Mom and Dad, are you a tug boat or a rudder?
You can tell by the way you motivate your children. Tug boat parents pull their children through the water to get them going the right direction. Rudder parents steer them in the way they should go.
We’re all tug boats from time to time. I know I’ve grabbed the rope and started to pull when one of my boys hasn’t made a good decision. That urge to force them in the right direction usually plays upon my concern for their health and well-being. And my fears turn into mild threats, nagging, and endless warnings against the consequences they could face.
But there’s a better way.
A rudder influences a ship’s course when it starts to veer, but it’s less noticeable when the ship is headed the right direction.
Honest feedback from a parent gives children tremendous stability. Good parenting tells kids the truth about how good a singer they are, how talented they are, how tall they are, how athletic they are. There’s a way to do that lovingly and productively that gives children a healthy self-esteem and propels them forward.
We’ll give insight into how to approach your kids with a little different perspective – a biblical perspective. On the Focus on the Family Broadcast “Finding Better Ways to Communicate with Your Children,” we’re sharing practical ideas every mom and dad can put into practice today that will help you steer your kids in the right direction instead of pulling them along.
Michael Anderson is a licensed psychologist, and Dr. Timothy Johanson is a professor and pediatrician. They specialize in helping parents with difficult children.
Their book “GIST: The Essence of Raising Life-Ready Kids” will be bundled with a copy of this program and another we recorded with these two gentlemen last year. Check it out on FocusOnTheFamily.com/radio. You can hear our program on your local radio station, online, or on our free phone app.