How to Parent Today’s Kids for Success
Parents become anxious when considering the negative effects of becoming a tiger mama or a helicopter parent with their children during these Covid pandemic times. Although they strive to protect their children from harm, parents also want to ensure that their children are successful in today’s world. For example, dozens of parents purchased their children’s acceptances into competitive colleges by sending funds to a fraudulent checking account managed by a corrupt college counselor. The counselor used these funds to bribe college sports coaches to accept unqualified students on a college team and paid corrupt test proctors to change students’ standardized testing results. Some prospective college students may have signed their college admissions packets without understanding the implications of their parents’ actions. Others believed that their parents were being morally responsible when helping them falsify their college application documentation.
Parents’ Stressful Responses
As our children return to schools, parents are struggling with how to model effective parenting skills while juggling demanding careers, multiple jobs, and ensuring that their children are safe during the Covid pandemic, when traveling or living in crime ridden communities, and while surfing the internet. Many parents solve these challenges by:
- Helicoptering their children with too many demands for their time to exhaustion
- Allowing too much freedom as their children become lured into gang-related activities, online gaming, or becoming addicted to internet activities.
- Forcing their children to grow up too quickly with extensive sibling care and household responsibilities while parents work more than one job to feed their family
Solutions for Managing Daily Stresses
In the next few weeks, our blogs will share:
- Proven strategies for learning responsible behaviors that nurture independence, problem-solving, and resiliency skills
- Best practices for healthy living, and moral and spiritual guidance
- Effective partnership strategies with schools, career explorations, and planning for college and careers
- Daily time management suggestions for families and when encountering life’s more difficult challenges (i.e. illness, crime, divorce, or natural disasters)
We will include skill building guidance, case studies, worksheet samples, and added resources when applicable. The various activities and examples included in each blog are collected from over 30 years of field experiences with families in schools and communities. Parents have reported that these skills provide “valuable information with many smart tips . . .” and “are a great resource . . . to maintain a positive outlook while navigating all sorts of situations with two young children.”
Teaching Children Responsible Behaviors
From the time children are preschoolers, it is important to set appropriate boundaries in how they relate to family members and how the family functions daily. Each child should start helping with household chores and sibling support by the time they start elementary school. They must learn to organize their day for personal hygiene, chores, and maintaining personal belongings. Children need loving guidance, modeling, and feedback as they grow to become self-sufficient responsible family members.
Authoritative Parenting Characteristics
There are many types of parents in the world. Some parents are very authoritative and try and manage every aspect of their children’s lives. These tiger mamas or helicopter parents tend to exhibit some of the following personality characteristics:
- Are demanding about a need and will not discuss options or negotiate choices
- Believe that their approach to life and daily challenges are optimal
- Expect that their children will follow their rules
- Can be excessively punitive or shaming when a child has misbehaved
- May discipline by physically hurting the child, placing on probation for extended periods of time, or limiting access to a privilege for an extended period of time
- Can be intolerable when their children express emotions, demonstrate weakness, or are fearful of change
Permissive Parenting Traits
A permissive parent does not set boundaries or consequences for their children’s misbehavior. Many permissive parents are over-whelmed with daily life or do not want to squander their children’s curiosity and passion for life. These parents tend to:
- Have children care for themselves and do not provide added support for food preparation, bedtimes, homework completion, or basic hygiene.
- Ignore or are excessively tolerant when their children are rambunctious and disregard the safety and care of personal possessions
- Allow their children to work through conflicts and daily challenges on their own without any support or guidance
- Are too busy or preoccupied with their own lives to provide quality time and guidance to their children
- Allow their children to manage their own lives without consequences for misbehavior, not attending school, not caring for possessions, or planning for future careers.
Coaching and Mentor Parenting
Parents can effectively serve as coaches and mentors for their children. For example, they can consider their children’s personalities, how to provide choices when setting boundaries, and winning cooperation through effective problem-solving communications. These parents support their children by:
- Effectively listening to their children’s needs and clarifying what they want to achieve when asking for freedoms and responsibilities
- Helping our children identify an appropriate solution to a challenge and setting clear expectations for achieving success
- Helping our children understand boundaries that must be determined to ensure their safety and success
- Reassure our children feel loved and respected with their various contributions to the family and personal successes
- Giving our children responsibilities and opportunities to support the family and community.
Much success as you strive to effectively mentor and coach your children.
Mary Ann Burke, Ed.D., Digital Education Expert, is a substitute distance learning teacher for Oak Grove School District in San Jose, California and the author of STUDENT-ENGAGED ASSESSMENT: Strategies to Empower All Learners (Rowman & Littlefield: 2020). Dr. Burke creates digital language arts and substitute teaching K – 12 activities for teachers and parents. She is the Cofounder of the Genparenting.com blog. Burke is the former Director II of Categorical & Special Projects for the Santa Clara County Office of Education that supports 31 school districts serving 272,321 students in Santa Clara County. She is also a previous Director – State & Federal Compliance for Oakland Unified School District, the former Director – Grantwriter for the Compton Unified School District, and was the initial VISTA Director for the Community Partnership Coalition in southern California. Much of her work focuses on creating innovative digital trainings and partnership programs for teachers and families to support students’ learning. These programs were featured as a best practice at a National Title I Conference, California’s Title I Conferences, AERA Conferences, an ASCD Conference, the NASSP Conference, and statewide educator conferences.