Category Archives: OLD & NEW SCHOOL PARENTING

Cooperation or Obedience?

Cooperation or Obedience?

NOTE: This piece is written from the Dad’s perspective.
It can just as appropriately be read from the Mom’s perspective.

If you as a parent are confident enough, you might speak to your child along the following lines – at any time, really, but especially during the You-and-Me Dialogue, when you have a conversation with the child about how the two of you treat each other.

“My strongest desire is for you to be growing as a person, to be responsible, caring, and cooperative.

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Cooperation or Resistance?

Cooperation or Resistance? 

 Three things are necessary in order for cooperation between people to happen.

Three Components of Cooperation

1. The individuals must have a common goal that they explicitly or implicitly agree to work toward.

2. In addition, they must perceive each other as having a certain degree of strength or power to contribute to the

undertaking. In other words, mutually perceived power is a necessary ingredient. Of course, this can include the power to make things go wrong, as well as the power to contribute to success.

3. Finally, they must have a certain amount of trust in each other, that they will not be taken advantage of, that the other(s) will carry their fair share of the load, etc.

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Dialogue: 3 New Family Agreements

Dialogue: 3 New Family Agreements

I’m a firm believer that good discipline rests on good dialogue. If a family’s discipline system is not based on mutual respect and the ability of parents and children to openly and honestly express themselves, and be heard by each other, then there will be problems–and possibly serious problems. The “Old School” style of parenting relied on children’s obedience and conformity to parental wishes–period. But that often doesn’t work well any more.

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Dialogue: The Heart of New School Parenting

Dialogue: The Heart of New School Parenting

Parent-child dialogue is the heart and soul of my New School approach to how to be a parent. The love a parent has for a child is expressed and embodied in how the parent communicates with the child, even when the child is a newborn. Obviously, dialogue entails listening as well as talking, and it includes all non-verbal communication as well. There are many skills involved in having a good dialogue, and as parents we are illustrating and teaching them to our children in everything we say and do.

In the New School approach to parenting, we recognize and accept the fact that control of children’s behavior is a delusion. We cannot control our children’s behavior. (See my “Volcano Theory.”) They have free will. We do not have a remote control to their brain. They are not robots or slaves. They talk to us when they want to talk, not necessarily when we want them to talk.

Consequently we are convinced that we are better off not even trying to control their behavior through the Old School use of power and control tactics, like our parents used (yelling, ordering, bossing, threatening, punishing, spanking, hitting, grounding, etc). We recognize these as invitations to trouble. We acknowledge that the best we can get from our children, and what we really want from them, is their cooperation, based on dialogue and agreements, rather than their obedience to rules that we impose. If they don’t want to talk, we realize we cannot force them to.

Influence Does Not Equal Control

In the New School approach to parenting, we acknowledge that while we have absolutely no control over our children’s behavior, but only over our own, we also acknowledge that we have tremendous influence on our children’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior. We acknowledge that influence does not equal control. Continue reading

Obedience or Responsibility?

Obedience or Responsibility? 

“Discipline” originally meant teaching/learning, in Latin (“disciplina”). Thus, the word disciple. So, your discipline system is teaching your children something, and they are learning something. Every relationship, and every family too, has some kind of a discipline system in place, whether the expectations (“rules”) and the consequences that flow from actions are spelled out clearly, or never discussed. Patterns of action and behavior develop and are repeated with much regularity, so that everybody kind of knows “what to expect,” even if the thing that’s expected is something like, “You never know what to expect.” That’s an expectation, isn’t it: “lack of consistency.” A discipline system with a lack of consistency can be called “confusing,” and if it’s really confusing over a long period of time, you could consider it to be “chaotic.”

Thus, whatever your approach to discipline is–confusing, chaotic, organized, clear, consistent, persistent–you are teaching your children something about your expectations and how you approach rewards and punishment for good and bad behavior. You might unknowingly be teaching them that “Mom and dad never notice anything good that I do, only my failures,” or perhaps, “Mom and dad actually notice and appreciate the good things I do.” In the final analysis, since the parents are the architects of their own Harmony House (or perhaps “DISharmony House”), your discipline system is constantly teaching your children about you, and about how you regard them.”

So the question arises, “Do you want to be teaching your children that you primarily want obedience from them, or that you primarily want responsibility from them?

