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Article of Interest - Parenting

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Good Parents: Warm AND Demanding
Dr. Thomas Phelan, Parent Magic Newsletter, November 2005
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Research has 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 the following:

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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