Parenting problems are usually expressed by “what to do if …” questions. We want to know what to do if a child is stubborn, naughty, slow, sloppy, lazy, and rude. What if a child disobeys, smokes, steals, and lies? What if a child is cowardly, dependent, weak-willed, careless, tactless, spiteful, greedy, stingy, and shy? The list of questions is endless. When parents find the answer to one problem they are faced with another one waiting further down the road of upbringing. Why do some parents keep facing these problems, and why do some parents have no problems with their children at all? What is the secret of good parenting? Is it possible to learn how to raise children without the necessity for “what to do if…” questions?
Simon Soloveychik, the author of Parenting For Everyone says yes, it is possible. The secret of good parentimg exists in the field of ethics. Stated simply, ethics is the science about good and bad and how to differentiate between them. When parents understand the difference between good and bad they acquire intelligence .
So, from an ethical point of view, what do good parents know that bad parents don’t?
1. Good parents know that they are good and honest people.
2. Good parents know that their child is a good and honest child.
3. Good parents know that there are many other good and honest people in the world and that there are more good people than bad ones.
The first statement says that effective parents have faith in their goodness. Generally they have healthy self-esteem and conscientiousness. So they view their lives in a positive way. They also have a positive approach to life’s challenges. They are free people. They are not afraid of people. And they are not afraid of their own children.
The second statement is very important for parenting. Many mistakes come from underestimating the significance of this statement. Believe that your child is good and honest. Then your child will believe you, and will form the right image of himself in his mind. Your child will act accordingly to the belief, which you infected him with. Simon Soloveychik calls this a new parenting faith. If you have not yet acquired this faith you may have parenting problems.
The third statement is especially important. Children will sense whether you are truthful or not when it comes to judging others. If you believe that there are more bad people than good ones in the world, you impart to your child the idea that the world is a dangerous place. In a dangerous world you cannot trust anybody. When you pretend that you trust someone children notice this fake attitude, and they lose trust in you. When children stop trusting you all the other problems begin.
How do you learn to believe in yourself, in your child, and in goodness in the world? By education, by reading, by learning about the laws of the development of the human spirit . It requires a work of soul. There is no other way to avoid problems in parenting.