Dictator, Doormat or Diplomat? – Part 3
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6
The ‘coach/trainer’ style – These parents provide direction by teaching and example, modeling respect, responsibility, safety, trust and maturity in how they treat the child. They are ‘in charge,’ yet always preparing the child for the ‘in charge’ role in due time, delegating authority to the child when they are ready. Respect, not intimidation, is used to train kids, understanding that a respectful child will follow the rules even in your absence. Responsibility is modeled by the parent’s refusal to make (or accept) excuses. Independence is encouraged by how well children handle limits and controls. The parent is solution-focused, not problem-focused; forgiving; acknowledging their own failures; and directing kids to the future, not the past. These parents choose their battles wisely, avoiding damaging arguments, but holding the line in matters of faith, respect, trust, honesty, responsibility and consequences. Mistakes are used to teach, not shame. Such parents are transparent, admitting their own shortcomings and apologizing when it’s necessary. The rules are clear, consistent and fair. They don’t issue repeated ‘warnings’ and consequences apply without exception. Administering discipline is done with nurture, respect and reassurance.
What are the pluses of the style? It provides kids with a safe, protective, loving environment for learning, while you, the parent, model respect, responsibility, trust and autonomy. Movement toward adulthood is a joint parent-child project. What are the minuses of this style? None!
Heavenly Father, help me have good and healthy relationships with my children that are honoring to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen