To honor God in my writings

Posts tagged ‘authoritarian’

Internal vs External Motivation

Some background and situations are provided in my previous blog – parenting style, in relation to my child’s swimming (attached below for intro) and character development.

Background (In the area of swimming: i teach him sports discipline, the value of training, following coach’s instructions, executing it the right way. I act as an “assistant” coach, by shouting key words to him like kick faster, harder, faster hand strokes. I force him to train everyday whether he lies it or not. I told him, you will know the reward when the time comes (competition). I love him whether he wins or loses but it is just a waste if he failed because he wasn’t disciplined enough or just didn’t train enough. We can offer rewards for each time they obey, collect points or stars, have Jollibee afterwards.)

All these things i mentioned are all external motivations though they are all good facts, and works one way or another. It will not get our children very far. It might even work only when we are there with them. A much better approach is INTERNAL MOTIVATION.

In the writing of pastor Edmund Chan, he mentioned that we gravitate towards living by the external – We live by rules, a list of Dos and Don’ts. We live to impress people, have as many likes and approvals in our Fb pages and articles. Yet, deep inside it is empty and different. So we pass this on to our children. We want them to perform, to make us look good, to have good behavior in front of people. Sometimes, this frustrates us deeply when they fail and make mistakes.

Internal motivation addresses the heart issues. It motivates the dream of what he can become when he unleashes his full potential. This approach will take more time and gentle dialogue, showing him real inspiring true stories of discipline and perseverance, what the outcome of these disciplines come to. It is geared more on the reasoning side, casting a vision of the future. If he catches it, then he will be motivated from within.

So in the case of my child’s swimming, i have to talk to him and get him on the same boat. I have to ask him a lot of questions like: do you want to be a champion swimmer? Do you like to be number 1? Definitely, he answered “yes!” Then i give the reasons why – that is why we need the discipline to train and practice, that is why you need to listen to coach and execute his commands and instructions. I have to show him champion swimmers like Michael Phelps, how long he trains and so on.

Motivating him goes with the gentle tone and not with the authoritarian/dictatorial tone of “Train now!” With it, goes the importance of doing his best, and teaching him the balancing concept of just an “Empty cup” and “Life is more than just winning.” We love you whether you win of lose. We just want you to give it your best. It will be nice to watch movies of victory and defeat – Cars, Turbo, Facing the Giants, and so on. Teaching him lessons of being a good sport, congratulating the winners, not calling losers “losers” with an L on your forehead.

I often remind myself, it is a lifetime of learning. We can’t learn it all in one sitting. We have to be patient and trust God and surrender our kid’s hearts to Him. We can not change people, only God can. So it is our duty as parents to pray for our children and by God’s grace, they’ll turn up good.

There are now several books in the market lie Shepherding a child’s heart by Tedd Tripp, the Christian Parenting Handbook by Scott Turansky, and so on. Hope they will be a tool for us to be equipped in our parenting. They are full of practical tips and guides to help us deal with other situations in the family.

Again, i am a fellow father with all my flaws and short comings. I haven’t master all these things. As i write this, i am reminded and in the process of doing these myself. So continue to pray for me to be a better patient and loving father. God bless you all.

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Parenting Styles

Parenting Styles (principles from ptr Peter Tanchi)

I’m a father of 2 children (8yr old son and almost 4yr old daughter). I love my family very much. I believe that it is the most important thing of all.  That is why i prioritize them and invest my time with them, playing and homeschooling them in several subjects. I thank God for blessing me with a work that is not too demanding of my time and a wife that listened and obey God’s call to homeschool.

I allow my kids to be independent and free. I remember when we were at a cousins house in Florida, our daughter roamed around the house freely, there was no “yaya” or nanny following behind her at 2yrs old. So she developed this early sense of independence and freedom. When she falls down, we ask her to stop crying and stand up. This developed her inner strength. So i am not a hoovering or helicopter parent.

1. Helicopter parents are over protective even when it comes to the small things. It doesn’t mean you don’t protect them from the dangers of the environment but you tailor fit your environment for them, that they are safe roaming around in it. You need to remove breakable items within reach, cover electric sockets, cover sharp edges, put matting to have a soft fall, and of course, clean the floor. We were blessed that the house we stayed in for almost 2months was clean and carpeted, so it was soft to fall onto and she was free to crawl. We need to strike a balance between being to relax and being over protective. We should let our children explore their world in the confines of a safe environment.

