Having difficulty with your kids? They acting out and misbehaving? Disconnection usually is the culprit. Connection with your children is so important for so many reasons but in one word it’s LOVE.

For the most part I have noticed that many parents have the goal of raising children to obey (myself being one of them). With all their energy, they try to ensure that they turn out “good” and the obvious way of accomplishing this goal is to teach them to do as we say right? This is a relationships based on rules and not connection or love. But we must learn and continue to learn that parenting is about relationship not rules and regulations. This doesn’t mean there isn’t rules, discipline, correction or chores but we as parent must see through the eyes of relationship and connection with our kids. Love must be the goal.

You may be thinking, “A relationship that is focused on connection and love sounds good but what am I supposed to do just let them do whatever they want?”

Until our children learn to deal with what is going on inside of them, they simply cannot learn to manage the freedom that’s given to them. Behavior comes from inward beliefs therefore we must not get caught up on the behavior but rather become intentional in instilling the right beliefs. We as parents must be intentional in instilling strong core values and empowering beliefs systems. Not only still them but also example them out through you own lives.

They are kids! Our children are mistake makers. They don’t know what you know and haven’t experienced what you have experienced so be patient with them. They are all on a learning journey just like us. When we are afraid of their mistakes our anxiety controls our responses to them and fear becomes the teacher in the home.
For many parents intimidation has become the parenting tool. Using various levels of intimidation we seek to control them in order to make ourselves feel like “good parents” that have robots kids.

Do you really want fear teaching your children?

We want to empower our kids not make them afraid to fail. We must develop empowering core values in them and not fears of failure. If we train them in fear they will only “obey” when we are there present with them. When we leave their fear of punishment is gone and they will make decision out of what? This is why we must develop healthy core values within them. With core values they will live them out whether you are there or not.

I received these principles about 8 years ago and it really set me up for success with my own children. Today I truly seek to apply them with my own two kids who are now nine years old (Twins). I truly see the difference between the times I am applying them and the times when I slack and don’t. I hope you learn to apply these yourself.

1. LOVE is ALWAYS the Goal
Our goal is to equip our kids to be able to give and receive love being able to love themselves and love others affectively. Wise parents will model and teach skills on how to give and receive love. They model and teach things such as joy, peace, trust, follow through, patience, self-control, hard work and how to listen to name a few. As parents our lives and actions define so much in their minds therefore example greatness.

2. Connection and Attention
Many children are love-starved because although their parents are around much of the time, they never really get the attention they need. It is better to spend smaller amounts of quality time with our children without distractions rather than lots of time when we are preoccupied with other activities.

Learn to “tune into” your children at all ages especially since they go through difference seasons having different needs. Interact with them spiritually, verbally, physically and emotionally. Interact in ways that empower them and set them up for success and make it fun!

When you are not interacting with your children, teach them to respect your time constraints and provide them with constructive alternatives such as creative play. These are skill that they will need in the future anyway so begin to teach them now. Yes you must intentionally connect with quality time but it is also true that they must learn to play without external stimulation.

3. A Respect For Obedience and Authority
To be successful in life children must learn to be successful in relationships because life evolves around relationships. We must equip them to respect the rights and needs of others. All relationships require giving, as well as receiving. Positive parenting requires that parents be good authority figures for their children. Having a friendship is great but the positive parental roles of nurturing, supporting, and wise counsel and never finished.

4. Personal Responsibility and Consequences for Actions
Equip your children to make decisions and to take responsibility for their actions. They need to learn that they have the power to make things happen. They are able to respond, response able or responsible.

They also need to know how about consequences. Create and be consistent with a well-managed system of responsibility and consequences creates peace in the home where everyone knows their roles and how to win and lose. Again, this is all with LOVE being the main goal. Discipline is to shine light on the area of weakness and it empowers them to rise up to their true potential. Discipline isn’t to put them down and discourage them from trying again or even from cleaning up their own mess. Love shows them their value in the midst of their failure so that they feel powerful once again and can not only clean up their own mess but to gain so much wisdom form the situation.

5. Security, Consequences, And Self-Esteem
Most children have a desire to achieve and receive approval. This helps with the development of their identity and purpose. Speak their value out over them often. Tell them about their gifs and abilities, tell them about their potential, & tell them about their possibilities. Call out their greatness!

Self-Esteem is a result of a sense of personal self-worth and achievement. Great parents let their children know they are loved unconditionally for who they are rather than what they do, while encouraging obedience to set pre-defined rules, responsibilities and limits.

6. Creative Individuality
Every human being is unique. Even my own kids who are twins are totally different! Ha! Lazy parents try to cut corners and treat every child alike but we must realize that each have their own strengths and weaknesses. We as parents just be wise and help develop their strengths and create a platform for them to shine.

7. Modeling & Transparency
“Don’t do as I do, do as I say” doesn’t work if you haven’t noticed. Positive and effective parenting requires that we model everything we expect from our kids. You expect them to eat healthy? You better eat healthy! Don’t want your kids cursing? Than don’t curse. Kids learn more from our actions than our words.

Along with modeling, honesty and openness if also important. Many parents try to hide behind their authority rather than being humble, honest and open with them. Transparency is essential for the development of intimate, close and bonded relationships of love and respect.

8. Need Fulfillment
Don’t use your kids for your own personal need fulfillment. They are not toys or pets they are people! Our job is to work ourselves out of a job. Our job is to encourage the growth of a well-developed, productive, secure, independent, sociable, and responsible adult.

If we as parents have unfulfilled emotional needs, we had better go get help and get healed and not take it out on or project that onto you children.

9. Be Flexible
Parents should continue developing their children’s creative potential. As kids grow, they change. Intentional parents are sensitive to and flexible to their children’s growth stages. Intentional parents, “respond” to and encourage growth rather than “reacting” to it. Get a plan to be flexible as they grow because having a plan helps you respond and not react.

10. Hard Work
Positive parenting is both a need and a calling. There are few things as negative and as painful as giving failed as a parent and a few things as satisfying and fulfilling as having a well succeeded as one.

May you grow in your parenting because it truly is one of the most important jobs in the world!

Richard Martinez
Transformation Expert