What kind of tools are in your parenting toolbox?
In a regular toolbox, like the one in your garage, you’ll find hammers, screwdrivers, and different sized wrenches – tools with very particular uses for specific problems around the house. There’s an old saying: if the only tool you have is a hammer, everything will look like a nail after a while.
There isn’t one tool to rule them all.
It’s the same with parenting. Some moms and dads only have one tool in their parenting toolbox that they use in every situation – like anger, overly strict rules, or permissiveness.
Effective parenting is all about having the right tool at the right moment to get the best results in your child’s behavior and maturity. Dr. Randy Schroeder says a parent who leads and encourages his children begins with the “four foundational Rs of parenting”:
- Relationship – Build trust with your child with actions first and then words. Your number one goal is to do whatever it takes to ensure that your relationship is unbreakable.
- Routines – Regular parent-child routines develop a close bond. This can be a “good morning routine,” eating meals together, greeting your child with a smile and hug, praying together, tucking them in at night.
- Responsibilities – Teach your children self-discipline through assigned household tasks. Provide them with numerous age-appropriate responsibilities. When your child helps around the house, he or she is not only contributing to the family’s good, but more importantly, he or she is building his or her self-worth and self-confidence.
- Rules – Children need rules and boundaries to feel secure. They should have freedom within the rules, allowing them to then make responsible decisions.
Dr. Randy Schroeder is with us on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting” to provide insight on how to be a “leader-parent.” While there is no perfect parent, this nuts-and-bolts material will equip you to lead your child in a loving, confident manner.
Dr. Randy Schroeder is a former educator turned counselor. He has a successful counseling practice and has written a book called Simple Habits for Effective Parenting: Specific Skills and Tools That Achieve Extraordinary Results in Raising a Child, which is available for a gift of any amount on our website. Or give us a call at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).