About 130,000 children in U.S. foster care systems are waiting for permanent adoption at any given time. Despite the excess demand from potential parents wanting to adopt regular children, and despite laws making permanent adoption more accessible to long-term foster parents, the adoption needs of these children are not being met.
The most well-balanced children will perceive weaknesses in themselves. Unfortunately, these little personal views can be exploited and amplified by their friends and family. Self-perception evolves from a variety of sources produced by both family and community systems.
Gentleness is also under pressure these days. We are pushed along by a be successful mentality and win at all cost motivations. We understand that we have to do what we have to do to achieve our goals. For the many, gentleness is not being taught as an important component of the success formula. But should it be? What is important about raising a kinder, gentler generation – a kinder, gentler child – and how do you teach it?
Sometimes it just doesn’t matter who is right and who is wrong. The important thing is to foster good – maybe even strong – relationships with those we love and care about. Help your children understand that the real “winner” is the one who builds honest and lasting relationships, not the one who tries to win the argument each and every time.
Patience is a virtue. Who hasn’t heard those words? The words themselves are deeply embedded in our thoughts, but the behavior – the actual practice of patience – is another character trait that has fallen by the wayside in society today. Our hurried, overscheduled culture in which everything must happen immediately is taking its toll on our willingness to be patient and work things out.
Some families never fight, but they also never talk to each other. Other families fight until the police arrive to break it up. Somewhere in the middle of that is where you are as a parent when it comes to resolving conflict within your family. Believe it or not, simple verbal tools are available that every family can use to help move conflict beyond impasse to respectful conversation.
There’s probably no other childhood trauma quite as damaging as divorce. When kids are uprooted during divorce there are added problems adjusting for them. They often have to adjust to new schools, find new friends, and make new faith connections if they had a regular church life. Breaking social connections create unfulfilled needs most tied to hopelessness.
When re-marriage follows divorce, many couples seek counseling because step-parenting conflicts and leftover divorce trauma quickly threaten the bonds of these new marriages. Recognizing that the odds are against you – the U.S. Census Bureau reports that over 60% of second marriages end in divorce – will at least mentally position you to work a little harder to make things work this time.
Being an effective listener is important not only to your spousal relationship, but to your role as an effective parent as well. If you really hear what they are saying you are in a much better position to respond in an accurate and meaningful way.
Before looking for ways to develop the fine art of self-control in our children, it may help to find a common definition for this character trait. When we say self-control we often mean the ability to be quiet or stop throwing a temper tantrum, but the more important aspect of self-control is self-mastery.