Parenting is one of the most important responsibilities we will ever take upon us, and yet what training do we receive for this awesome task? In school we learn algebra, history, and English, but not how to raise happy and responsible children.
Our lack of preparation is reflected in the condition of our children. They often sulk and glare at us. They fail to carry out the responsibilities we give them. They don’t do their homework. They argue and fight with one another. They make a great deal of noise, often with the generous assistance of amplifiers and speakers. They bring these problems and attitudes to school, where they’re disruptive and irresponsible.
And that’s just the beginning:
41% of ninth-grade students reported drinking alcohol in the past month.
Almost one-fourth of ninth graders reported binge drinking (five or more drinks on one occasion) in the past month.
60% of high-school seniors in some regions are binge-drinkers.
In the last thirty years, the incidence of girls who have had sex by age 15 has gone up by 500%.
The incidence for boys has more than doubled.
21% of 9th graders have had 4+ sexual partners.
1/4 of all adolescents contract a sexually transmitted disease before they graduate from high school.
4 out of every 10 girls in the U.S. will become pregnant at least once while in their teens. 80% of these pregnancies are unintended.
Anger, rebellion, drinking, drug use, and indiscriminate sex are not all separate problems, although we have often approached them in that way. These problems are symptoms of a growing unhappiness among our children.
We know it’s growing because in the 1950s a standardized psychological profile was performed on several thousand children, measuring anxiety, which is a strong indication of unhappiness.
Then they repeated the test in our day and found that the average American child now experiences more anxiety than the average child psychiatric patient did in the 50s. One way to interpret that study would be to say that the average American child now would have qualified as insane in the 50s.
With their behavior—with many behaviors—our children are screaming that something is missing from their lives. As parents we are often absolutely baffled about how to help these confused and troubled children—and about how to prevent these problems in the first place.
So what’s missing? What do our children need that they are obviously not getting? What every child needs most in order to be happy is to feel loved. But not just any kind of love will do.
Children can be happy only when they feel loved unconditionally, when they have enough Real Love.
Real Love is caring about the happiness of another person without any thought for what we might get for ourselves. It’s not Real Love when you do what I want and I like you. That’s relatively worthless; that’s earning or buying love. It’s Real Love when you make mistakes and inconvenience me, but I’m not disappointed or angry.
Regrettably, most children don’t get much Real Love. When children are clean, quiet, and obedient, they often experience the signs of our approval—smiles, gentle tones, kind words—but they also see what happens when they’re loud, disobedient, and otherwise inconvenient.
The smiles and kind words tend to disappear immediately, and from this behavior they can only learn this lesson: “When you’re good I love you, but when you’re not I don’t.” This is the worst wound a child can receive, and the effects are far-reaching.
All of our children’s behaviors that we find exasperating—anger, defiance, fighting with their siblings, withdrawal, lying, lack of responsibility, and so on—are nothing more than reactions to the emptiness and fear in their lives, nothing more than reactions to not feeling a sufficient supply of the one thing—Real Love—that is as essential to their emotional health as air, water, and food are to their physical well being.
Read the book Real Love in Parenting and take advantage of your free membership in RealLove.com, where you will learn the principles that will enable you to raise children who are far more loving, responsible, and, above all, happy.
You will learn the Nine Principles of Effective Parenting:
"Profound, provocative, written with great wisdom and compassion. After reading this book, I will never feel confused about my children again."
"I was at my wits' end. I did not know how to help my children. But now I do. Real Love in Parenting has given me everything I was missing as a parent."
The First PrincipleMore than anything else, my child needs to feel loved.
The Second PrincipleWhen my child behaves badly, he or she doesn’t feel loved.
The Third PrincipleWhen I’m angry, I’m wrong
The Fourth PrincipleI can’t give what I don’t have: I must find Real Love for myself
The Fifth PrincipleMy child needs to be loved and taught
The Sixth PrincipleAfter my child has been loved and taught,he or she needs to be loved and taught again
The Seventh PrincipleThe Law of Choice
The Eighth PrincipleHappiness comes from being loving
The Ninth PrincipleHappiness comes from being responsible
You will also learn the answers to the following questions about parenting:
What are the real reasons our children often behave badly?
What is the real reason parents become angry and frustrated with children?
How do parents unwittingly cause in children the behaviors they dislike most?
How can we completely eliminate the destructive force of anger from parenting?
How can we as parents find the Real Love our children need?
Why is it foolish for us to feel guilty for the mistakes we’ve made as parents?
How can we teach children to become responsible, without nagging and manipulation?
How can we teach children to almost effortlessly resolve conflicts between one another (arguments, resentments, racism, and so on)?
How can parenting become consistently effective and enjoyable?