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Hello, my name is Selena Morefield. I am a counselor at Lighthouse Counseling at the beautiful downtown Waconia location. I enjoy working with children ages 6 and up, teens, college students, adults, couples, families and seniors. I focus on using a variety of strategies, based upon what may work best with each individual personality and situation. If you are interested in establishing a supportive, trusting and open relationship, then we may be a good fit and I would love to hear from you.

Reclaiming Family Values...

How did our world get so full of children, teens and young adults that are constantly getting labeled as being entitled and/or disrespectful? What happened to family values, time management and parents being in charge? In a world full of instant gratification, technology and the most distant form of personal interaction that we have ever seen, is there anything that parents can do to pull back the reigns and refocus on raising respectful, appreciative and personable children? Let’s take a look into one possible cause and what you can do to reclaim your family values. 

 To start off, here are the main four different types of parenting styles:

 

  •  Authoritarian– parents have very high expectations of their children, yet provide very little in the way of feedback and nurturance. Mistakes tend to be punished harshly.
  •  Authoritativeparents are responsive to the child’s emotional needs while having high standards. They set limits and are very consistent in enforcing boundaries.
  •  Permissive/indulgent/non directiveparents are very involved with their children but place few demands or controls on them.
  •  Uninvolved – parents make few to no demands of their children and they are often indifferent, dismissive, or even completely neglectful.
 Not everyone fits into these categories and often times, a combination of all can be seen. Most experts agree that Authoritarian parenting is best, as it creates an appropriate balance between the parent- child relationship and structure for the child’s emotional growth and brain development. What is coming up as the most dominant type of parenting in today’s world is permissive or indulgent parenting style. This style has been trending upward as electronics take up more and more time of both parents and children, as well as families who overcommit to exceedingly busier schedules. What this can lead to is a breakdown of family values, poor emotional connections, improper communication, and it often times leads to a pattern of giving children what they want to make them happy, while not even realizing that the roles of parent and child have become more like a friendship, or reversed altogether. 
 

Everyone may be guilty of this behavior to various degrees, but no matter what level you feel you are at on the parenting and family values spectrum, there are always ways to turn things around. Here are some ideas:

 

  1. Prioritize your family with an evening that consists of a family dinner around the table, games, open communication and chores. Teach them to prep, cook, set the table, do the dishes and serve others.
  2. Remove all distractions when with the children during family time and focus on each other. Teach them the art of face to face communication. Have one place for all electronics to park/charge and only specific times they are able to be used. Turn on restrictions to limit adult and explicit content to keep things developmentally age appropriate.
  3. Make a rule and don’t break it, no matter what. Set a family meeting explaining the changes that are happening, what the expectations are and when it will start. Make rules and give examples on how to talk, behave, treat each other and what each role is in your family.

If we take back our role as parent, we can teach our children how to respect others and be personable, because it starts within our own home. Parents, we are raising the next generation of college kids, workers, spouses, parents and eventually elders. What kind of base can we give them to succeed in not only relationships, but financially, independently and respectfully in the community?

While many sources suggest authoritative parenting as the best method overall, we do not live in a “one size fits all” type of world anymore and every single person is unique within themselves and their family dynamic. One of the most difficult phases in the parent child relationship can fall in adolescent/teen years. If you feel like you are falling off track with parenting and are worried that it may cause lasting affects to your children and family, just know that every parent is capable of adjusting and that it is never too late. It may take some time and a lot of patience, but it is worth it. If you are struggling within your family, parenting or just with your child’s behaviors in general, my door is always open. Please don’t hesitate to contact me anytime.

 

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