A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of sitting down for an interview with award winning author and parenting expert Jill Rigby Garner. Jill has an amazing testimony of how she came to be a parenting expert and respected author, but today I am going to share with you just a few of her best tips from our time together. If you ever have the opportunity to hear Jill speak or have your kids participate in her “Manners of the Heart” course, I highly recommend it! This post is a combination of the one-on-one interview we had as well as her seminar on parenting that I attended.
How do we raise respectful children in a disrespectful world?
For so long, we have raised children with the idea that, to better themselves, they need to boost their self-esteem. The problems of individualscan be solved by self-esteem building. If we flip the word self-esteem around we can see that it’s actually the root of all our problems. To “esteem-self” is to think of yourself first. When we raise children with the notion that they need to think of themselves before others, we are starting them out on the wrong foot.
What does it mean to parent?
Parent means to love, train, and teach. Being a parent is a noun, but parenting is a verb. It requires action. Where do we think amazing people come from? Dedicated parents who pour life into a child.
The Mirror or the Window
How do we get our children to see others before themselves?
We can teach our children the “mirror vs. the window” concept. If a child is looking in a mirror, they can only see themselves. There is no room to see anyone else. If a child looks through a window, they can see a dim reflection of themselves, but, more importantly, they can look out into the world and see others.
Be a Coach, Not a Cheerleader
Kids these days aren’t motivated! What are we supposed to do?
Parents need to be their child’s coach, not their cheerleader. False praise kills motivation. Failures in life are opportunities to build confidence and independence, two traits that are crucial to development into adulthood.
What about discipline?
Behavior can only change through thoughtful, direct discipline. Discipline is not punishment. Punishment comes from a place of fear and shame, and it can lead to resentment and little change. Discipline encourages, educates, and leads to real, lasting change.
What is the best advice for moms dealing with these “mom wars” over who is best?
No one wins when we go to war against one another. Working moms face guilt for not being there all the time, and stay-at-home moms can be guilty of “doing it all” for their kids and stifling their ability to mature. When moms come together and build each other up, we all win. Working moms and stay-at-home moms teach their children important skills, none of which are more valuable than the other. Encouragement helps us remember that good days don’t always mean easy days, and we are all in this parenting thing together.
More Parenting Tools
As previously stated, Jill is an award winning author and creator of the curriculum “Manners of the Heart.” Her books “Raising Respectful Children in a Disrespectful World” and “Raising Unselfish Children in a Self-Absorbed World” are great parenting tools to have in your arsenal. “Raising Respectful Children” is the first book. It sets a foundation and helps move families in the right direction. “Raising Unselfish Children” is Jill’s second book. It contains practical approaches to life including how to esteem others which breaks the idea of self first and helps children see others first.