100% Guarenteed Best Parenting Advice -Period. If You Are A Parent- Read Now. I Doubt You Have Heard This…

 

I don’t recall ever being so bold as to proclaim that I have an answer that every single parent will find invaluable. I am going to put that out there today however. The reason is simple. I personally have lived it, its tried and tested and proven a winner in every venue I have worked in, lived in and taught in. Before I quickly share this, I feel under the circumstances I should at least give you a quick breakdown of my background in this area, so you know I am not blowing smoke from some Dr. Dobson book I just read.

My experience in parenting;

Live in foster parent to over 50 abused, neglected and very troubled teens. For over 4 years I had 6 living with me at a time, for anywhere from 7 to 12 months average. I was responsible to develop individual behavioral plans, treatment goals and teach social skills to each until they were ready to transition back into their home situation. In most cases I worked with the parents of the teens on parenting issues, planning and transition goals for both the parents and the teen.

Certified 4x by Father Flanagan’s Boys and Girls Town as a Family Teacher. I worked in the emergency shelter, group home as mentioned and in both boys and girls homes.

I was hired by the state, specifically the Department of Juvenile Justice to teach parenting to groups, and also lead groups to teens in the system.

I have managed/run several day programs, alternative schools for expelled youth, and while managing one school I was asked to train the entire teacher roster in central Florida on classroom management. Three counties worth, and using a skills and behavior management model that I developed.

The most recent alternative setting I was involved in was for kids who were expelled from public school, sent to the secure treatment facility for violent offenders-then expelled from there. I got them next. Sixty  kids from 8-18- many convicted felons. Gang members, one of which sadly was murdered one night after school near his home by a rival.  Within a year, using my own model for behavior and hiring a staff of 45 then training them, most were saying yes sir and doing well in school. Ready to transition back to public school.

I was nominated for Administrator of the year my first year- for that county. ( I hate awards and recognitions as I am not into it, and I am not in it for that). Nevertheless, my Executive Director made me attend the party at the Hilton Oceanside to announce the winner. I was the 2nd place guy, and the winner was a 20 year county judge who was retiring.

 

I also have 4 of my own. 2 boys -2 girls. Boys are up and out. My older son is in the Army reserves, a sniper/ weapons expert, full-time college student and full time worker as well. He took 30th in the nation out of 30k in 9mm marksmen and since then he has had many doors open, he chose military over law enforcement… ( he said he did not want to arrest his friends… : {  umm wait a minute, should I be worried about that statement, I remember thinking…what are his friends doing??? lol)

My younger son -19 is a professional bull rider and is currently around 20th in the world or so, and the current southern states champion in his circuit. He has made more money in the last year then I have in 10 years. I never made a lot, but when I was 19 I was begging for a 10 spot from my mom…so I am super proud.

My little babies are my heartbeat. 9&5 – I am not at all partial but I think they are at least in the top .0001% of cutest kids around….

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Ok, enough about my experience. It was necessary in this unusual scenario, for credibility but please understand I am not bragging at all. I am an imperfect man who has made far too many major mistakes in my lifetime for my liking.

As matter of fact the advice I am sharing now was birthed out of me being forced as a young dad, to either try to hide my problems and mistakes from my kids, put on the old happy daddy face and pretend I have it all together, or keep it legit, and lay it ALL on the table for my then young boys to absorb and possibly judge me on.

Let me reiterate one thing. There is nothing as a parent, even with the experience, training and degrees that I did long enough and consistently enough to call myself a role model parent and stick my chest out. Quite the contrary actually.  I grew up with a father that actually introduced me to all the WRONG things, and ways at a very early age that cost me many good years. Not blaming anyone for my problems, but sometimes I wish I would have had a decent shot at the starting line. It took, and still is taking me decades to untangle some of the crazy webs that have been woven in my brain since 6-8 years old.

My understanding of the value of women, the importance of choosing words carefully as you cannot “un-hear” -and that little issue of being fed alcohol while barely in double digits then not understanding why I was in withdrawals for many of my high school years really messed me up.

So it doesn’t really matter who caused what, or who is to blame. Kids don’t care. It is what it is to them. What you see is what you get.

Now, I will tell you what I decided. I decided to gamble. I laid it all on the line. Came clean with boys. Depression, addiction, everything. Yes, I felt like a loser at that moment. I would never ever trade it though. Never.

So the heart of the matter is this; You are not perfect. You will, if you have not already take a fall….that can become public to your family at best.. I can attest as the chief of all sinners that there is very little you can do to dance your way around, avoid, disguise, and evade issues that you know very well your kids will find out about or already know. It has NEVER worked in my 22 years as a parent and 25 years in this field.

The very best thing you can do for the respect and trust of your family, is come clean. Sit down and talk about what you are struggling with, what you are worried about, take ownership. Not just that though, you need to share your plans to remedy, and invite them to be a part, if appropriate. In my case, the first time I had a sit down of this type, I shared my on-going struggle with addiction to alcohol, and then revealed my plan to enter into an inpatient program.

That was the best move I ever made. Not only did I have a giant monkey off my back, but somehow my kids respected me more. Because of that dialogue many years ago, we have this open door, no fear deal which allows them to talk to me about anything without judgement, and me to do the same. Nobody can use my past struggles against me anymore because I chose to put it out there myself..

I don’t know who this is for , but it must be important to someone as it has been burning a hole in my soul all night to get posted. You may not have the issues I did, maybe its totally different. It doesn’t matter, because the point of this post is to share a golden parenting tip, a sure fire way to be a winner of a parent. It ain’t by being perfect. Because not one of us is. It is by being transparent.

It takes a real ego check to do. Its difficult at first. Then freeing. 

All the years in all the programs, and schools and group homes I ran that I had such great success with had nothing to do with training, or education. Those things came in handy down the road. However the secret to my success with any kid I have worked with or my own kids, is nothing more then honesty.

I have taken and taught and trained on every possible theory in behavior and parenting. They all have some merit. They also all have one thing in common.

None work effectively, without complete transparency from the adult first. Kids give respect when it is modeled for them. Not forced respect either. Not they are afraid you will yell at them or beat them respect. I mean genuine respect, which unlocks the door for all the parenting books and ideas you want. Until you have that, its like sucking air through a very thin straw..

 

Hope this helps. It works!

 

tj

 

 

 

 

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