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Parenting Guide Sheets
4. Goals & Expectations (2)

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Page 4C
4.  Children Need to Belong (Continued)

Think about if you feel you belong to a group, any group. Why do you feel you belong?
You are:
 - accepted by the group as you are
 - included as part of the communication network in the group
 - involved with the activities of the group.

Now consider a child in many a modern family:
 - Mum is too tired to be concerned for the child
 - Mum needs to pay attention to younger siblings
 - Dad is either absent or gets in after the child's bedtime
 - The child is abandoned to the Television
 - There are rarely family activities
 - Increasingly children escape to the computer game in their room

i.e. there is little or no cause to feel they belong
Problem: The child needs to feel they belong, but don't believe they belong.
Result: anti-social behaviour!
We'll pick this up further and in detail on a later page about negative behaviour.

5. Bringing Purpose & Direction

Note in what has been said above about inherited tendencies and family order, a child does not have to be locked into a stereotype.

You child has will power, which if encouraged can be used to overcome stereotypes. You have the ability to encourage your child and strengthen them in resolves. The way we treat our children will play a significant part in determining who they turn out to be.

A word of encouragement

You may question your ability to bring up your children and influence them for good. You may look at yourself and recognise low self-esteem and think you aren’t up to the job.

First, parents who have suffered in childhood themselves often turn out to be the most caring and compassionate parents, counteracting all that happened to them.

Second, you probably aren’t the only person who will input to your child’s life. Maybe there is your partner, grandparents, friends, teachers, all of whom may have a positive influence on your child’s life.  Without doubt, in the early years at least, you, the parent, will be THE most influential person in the life of your child.  When they get to school age, teachers and other pupils will also have some influence – but home life, that which you create, can still remain THE strongest factor for influence in the life of your child.

THAT is why these early considerations are so important. Do go back over the page and take in again the things that are here. A thoughtful approach to bringing up children is often the greatest catalyst in bringing changes to us as individuals and us as couples.

Without doubt bringing up children demands self-sacrifice, but self-sacrifice builds character, both in us and in our children.


1. Rejoice in the traits you see. Rest in what you see, and love them like they are. If they are different from you, accept them like they are. Don't try and make them conform to you.
2. Think about how you may convey a reasonable level of expectation to your child – that they can do stuff – while at the same time not putting them under pressure and simply loving them for what they are now.
3. Think about how often you say positive things to your child. Think about how you can positively encourage your child.
4. Consider what things you do that would make your child feel they ‘belong' in this family. If your list is small, think what things you could do.

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