This is the first of what I hope will be a rich series of messages, on a daily to weekly basis by me, Randy Rolfe, your most reliable resource for advice on how to create happy healthy families. My mother is a sociologist and my father was a doctor specializing in infertility, or as he put it, doing the most fun job in the world - helping parents who really want a baby to have one! Both were amateur anthropologists, and they took me all over the world as a teenager to get a healthy world view of different cultures, beliefs and peoples. So it's no surprise that my passion is building a healthy future for the world by building happy healthy families! I've purused that passion through everything I've done, from studying international relations, law, theology, and natural health to publishing and promoting five books on relationships.
Having put my convictions into action, I speak from personal experience with my own family as well as from the results I have seen with my counseling and coaching clients, my readers, and my seminar students over the past 30 years. That's a long time, and parenting has changed immensely, but my philosophy of parenting is grounded not in the changes that can happen over a generation but in the consistency over the thousands of years of what it takes to raise children who are happy, capable, and productive and who add value to the human community.
Here's a take-home tip: You Can Postpone Anything But Love. That was the title I chose for my first book, and I still believe it is the one essential, core secret to parenting. When you are connecting with your child, in the morning, after school, going to bed, correcting behavior, or whatever, do the love first.
Offer a hug, no matter how troublesome they're being (and don't be hurt if they at first refuse). Start what you say with something positive about who they are in your life no matter how frustrated or concerned you feel. Say something like this: "I'm so glad you are part of my life." It sounds corny, but kids hear and appreciate corny more than you know. Just think about how you felt, or would have felt, if your own parent waxed corny. Just say it, and watch you child's face. If they try to reject it, just say it again at your next opportunity, and believe me, the face will eventually soften. You are giving your child the power to hear whatever you have to say without feeling diminished but instead feeling empowered - to be ever more like what you want.
Come back for another tip! Thanks for reading!