Building a Bridge Between You and Your Child takes a lot of work, but it is the most important thing that you can do when you start homeschooling your children. If you just jump into the teaching and learning side of things, you will likely not do much of either.
Parenting is not easy. Consider what statistics say happen when parents are not involved in their children’s lives:
- 63% of teen suicides come from fatherless homes
- 85% of children with behavioral problems come from fatherless homes
- Daughters of single parents without a Father involved are 53% more likely to marry as teenagers, 711% more likely to have children as teenagers, 164% more likely to have a pre-marital birth and 92% more likely to get divorced themselves
- 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes
- Girls, whose mothers were teenagers at the time of their birth, are over 80% more likely to become teenage mothers as well
- About 20% of teens will experience teen depression before they reach adulthood
- Every 4 minutes a youth is arrested for an alcohol related crime
If parenting were easy, then the crime, teen pregnancy, and gang violence would happen far less often–at least that is what the statistics say. The numbers, however, show that these issues are escalating. That is frightening for everyone. As parents, we need some help… As parents, we need A LOT OF HELP!
Now, when you add teaching on top of the already overwhelming responsibility of being a parent, it is no wonder so many parents cannot even consider the possibility of homeschooling. People use a lot of reasons to say explain why they could never homeschool, but what I think it really comes down to is the fact that we all know that we are not the perfect parents. Or, maybe this is just me. My children will be the first ones to tell you about all the ways that I am not perfect. The list is long!!
You can successfully homeschool your children. Consider just these two facts:
1) You are already the best teacher your child has ever had! Who taught your child to talk? to walk? to get dressed? You understand your child better than any other person and that immediately gives you an advantage when it comes to teaching your children.
2) Your efforts to homeschool can actually help you become a better parent. The experiences you share together in the learning process can strengthen the bonds with your children. Those shared experiences can help you relate to your children and give you the leverage you need to help them through the challenging teenage years.
I recently started reading a book that I really have enjoyed. It is called Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child, by John Gottman. You can by the book by clicking on the image at the bottom of the page. The book explains how parents can help their children learn how to deal with the negative feelings that we all experience in this life. I like the book for lots of reasons (one of which is because it is backed by lots of research and studies). I really like the fact that the findings of the studies have been boiled down to some very easy to understand–although not always easy to employ–steps. I strongly encourage you to check this book out. It is only $10 if you get the Kindle version or less if you get a used copy through Amazon. Either way, you can find your copy by clicking on the image of the book below.
Dr. Gottman does a great job very early on in his book of giving you examples of how parents can successfully implement these strategies to build a bridge between them and their children and prepare their children to be well balanced, emotionally stable adults. His 5 steps to helping your children deal with negative emotions are:
1) Become aware of your child’s emotion
2) Recognize the emotion as an opportunity for teaching
3) Listen carefully and validate your child’s feelings
4) Help your child label their feelings or emotions with words they understand
5) Set limits while you explore strategies to solve the immediate problem
The steps are not easy. They clearly take patience. There are times when I really don’t want to validate my child’s feelings because they seem irrational to me. The reality for your child, however, is that those feelings are very real and very rational.
If you can see how understanding and utilizing these steps would be in your own family, then check out his book by clicking on the link below. I am going to be discussing more of Dr. Gottman’s book and other articles as time goes on and we will take a specific look at his theories and how they can help homeschool parents build bridges so that when it is time to teach our children we have an avenue to do so effectively.