When Lauren B. Quetsch and Tim Cavell were discussing possible titles for their recently released book, Quetsch suggested “I Love My Kids, But….”
Quetsch and Cavell are both professors of psychology at the University of Arkansas, specializing in child psychology.
The title was rescinded as “too negative” and eventually settled on “Good parenting: 6 points to strengthen your relationship with your child.”
The book’s title and content are intended to refute the commonly used term “effective parenting,” Cavell said.
“We argue that the myth of effective parenting can be a burden for parents,” he said. It seems really unfair because we don’t.”
We argue that the myth of effective parenting can be a burden for parents.
“Good Enough Parenting” acknowledges that parenting is not only difficult, but amazing.
A lot of times, the science-driven books that collect data and put together short quips on how to be an effective parent don’t really explain how wrong you as a parent are.
“By the nature of their efforts, good enough parents will fail,” he said. Being a good parent is giving your child a gift that helps them learn.”
Limiting screen time and teaching your child a second language are great, but what Quetsch and Cavell believe is the most important part of parenting: learning to relate to your child. You can also focus.
“This is a long-term one-sided gig,” said Cavell. “It’s not about managing behavior, it’s about managing relationships.”
To help parents build positive relationships with their children, Quetsch and Cavell identified six pillars that focus on how we connect.
Every other undertaking in your life probably has a personal goal. But with children, many parents only think about what they want them to accomplish.
In their book, Quetsch and Cavell suggest thinking about what you want to achieve as parents.
Second, when you’re questioning whether you’re “doing well,” you’re not comparing yourself to the books you’ve read or other parents. You can check in with your own goals.
Don’t stick to goals that don’t make sense as your child grows, said Quetsch.
“We can have an idea of how we want to raise our children and want to talk about it,” she said. ”
Goals often change over time. “It’s an ongoing debate,” she said.
Like goals, “wellness” is about your health, not your child’s. Quetsch and Cavell believe that it’s important to stay physically fit, but they also place great emphasis on staying mentally fit.
Practicing mindfulness before and after having children is key to being a modern parent.
We can have an idea of how we want to be parents and want to talk about it, but when you really get into it, your child will give you your own disposition.
Is your life child-friendly today? What rules and rituals are in place?
These are things to consider before having a child.
“Are you living in chaos or are you living in peace?” Kabel asked.
Once you have kids, you’ll probably need to change your lifestyle, but it’s good to be aware of what structure you’re bringing your kids into.
You can send a message of acceptance by making an effort to understand and love your child and not push them away from who you want them to be. When your child feels accepted, they will not question your position or how much you care about them.
Cavell encourages parents to have a “discovery attitude” when dealing with their children.
“You have preconceived notions about this kid,” he said. “I think they’ll be one way, but then they’ll arrive. Let’s discover who this kid is and if we can get in rhythm with this kid.”
What exactly does acceptance look like in your day-to-day?
Quetsch cites the example of a couple who consulted that their child wanted to play with just a clock. The couple were concerned that their children were not participating in other activities that children their age seemed to enjoy.
Quetsch’s Tip: Play around with your watch.
Are you living in chaos or are you living in peace?
Some children will behave worse than others. Parents who are too punitive can damage their relationship with their children, while parents who are too light can erode their children’s respect.
Between controlling or appeasing a misbehaving child, there is a third option.
Containment means meeting where children are. Choose which battle you want to pick.
With one sentence, you can empathize with your child’s reluctance to go to school, yet enforce the rule that they must walk out the door.
Reading lies conceptually between acceptance and containment.
It refers to modeling the values parents want their children to have, but not intervening when the child’s behavior conflicts with those values.
This is especially important for parents of older children who are testing their autonomy.
Integrating these pillars into parenting won’t have any short-term consequences, says Cavell.
Accepting a child’s tantrum at the grocery store doesn’t mean it’s over anytime soon.
Even with caution, fussy toddlers may not have the patience they need.
After all, Cavell says, “No matter what kind of relationship you’re in, you don’t want to be a victim of bad behavior. Being a parent is no different.
But focusing on what’s going on between you and your child, as opposed to parenting books telling you how to parent, can help your child feel worthy and independent. It helps you feel that you are there.
“I don’t know a lot about parenting,” Kabel said. She said, “How do we build relationships?”
Do not miss it: Want to make money, work and life smarter and more successful? Sign up for our new newsletter!
Get CNBC for free Warren Buffett’s Investment Guideis the best advice for regular billionaire investors, the do’s and don’ts, and three key investment principles compiled into a clear and simple guidebook.