I've really been enjoying a book by Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott called "The Parent You Want To Be". I'm previewing the book with the plans of using it and the series of lessons that accompany it, in a parenting class that will start after the first of the year. Wow! It's good stuff. It's built around the statement, "Who you are matters more than what you do."
In the first section of the book, Les & Leslie discuss the fact that your kids will remember your parenting traits, asking the question, "How do your child perceive you?" and giving advice on how to identify what personal parenting traits you already have.
In the second section of the book they discuss, TEN TRAITS WORTH CONSIDERING. Those ten traits are - Affirming, Patient, Attentive, Visionary, Connected, Celebratory, Authentic, Comforting, Insightful, and Prayerful.
The stories they use to illustrate these traits are just awesome. For example, in the chapter on being attentive, they give the advise that attentive parents listen for a Child's fears. With listening ears, they work to understand the source of a child's fears in order to soothe them. The Parrotts share the story how a mother discovered that her young son was so afraid of the Madison Square Church in New York that he refused to set foot inside it alone. They write, "He was terrified, she discovered, of something called the "zeal." Teddy feared it was crouched in the dark corners of the church, ready to jump out at him. When his mother asked what a zeal might be, young Teddy said he wasn't sure but thought it was probably a large animal or perhaps a dragon. He told her he'd heard the minister read about it from the Bible. Using a concordance, his mother read him those passages containing the word zeal until suddenly, excitedly, Teddy told her to stop. The line was from the book of John: "And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up." Patiently, tenderly, attentively, Roosevelt's mother listened to understand and appreciate his fear. She didn't say, "Teddy you're acting silly - quit being afraid of nothing."
I wonder if Teddy would have grown up to be such a fearless leader of the Ruff Riders, and President of the United States, if his mother wouldn't have taken the time to listen and understand his childhood fears? I also ask myself the question, "How well are you doing at being attentive?" I know there is room for improvement.
I'm looking forward to finishing the last section of the book where Drs. Les & Leslie give advice on becoming the parent you want to be. The book is loaded with good advice and bunches of quotes worth remembering. I can't wait to get the class started. I hope you will make plans to attend. Be watching WestWay's Sunday bulletin and the Monthly Update for the specific dates and times that the class will be held. Oh, I'll let you know in my blog too.
Have a great week.
In His Service,