Kovar Parenting Tip #5

Ancient Ways Martial Arts Academy Parenting Tip of the Week

This is tip 5 of a series provided by my friend and mentor, Dave Kovar. He has published several books and each one of these brief tips can drastically change the dynamic in your household. If you are interested in his books, they are available online in Kindle format or hard copy at Amazon.com. I am honored and privileged to have such a wise mentor and friend.

TIP # 5. Establish and set rules - If you don’t manage your child’s behavior now when they are young, they will have a hard time learning how to manage themselves when they are older and you aren’t around. You should always be able to answer these three questions: Where is my child? Who is with my child? What is my child doing? The rules your child has learned from you are going to shape the rules they set for themselves.

My Input: I had a lady once bring her kid to me, he was a completely out of control 16-year-old, pot smoking, school skipping lay-about. She had already been threatened by the police with arrest if she didn’t get him to school, but the boy was bigger than her and not afraid to hit her if she tried to make him do anything he didn’t want to do. She begged me for help. My response was, “Where were you when he was 7?” He didn’t want to train with us and there was no one in his life big enough or respected enough to motivate him to do so. We can’t help the kid if he isn’t in class and in this case, there was nothing we could do. She gave me a too uncommon story of how dad had partial custody and they both try to spoil the boy so that he doesn’t choose to live with the other parent.

By having no rules or guidelines (guidelines are my preference) and failing to give him the structure and empowering guidance he needed when he was younger, he learned that he didn’t have to have respect for anyone, including himself. Some of my students knew him from the neighborhood and kept us apprised as his life slowly unfolded into an unmitigated disaster, culminating with his picture repeatedly appearing in the newspaper’s mugshots.

Set those rules, stand by them. It could save your child’s life. Oh, and parents don’t have to parent the exact same way. It’s a good life lesson for the kids that mom and dad do things differently. It might be a lot harder, but when your child is grown, he or she will respect the “parent” over the “spoiler.”



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