also coaches

I am writing about Lauren this weekend because today she finished another big event. She ran in a 50k trail run. Yes, 50k - that’s 31 miles of trail running. Trail runs are beautiful but hard and technical. A trail run involves not only running, but paying attention to rough terrain, climbing, rocks, streams...let’s just say it’s hard. She came in 1st female  - state champion for women! It was a great accomplishment. 

I try not to be a quitter but sometimes it’s just hard! Last year I ran a 21 mile trail run after spending 10 days in India, getting sick, and not running for 3 weeks. Not a smart idea. But, I went for it. At mile 15 I was done. I mean...done. I didn’t think I could even walk. Then, Lauren called. She talked me through the rest of the run. I was so glad I completed it and thankful that her call came in just in time. She encouraged me and told me I could do it. 

Parents, help build determination in your kids. It’s a wonderful quality to be able to persevere when times get tough. It’s easy to bail our kids out or let them quit when they get frustrated. But building perseverance and determination are character traits that will help them in many aspects of life. Things may get tough. Encourage your child. Tell them they can do it. Cheer them on. Whether sports, music, academics - whatever the challenge - help your child not quit through your encouraging words.