Joe’s Top 10 “New” Years Parenting Thoughts
by Joe Gandolfo, M.A., LPC

Another New Year. A time for personal renewal and making a change. Most people make a sincere effort to alter a behavior, which when changed, will improve one’s life. Sadly for many, the behavior change lasts only a few weeks at best. Why is this so?

It is very difficult to maintain a behavioral change if underlying thoughts and beliefs are not changed as well. Beliefs lead to thoughts, and thoughts lead to behavior. So to maintain lasting change one must examine underlying thoughts and beliefs.

I am sharing with you this month ten thoughts about parenting. Some of these thoughts may align with your current parenting behaviors and some may challenge your current parenting behaviors. Consider these thoughts with an open mind, for they may expand your thoughts and beliefs regarding parenting.

1. If you want your child or teenager to understand you, seek to understand them first. We only can receive what we give away.

2. Each child and teenager is unique, like a flower, so you must parent them uniquely as well.

3. Education is very important, no doubt, but keep in mind becoming a student is a process that unfolds uniquely for each. Hounding them daily about school and micromanaging their academic effort most often creates resistance.

4. Children and teenagers spell love this way – TIME.

5. Know that you cannot “control” your child or teenager. You can only set guidelines and rules that you hope they will follow.

6. When your child or teenager behaves in a manner that deserves some type of negative consequence, ask them what consequence they believe they deserve. In some cases you maybe surprised by their response.

7. Make sure a significant part of your focus is on the appropriate behaviors and decisions your child and teenager exhibit, and praise them for that good stuff.

8. Never forget kids will be kids, and teenagers will be teenagers – and one day they will be adults who will be adults.

9. Manage your parenting fears appropriately, and be careful not to interject your fears into them.

10. Know that the most challenging part of parenting is that children and teenagers are ALWAYS CHANGING; this requires a continually evolving and flexible parenting approach.

Author's Bio: 

Joe Gandolfo is a conveyor of powerful ideas and principles that change lives. He is on a mission to champion the greatest "GIFTS" in today’s world - our youth, teenagers and young adults, as well as to rally, strengthen and energize the adults - parents, educators, health professionals and organizations - who work with and care about our young people.

For nearly 20 years, Joe has engaged firsthand the human experience as a licensed counselor. He has coached, counseled and spoken to thousands of individuals and groups including youth, teenagers, collegiate student-athletes, professional athletes, adults, parents, educators, public and private schools, organizations and associations.

Joe firmly believes that there is structure to success, and his programs lead young people to reach their greatest potential. As a professional speaker, success coach, seminar leader, motivational counselor and author, Joe challenges preteens, teens and young adults to make effective decisions and build their lives in positive ways. He also provides parents, educators and health professionals with the insight, ideas and information they need to understand, communicate with and support young people.