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Old & New School Parenting Methods

Old & New School Parenting Methods

Old School Parenting Methods

Here is a brief listing of some of the most popular methods that 99% of our parents (and eons of parents before them) used in order to bring us, as children, into line with their wishes and demands.

The goal of discipline in the Old School approach to parenting was, and still is, obedience. It features a heavy dose of punishment for disobedience, and this punishment is intended to “teach the child a lesson,” which can generally be interpreted to mean “scare the child into submission.” By inflicting some kind of pain or deprivation, the punishment is meant to deter child misbehavior and disobedience in the future. These methods focus on dealing with children on the corporal or physical level.

With the exception of physical punishment, these methods are not necessarily “wrong” or “bad,” but they are too often ineffective with strong-willed, autonomous, or rebellious children of all ages. Here’s a listing of the most common Old School methods or techniques.

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Old and New School Parenting

Old and New School Parenting

In this category I have posted numerous articles describing the differences between my Old School model of how to be a parent, and my New School model of parenting.

The Old School model is not necessarily bad or wrong, but it is often ineffective, especially with strong-willed, resistant, out-of-control children. The Old School methods don’t seem to work well at all with these children, regardless of their age. The New School model offers an excellent alternative to the Old School model, and it is effective with all children, not just stubborn or defiant ones.

You will find a difference in the four basic operational principles of each model, as well as a wide variety of “new” techniques to use (see the category “9 Key Parenting Skills”). Parent-child dialogue is the heart and soul of the New School approach to parenting, and this can be very effective with all children, even as young as two years.

Finally, the category “New School Discipline” presents a totally different approach to discipline from the one almost all of us were raised with. Before exploring those posts, I recommend that you become familiar with the posts in this category, “Old and New School Parenting.” You’ll see that it contains a lot of significant differences from the way your parents raised you, and the way you may have been trying to raise your own kids.

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3 Steps to Parent-Child Harmony is my book  that describes in detail the differences between the Old School Parenting model and the New School Parenting model.  Please see these links if you are interested in more information or wish to purchase.

Learn more.    Buy Now.   Table of Contents & Intro

Old School and New School Parenting: An Overview

Old School and New School Parenting:
An Overview

We were all probably raised in the Old School method of parenting, which worked pretty well for most of us. The Old School approach, a power and control approach, is not bad or wrong. It’s been around forever, and will be around as long as there are parents. But when it doesn’t work well with strong-willed or angry children, parents need some new ideas.

This article presents parents with a comparison of old and new approaches.

The Problem of Control

The single biggest problem that parents present in my classes and coaching is control of their children’s behaviors. I should say, misbehaviors. So many children are resistive, argumentative, stubborn, rude, even defiant toward their parents. The parents’ problem is that the parenting methods their own parents used with them (which may have actually worked quite well) simply do not work as well with many of these bright, articulate, independent-minded, but immature and self-centered children. What I call the Old School methods might, indeed, work well in many families, where the children are more easy-going and compliant. But in many stressed families, the Old School approach isn’t cutting it. What’s needed is a more sophisticated, more thoughtful approach. And I call it the New School approach to parenting.

Here’s a brief comparison of the two approaches.

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Old School Parenting Is Not Necessarily “Bad” Or “Wrong”

Old School Parenting Is Not Necessarily”Bad” or “Wrong.”

But It’s Often Ineffective

The Old School model of parenting is not, in and of itself, bad or wrong in terms of how to be a parent. Ninety-nine percent of us were probably raised within that model, and we turned out just fine, thank you!

By the “Old School parenting model” I mean the model that has been around for eons, probably as long as human parenting itself. It consists of a set of time-honored, tried and true principles that include the following: 1) rules; 2) obedience; and 3) punishments.

Old School = Parental Decree –> Rules –> Obedience –> Punishments

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Old School to New School Shift, a

Old School to New School Shift, a

Parents wishing to change some of their Old School parenting habits to New School practices can get an overview of the main priciples that characterize each of the two approaches by looking at this chart. It shows the four functional principles that guide parents’ behavior almost all the time in each system. While it does not show all aspects of how to parent differently in the New School approach, it gives a clear idea of what needs to be done in making the shift from Old School to New School ways of parenting.

Please click on the  following link to view the chart.

Old School to New School Shift a

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3 Steps to Parent-Child Harmony is my book  that describes in detail the differences between the Old School Parenting model and the New School Parenting model.  Please see these links if you are interested in more information or wish to purchase.

     
Learn more.    Buy Now.   Table of Contents & Intro