The root problem of this parenting style is the FEAR that we parents have. You don’t want to travel because you’re afraid of accidents. You don’t want to learn to swim because you’re afraid you’ll drown. You don’t want them to learn because you yourself don’t know how. It is us parents who have so many apprehensions and they are passed on to our children subconsciously. No wonder they are always afraid and are so clingy or shy. We need to address those fears and issues first.

2. I believe in TOUGH LOVE: to teach order, discipline, excellence, cleanliness, being responsible for your actions and accepting the consequences that comes with it, etc. I know these are good traits to teach but this became a downside when i leaned more toward being an AUTHORITARIAN DAD. A bad thing that goes with it, is the anger. I shout at them when they make mistakes at home, when they make a mess, when they disobey, and so on.

What happens with this is, i shut my children’s open communication down. They are not open to me anymore. My son learned to throw leftover food at our storage room, and even behind the gas tanks under the gas stove. I was wondering, how come the mouse were grabbing the food from the garbage. Soon i found out the truth, when there was spaghetti with fork behind it, courtesy of our youngest, following ahia’s footsteps. They don’t do that anymore, thank God. But he did it again with a chinese medicine that he was supposed to eat. He hid it under the sink in our bedroom. God revealed it to us when the pipes broke due to strong water pressure when i turned the water valve on. Every time my son knows I’ll say no to him, he hides his agenda from me – even playing timezone or ipad.

In the area of swimming: i teach him sports discipline, the value of training, following coach’s instructions, executing it the right way. I act as an “assistant” coach, by shouting key words to him like kick faster, harder, faster hand strokes. I force him to train everyday whether he likes it or not. I told him, you will know the reward when the time comes (competition). I love him whether he wins or loses but it is just a waste if he failed because he wasn’t disciplined enough or just didn’t train enough. We can offer rewards for each time they obey, collect points or stars, have Jollibee afterwards.

All these things i mentioned are all external motivations though they all good facts, and works in one way or another. It will not get our children very far. It might even work only when we are there with them. A much better approach is INTERNAL MOTIVATION, which i will talk about in the next blog.

I realize that the root problem with this parenting style is SELFISHNESS. The issue is more on me being selfish. I want to get what i want, be obeyed immediately and i get angry when i don’t get it. The obeying immediately is an important part that we should teach our children but the response of anger is the problem. My selfishness led to my impatience and high expectations leading to frustration and anger.

For us to address the selfishness issue, we first need to realize it for what it is and accept it that we became selfish, thinking only of ourselves and being inconsiderate to other’s feelings. Second, we need to apologize to our family members about our reactions and the hurtful words that we uttered, even physical abuse if ever. Third, commit your ways to the Lord and ask for His wisdom and guidance. Let us learn more practical ways on parenting techniques and so on. Keep on improving, never stop learning.

3. The opposite of the authoritarian dad is the BUDDY-BUDDY DAD. This is when we desire to be best friends with our kids that they have no respect to our authority, they do not obey us and sees us as their equal. We are not their equal. God has put a system in place and He has put us, parents, to be in authority over them, to decide when they are incapable of wise choices. That is why we need to train them.

Some kids even commands the parents and the parents becomes helpers instead of friends. I love to serve and do things for my kids but not with a whining, ungrateful, and disrespectful tone and words. Being a best friend to them is important: bonding time with them, doing what they like.

We saw this kind of parenting style and the dad didn’t even know his situation was awkward. He was being commanded by his young son disrespectfully. He may not be sensitive to the issue or he loves too much but he is owed RESPECT by his children. The issue on respect is a very important character trait to instill in our kids because our society needs it to function properly.

Again, we need to strike a balance between being a dictator/authoritarian and being too complacent without being respected.

I am far from perfect and I am still a work in progress. Do pray for me as i work on becoming a better dad. It is really very difficult to be patient and kind. But with God, nothing is impossible. May God’s grace be with us all as we journey through this phase in our lives.

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