ABOUT THE BOOK:
Scott Gale is an author and instructor at University of California Irvine. His passion is helping families communicate and re-connect in spite of today’s hectic lifestyle and increased demands. Scott’s new book, “Your Family Constitution: A Modern Approach to Family Values and Household Structure,” inspires readers to increase togetherness and progressively improve by leveraging clarity, consistency and commitment.
I have to send a big thank you to Scott for taking the time out of his busy schedule to do this guest post for me. Thank You Scott.
I asked Scott this question “Why Do Parents Accept Defeat?” and this is what Scott had to say about it.
As technology evolves and society accelerates at a staggering pace, parenting poses greater challenges than ever before. Many parents sacrifice their own time and sanity as they attempt to maneuver through the endless stream of obstacles to raising appreciative and well-grounded kids. Unfortunately, some parents yield to critical challenges, accepting defeat at the expense of their children’s well-being and their future.
So why is that? How can a loving parent “throw in the towel” on the most precious thing in their life? The individual answers lie somewhere between social phenomena, individual circumstance, and skewed priorities…but one universal reason prevails: “Raising good kids is really hard.”
It doesn’t matter what the definition of “good kid” means in that statement. Good values, sound work ethic, and outstanding health often top the list, but there are many other traits parents yearn to pass on. Regardless, parents today juggle so many competing priorities, that there is simply no way to get it all done. They want to be there for their kids whenever they can. They want to provide the best environment for their children and raise them to be exceptional adults. Unfortunately, when push comes to shove, something has to give.
It’s easy to burn away the hours at work, especially in current economic circumstances, because the boss expects it. Likewise, the television may serve as an affordable babysitter while mom or dad “catches up” around the house. Also, in the midst of perpetual chaos, the opportunity to escape the grind for personal re-charge may rank above a game of Candy Land with the little ones.
Are these excuses or failures? No. Work and personal space are two essentials ingredients to financial and emotional stability. In reality, they only become excuses if parents use these reasons to hide behind, instead striving for balance. Most parents contend that their family is the #1 priority in their life, yet they fall into patterns that directly contradict long-term family success. Crisis lurks as opportunities to improve are overlooked for more immediate purpose (i.e. sacrificing clarity and consistency to avoid discipline). “Fires” begin to burn without attention and eventually the ability to manage competing priorities becomes impossible.
Just when life seems like it couldn’t get any crazier, another emotional storm will inevitably work its way into the home. All of a sudden, the concept of defeat rears its ugly head. With no clear direction, boundaries cannot be effectively enforced and confusion ensues.
The acceptance of defeat is by no means conscious or intentional. Instead, too much effort becomes required to resolve constraints and problems. In the midst of an already busy lifestyle, the time for such focused effort does not readily exist. Problems compound as fires get hotter. In the end, the fabric of the family stands no chance against the flames of chaos.
So, what if you can see the fires, but you are ready to stand up and fight for your family? How can you unwind a downward spiral against such immense pressure? Try these steps:
-Understand what is important to you as a parent.
-Make time to resolve issues early.
-Focus on the problems that burn hottest and require the least amount of time and effort to fix.
-Create firm structure within the family.
-Cherish the time together and nurture bonds; after all, good relationships are at the essence of that #1 priority.
These are the steps that brought me and my family from unmitigated chaos to steady improvement and redemption. It took a lot of effort, but I’ve never understood myself or my family with such clarity as I do today.
If you would like more information on the steps you can take today to avoid eventual defeat, please visit www.yourfamilyconstitution.com.
Thanks again to Scott and Tracee for allowing me to be a part of this tour.
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