|Heir to the throne|
What’s more important in your house; your children or your marriage?
I’ve been reading a lot lately about how a child- centered home can implode a marriage. Most agree the most important thing in raising a child is to pay more attention to your marriage than to your kids.
Back in the early 60’s, parents began to rely on psychologists like Dr. Spock for parenting advice rather than the tried-and-true methods of their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. (As an aside, Spock is the same guy who recommended putting babies to sleep on their stomachs in order to reduce the risk of infants choking on their own vomit; by the 1990s, that practice was linked to sudden infant death syndrome.)
Those of us who lived through the 60’s remember how exciting, chaotic, fun, frightening and culture-changing it was. The questioning of authority, though, began to spill over into the family. Parents were being told they were the problem; they had raised their children wrong and they needed to change. Unfortunately, too many parents bought into the “professionals” advice.
In an article written by Sarah Hamaker, she quotes child psychologist John Rosemond saying, “Today's parents are thinking entirely too much, and that complicates things. Children have to be forced through issues, not talked through issues," he asserted. "Today's children are being raised by people who parent more in consideration of children's feelings than thoughts, ideas and character."
Rosemond advocates a return to leadership parenting. "Proper parenting is ethical leadership, which is leadership always conveyed for the benefit of the person being led."
Leadership parenting looks calm, poised, possessed, unforced, natural and relaxed. Leadership parenting does not use a lot of words, but instead speaks in declarative sentences.
"We've lost this style of parenting today. Good leaders do not explain themselves. The minute you explain yourself, you act like you're not sure of yourself," Rosemond laments. "And that's what American parents do all the time – explain themselves to their children."
Being a parent is a wonderful, heart-breaking, joyous, disappointing, glorious experience. Making sure our marriages are the center of the home will teach our children the proper balance of the family dynamic. Let’s not idolize our children at the sacrifice of being responsible adults and parents.
If you are struggling with parenting issues, Beam Research Center Counseling Services can help.