OCTOBER 14, 2019
As we continue with this blog series on Dr. Trumbull’s new book, Loving By Leading: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Healthy and Responsible Children, we come to the topic of commitment with parenting.
“Successful parenting requires a high level of commitment to your child and to the discipline process, especially in the early years. With the overwhelming demands of life, it is tempting to treat your parenting efforts as just one more thing you must do. However, for the best results, you must give it consistent attention and careful planning.”
Dr. Trumbull presents four commitments made by mothers and fathers upon entering parenthood. Each is essential for the establishment of a healthy relationship and successful outcome with the child.
Four Parental Commitments:
1. Be Ready to Invest
“The teen years can be wonderful for you and your child. How? By investing more in the early years. Postponing this investment until your child is older will result in more work later, and possibly a poorer outcome” (Trumbull, 2018).
The first commitment is to invest time when it needs to be invested. In a society where spending quality time with family is often given minimal importance, it is essential to carve out intentional time to spend with your child. By investing time in your relationship when they are young, the reward will be much greater and outcome more likely positive. Kids notice everything, especially when parents spend little time with them. Don’t hesitate to invest now.
2. Be Willing to Sacrifice
“At times, [parenting] will disturb your personal peace and can result in temporary conflict. These inevitable sacrifices are necessary to accomplish responsible, loving parenting with your child” (Trumbull, 2018).
The second commitment for parents is to be willing to sacrifice. Being a parent means sacrificing things. There is no way around it. Once there are children in your care, they become one of your greatest priorities. Loving your child means giving up some personal pleasures and entertainment that once were priorities, and redirecting your energies towards parenting.
3. Be the Leadership
“Lead them to self-control.
Lead them to respect others.
Lead them to proper behavior
Lead them to high character.” (Trumbull, 2018).
Children see what parents do and imitate it. This makes sense, especially when they’re met with the same faces every day in the home. The commitment of being someone’s role model may seem like a daunting position to be in, but it is a reality for all parents. Therefore, it is essential for parents to model respectable conduct and self-control. Simultaneously, parents must require this behavior from their child. You should not be surprised when you hear your four-year-old spewing disrespectful remarks if that is the vocabulary being modeled for them. Parents must lead by example and with discipline.
4. Be Persistent and Patient
“Beware of discouragement and of the temptation to relax your standards. Stay focused and be strong. In the moment of conflict, your child will not understand the long-term benefits of your discipline, but down the road, he will be thankful for your leadership” (Trumbull, 2018).
The fourth commitment is being persistent, even in the face of fatigue and discouragement. Results are often not immediate with parenting efforts. You must stand strong and be patient. When it comes to receiving backlash from your child who disagrees with a rule or a routine you have imposed, staying the course is more likely to result in success as the child understands the purpose and love behind the rule. Don’t give up.
Trumbull, DA. Loving by Leading: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Healthy and Responsible Children. 2018; pp 16. ISBN 9781732659810