The Most Important Factor in Parenting Effectiveness

You can be crazy like me and research all of the latest and greatest parenting and discipline techniques until you’re blue in the face, but what you won’t find talked about enough is the most important factor of all – the foundation upon which you implement these approaches.

You wouldn’t try to build a home without a foundation, right?  The same applies to parenting where a solid foundation starts with your family.  So, how do you build a foundation for your family?

In construction, you start building a foundation by digging out the site, which is exactly what you should do when you start thinking about your family’s foundation.  Dig.  Dig deep into your soul and decide what you stand for.  What principles and values are so important to you that if you tried to act against them it would rattle you to the core?  You should also think about any other morals that you feel are imperative to teach your children even if you have acted against them in the past.  Have your husband do the same.  You’ll need these values for the rest of the foundation building process.

The next step in construction is pouring the footer.  The footer is wide and strong.  It helps disperse the weight of the foundation.  For your family, you and your partner provide the footer as the base that supports your family.  This means that it’s imperative that you’re on the same page when it comes to your values.  As individuals, you came from different families each with their own unique culture. When you get married, you have to mesh two belief systems into one, which can be challenging.

When you and your spouse are building a foundation for your family together, you need to be on the same page.  The walls of your foundation need to be straight, not a little over here and a little over there.  If you’re not on the same page as your spouse, you will send mixed, confusing messages to your children.  After spending some time individually “digging” up the values you find important, you should then discuss these together as a couple for as long as it takes to find common ground on major morals.

The core values that you come up with in your discussion provide the walls of your foundation.  You want your walls to be strong, which means you need your values to be unwavering.  You need to provide a live example of these morals for your children so you have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

Overtime, foundations can weather, become “cracked,” and disaster can ensure if you don’t repair quickly.  When it comes to your family, you should periodically check in with your spouse to ensure your foundation isn’t weathering because you’re getting lax about your values.

The foundation is the most important factor in the effectiveness of other parenting strategies.  There is so much that goes into building your family’s foundation.  Values and making sure that you’re on the same page as your spouse are a “solid” start.

What other factors do you believe contribute to a strong foundation for your family and in your relationship with your child?


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