Warm AND Demanding
Dr. Thomas Phelan, Parent Magic Newsletter, November 2005
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taught us that good parents have two important qualities: They
are WARM on the one hand, and they are DEMANDING on the other.
Being warm means taking care of kids’ needs. It means providing
food, clothing and shelter as well as emotional support,
sympathy and companionship. When parents are acting from their
warm parenting side, testing and manipulation are never an issue
because kids are not frustrated.
Good Parents Frustrate their Kids on a Regular Basis
It is when parents act from their demanding side, however, that
testing pops up. The demanding part of parenting means that Mom
and Dad must frustrate their youngsters on a regular basis. Good
parents, of course, do not wake up in the morning and ask
themselves, “Now, how can we go about frustrating our children
today?” Yet the job of parenting frequently and inevitably puts
Moms and Dads in situations where they must do one or more of
A. Ask their children to START doing something.
B. Ask their children to STOP doing something.
C. DENY requests from their children.
Good Parents Expect Something from Their Kids
In other words, good parents expect something from their kids:
reasonably good behavior. Good parents also cannot give their
children everything the kids want every time the kids want it.
The demanding part of a parent’s job therefore, is to model and
prompt, to reinforce good behavior, to say “No,” to encourage
and praise, to set limits and to occasionally reprimand. When
parents shy away from these objectives, trouble results. Mom and
Dad may wind up feeling as though the children are running the
house: THE ADULTS HAVE BEEN TAUGHT HOW TO OBEY THEIR KIDS.
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