It’s all in who you know |

It’s all in who you know

Lori Mueller
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Who would you list as people you know that influence your life, or those who you are proud to say you know?

Are they the rich and famous? Are they successful in business?

Here is an interesting thought: would our children be on our list? I would imagine so, whether we have thought about it or not.

The next question would be if they are on our list, do we really know them? Do we know who they are and what makes them tick? How strong is our relationship with our kids?

At YouthZone I see many parents who struggle with how to get their kids to do what they want them to do, when they want them to do it and with a smile on their face. I would love to know how to do that myself.

Sometimes we tend to focus on the discipline part of parenting instead of the relationship part. What is more important, getting them to do the dishes or getting them to talk to you about their boyfriend or girlfriend?

When push comes to shove, the foundation of parenting is in the relationship you have with your kids. The part that builds trust is talking with your kids, looking into their eyes, focusing on what they are saying and asking questions.

Listening means seeking to know what is going on inside their heads without judgment and without answering with a lecture.

When my kids are struggling, I get focused on setting a consequence and attempting to make them comply, instead of spending a bit of time trying to figure out what is going on inside them. When I spend the time to ask them questions and let them talk, I have taken the best step towards showing them they can trust me, that I am not as concerned about them doing things right as I am about walking alongside them as they discover the answer themselves.

“Love and Logic” is a parenting curriculum developed by Jim Fay and Foster Cline. YouthZone facilitates Love and Logic classes, along with the Roaring Fork Family Resource Centers and other organizations in the valley. These two men have it figured out and they tell it all in the name of their curriculum. Love first, then the logic follows, not the other way around.

To really make a change takes more than reading an article. It takes us asking ourselves questions and taking the time to answer them.

• Who is on your list of people who influence you?

• What do you fear about parenting?

• What is the thing holding you back from getting to know your kids?

• What are you afraid will happen if you don’t establish the perfect consequence?

• What do you risk if you don’t have a relationship with your child?

If you would like help in answering these questions, or have other parenting questions, call YouthZone and talk with one of our parenting coaches, at 945-9300.

– Lori Mueller is YouthZone Program Director.

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