25- Parenting Resources

enlightened What about spanking?
When you start a discussion on spanking, it becomes heated very quickly!
For sure, spanking happens! Is it useful is another question.

The following article by Gregory Popcak has been very helpful to us and can perhaps be of interest to you:
Ten Reasons I Can't Spank - A Catholic Counselor's Critical Examination of Corporal Punishment

Discipline means correcting and preventing bad behaviors (teaching manners and self-control) in a firm, but fair way. It includes making children realize the consequences of their actions at an age-appropriate level. Children must take responsibility for their actions and understand what it is that they’re doing wrong.

Disciplining with love is not obvious at all and requires learning.

For ongoing - and fun - advice, listen live to Dr. Ray Guarendi in “The Doctor Is In” on Ave Maria Radio or on EWTN Radio. 1-2PM, EST., Monday-Friday. Call 1-877-573-7825 during the show.

There are also great books on the subject to read before you have kids. We give some very good and helpful references in our resources pages.

enlightened BOOKS:
Our best picks:

yes Parent Effectiveness Training
by Dr. Thomas Gordon. This is our very favorite one. You can also print this helpful document by Dr. Thomas Gordon: What Every Parent Should Know;

yes How to Discipline with Love by Dr. F. Dodson;

yes Parenting with Grace: Catholic Parent's® Guide to Raising (almost) Perfect Kids by Gregory Popcak;

yes Boundaries With Kids by Drs. Cloud and Townsend.

yes Upright Kids in and Upside Down World: Defying the Anti-Parent Culture by Dr. Ray Guarendi

yesBuilding Better Families: A Practical Guide to Raising Amazing Children by Matthew Kelly

The Love and Logic Vaccination Plan 

Our world is getting more complex and dangerous for kids every day. How do we best protect them so that they will survive?
Resist the urge to overprotect!
Like vaccinations for physical disease, parents who apply Love and Logic allow their kids to develop decision-making "antibodies" by being exposed to plenty of small temptations, by being allowed to make plenty of small mistakes, and by being loved enough to be held accountable for their poor decisions.
It makes sense that if our child is about to run into a busy intersection or jam a fork into an electrical outlet, we're going to step in. But how do we respond when the temptations they face have much smaller, more affordable price tags?
Lucky is the child whose parents are brave enough to let them make the mistake of wasting their allowance on bubble gum. Even luckier is the child whose parents also hold them accountable by refusing to give in when they beg for more cash.
Lucky is the child whose parents are brave enough to let them make the mistake of watching TV instead of finishing their science fair project. Even luckier is the child whose parents love them enough to resist the urge to do the project for them.
Yes! Lucky indeed is the child who understands through experience that every decision has its consequences.
Thanks for reading.

Dr. Charles Fay

Allowing children to bear the consequences of their choices is very important (assuming they don’t put their lives at risk). This is what God allowed for Adam and Eve.

Being an Effective Parent Isn’t a Matter of Luck

Parenthood need not be a difficult and demanding experience that brings problems, worries and anxiety. One survey by parent trainer, Dr. Harold Minden, found that the responses of hundreds of parents to the question, "How would you rate your parenting experience?" were as follows:

22% answered "fulfilling and positive"
37% answered "moderately fulfilling"
41% answered "frustrating and negative"

Dr. Minden also found that 69% of the satisfied parents said they would enroll in a parent training course, but only 37% of the frustrated and negative parents said they would do so. It appeared they did not recognize the need for assistance in parenting. Those parents typically think that how kids turn out is outside their control—a matter of luck.  Many of them rely on the same method of raising children and dealing with problems in their families that were used by their parents and grandparents even though they know these methods don’t work.   

We now know without a doubt that parents who take training and learn how to create democratic, non-authoritarian relationships with both their spouses and their children will build happy marriages and create a "new species of children." Here is a list of the characteristics of this new species:

  • They get their own needs met, yet are sensitive when others may be affected negatively.
  • They are very sensitive to all forms of unfairness they see in their world.
  • They treat their friends the way they have been treated at home—they are good listeners, good counselors, good at expressing themselves, good at solving problems, and good at resolving conflicts with others.
  • They are mature for their age, fun-loving, playful.
  • They want their needs met, yet are unselfish, altruistic and giving to others.
  • They have less need to be dependent on other people—yet they have friendships and make friends easily.
  • They are less afraid of being laughed at, less afraid of what people will say, more individualistic.
  • They are relatively unfrightened by the unknown, and they don’t just cling to the familiar.
  • They have a high degree of self-acceptance—accepting the way they are, yet this somehow frees them to change and improve themselves.

Raising children who develop these characteristics takes time and commitment.  There’s no gimmick or quick way to do it.  Parents who take the time to understand and then put what they learn into practice are richly rewarded, usually far beyond their hopes and expectations. Gordon Training International

enlightened Raising your voice:

If you come from a family of “voice raisers” remember that what you model is what they will learn. When they are frustrated they will raise their voices.  Children are frustrated a lot.  I came from a family of “voice raisers.”  Sometimes it is necessary, lots of times I was not processing my own anger in a healthy way. I can’t say how your family handled anger or if you are in a similar boat, but I can say the book “Anger: Handling a Powerful Emotion in a Positive Way” by Gary Chapman has been very helpful to me as a mother, wife, and Catholic. Raising our voice is a form of verbal abuse.