Being an Effective Parent
By Dave Pipitone
What is an effective parent? Good parenting, bad parenting does not really come into play in the realities of rearing a child or children. It is all about effective parenting. What works for one set of parents may not work for a different set. Culture, how the adult was reared as well as age and socioeconomic factors all play a part in how effective parenting is attained.
First time parents find themselves facing a lot of unknowns and worst case scenarios.
New parents, whatever the age of their children, get bogged down by reading about the bad things that can happen from parenting books and magazines. The authors of those articles mean well. Their intention is to prepare parents for the bumps in raising kids and share situations that other parents have faced. Remember, anything can happen - good or bad. That is why the three strands of love, faith and hope are so important.
Faith relies on the presence of God as a loving Parent who will give the strength, courage and endurance to face parenting challenges. Hope gives a sense of encouragement that tomorrow will be better than today. Love gives the power to be kind, patient and present at all times.
Effective parenting begins with the parent, or parents, developing a parenting plan. It does not have to be a rigorous schedule of events monitoring the child's time from birth through adulthood. There are things that need to be considered though that will come up in the future.
Using physical discipline is a major cause of disagreement and dispute among parents. Some parents firmly advocate its use, in limited amounts, whereas others believe that it is a hindrance to effective parenting because it teaches physical violence. This is a personal choice. There is not any concrete information on whether or not there are long term effects when spanking is utilized.
Effective parenting involves a lifestyle that has to be maintained day in and day out. Being a parent means giving structure and support in such way that allows everyone in the family to have input. Styles and means will vary from family to family.
Not all families are two parent households so there are special considerations that should be kept in mind when reading parenting books and magazines. Most publications target twenty and thirty something married couples. Same sex partners, women over the age of 45 and single parents can often feel left out.
As a parent, advice is everywhere. The best advice is to have more than one source in case one piece does not work. Perhaps parenting is not a choice for everyone but those who do decide to be a parent need to do the best they possibly can to love and protect their children. There will be days when it seems too hard but a short temper is no excuse for abuse or neglect. Using love, faith and hope will help you pull together with your child and help you hang in there when the going gets rough.
An effective parent remembers the connection with God and chlidren by using a My 3 Strands Parents Dedication Card set to recall the gifts of love, faith and hope.