Can you imagine getting in your car and driving down the freeway without first going through driver’s training to learn what you could and could not do? And to know that others also were required to get such training.
We may get annoyed with speed limits, aggressive drivers, etc. but the “rules of the road” help us drive with some sense of safety and precaution.
There are “rules of the road” of life in general that we need to learn; social, cultural, psychological, physical, spiritual. We learn manners, respect for others, compassion, restrictions, limitations, time management and how to care for ourselves. We learn the basics of problem solving and critical thinking and how to discern and evaluate choices.
We take these everyday rules for granted but without them, civilization as we know it would soon deteriorate.
I’m Not a Parent – Should I Continue?
If your parenting years are behind you, you may be wondering what this series on parenting can offer you. There are several reasons why this would be relevant at any time.
In one way or another, most of us are around children – as grandparents, neighbors, helpers in some forms of daycare, etc. We have an influence not only on the adults in our lives, but the children and young adults we are with.
Patterns of behavior repeat themselves from generation to generation. We can learn a lot about ourselves by reviewing our personal histories and childhoods.
If you are currently a parent, examining your past can temper your parenting as you give thought to unconditional love, discipline and grace. If you are just looking back, your reflections on growing up can make a big difference in how you think about yourself and family members.
Family Rules in Your Past
What rules did you grow up with? How were they defined? Did you know what was expected of you and why? Or were the rules ambiguous, confusing, and unclear? Did the rules help you become more responsible or did they simply make you mad? Were punishments justified?
How the rules and interactions in your family teach you about important values? Are they still important today? that still serve you today? Did you get rewarded for doing things well or encouraged for your efforts? Were you given choices?
As we explore more about rules and rewarding the behaviors we want to put in place, keep in mind the things you would have changed when you were growing up and why.
In our next session, we will look at how we can reward the behaviors we want and how we can effectively change or alter those we don’t. Behavioral management can help us change our current behaviors as well.
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