I struggled, while raising my elder son, about which parenting style was best in order to raise a well-behaved child. I was struggling because I didn’t know how to balance being firm and giving him the tenderness he needed. I was raised in a very strict and conservative family and school. Love and emotions weren’t expressed in any way, only strict rules and orders. The main objective was to have obedient and well-behaved kids.
I didn’t want to raise my child the same way. I was convinced that it was important for me to show my love to my child. As my style didn’t match my parent’s style, I was criticized and blamed when my son committed any mistake because I didn’t punish or spank him. They thought that showing emotions and love was a sign of weakness. I was totally against these beliefs, and wanted to raise my son differently. But, sometimes when I was under the pressure of their blame, I found myself spanking him on rare occasions.
It has taken me many years to find out which parenting style I want to follow with my kids.
When my elder son was 7, I felt he was going through a tough time, as he had a new brother and his father and I were separating. At that time, I felt that he was suffering a lot and, although he loves me so much, I felt he was extremely angry with me.
I was consumed by my problems with his father, taking care of his younger brother, and my full-time job. I decided to consult a counselor and she advised me to hold him in my arms many times a day. In a short time, it made a great difference in our relationship and in his behavior with others, many noticed the change . It made him become more and more open, and he started to share with me his thoughts about what was going in his life more than ever.
I know that my kids are not that obedient but they respect and value themselves. They are self confident and polite. They argue; they object. It’s not that easy to give them orders or ask them to do something but, in the end, they do what I ask them to do. They don’t want me to be angry with them and want to please me, not because they are compelled or fearful.
I insist on showing and verbally expressing my love in every situation, especially after conflicts. I want to let them believe that my love for them is unconditional.
I remember once my younger son asked me: “Mum do you know what is the precious treasure?” When I asked him why he asked this question, he told me that they have an Arabic lesson titled “The Precious Treasure.” Then he repeated the question again. I answered no, I don’t know the precious treasure meant in the lesson, but I know what is the precious treasure for me. “What is it?” And I answered, “You and your brother.” He was extremely surprised and he asked, “Do you really mean it?” I said, “Yes dear” and he looked so happy and proud.
Showing care and love to my sons was very important for them in order for them to value and love themselves. I don’t need to punish them or spank them any more. Showing my love to both my kids, and how precious they are to me, made an unbelievable change in our relationship.
I have learned that I didn’t need to be strict or punish them for every mistake in order to have well-behaved sons.
Have you gone through any experiences that have made you rethink your approach to parenting? How do you deal with the intrusion of others, especially family members, when it comes to how you raise your children?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Nihad from Alexandria in Egypt. Nihad blogs at Aurora Beams Life Coaching.