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Tools For Parents

Updated on September 23, 2008
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Sunshine is a wife, mother of four, a relationship expert, a journalist, a photographer, a public speaker, and author.

Tool Box

Does a lack in parenting result in bad choices by teens? From the time our children are very small, they need us to guide them in the right direction. When we're absent, they have no idea what direction to turn. If we don't tell them not to do drugs, or have sex before marriage, they won't have the tools in their belt to make good decisions when faced with challenges.

When I was a child, if I did something wrong, I was disciplined for it, thus teaching me not to do that thing again, because I didn't like getting in trouble. It goes the opposite direction as well. When I did something wonderful, my mother was right there, praising my accomplishments. Praise for doing the right thing taught me what the right thing was, and that doing it felt good. Without that praise, I would have never known I had done such a good thing.

As parents, we lay the foundation for the rest of our children's lives. It is the parent's job to fill that foundation with good choice making tools, values, and moral conduct, so that as they grow, they know what choices are good, and what choices are bad. It is also the parent's job to teach them the consequences of making choices, both good and bad.

The power to make decisions can be thought of as a tool box. If we don't give our children anything to fill that box with, it would be the same as a construction worker trying to build a home with no tools.

Lack of parenting also creates an environment with no control. Teenagers are impulsive and hormonal creatures. Nothing in the world is more important to them than what they want at any given moment. If you are not there to guide the way, they'll do whatever they have to do to get what they want, weather the choice is good or bad.

Parents who aren't active in their child's life won't have any control later. Children without guidance will act out, and can even be physically harmful when they don't get their way. They may come to resent their parents for not being there, and could become abusive. To numb the emptiness where parenting should have been implemented, substance abuse often becomes a problem.

In order to give our children those tools, we have to be an active part of their lives. Children can't raise themselves. Right from wrong cannot be taught if there is no teacher. Automatically, they'll search for a roll model or acceptance from some one other than their parent, and that person may fill your child's tool box with broken tools. Lack of parenting will not secure success for your child. Be there, and lead the way for a clear and positive future.

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