The 21st Century Parent
John was a 43 year-old sales manager at a large
company. Hes married and has 3 children, ages
7, 9, and 12. His wife works part-time as a nursing
assistant, and they both do as much as they can to
parent their children well.
John has developed serious doubts about his
ability to be an effective parent in the last
couple of years. All of his kids are involved in
after school activities, and his demands at work
are greater than theyve ever been. His lack
of time with his kids bothers him a great deal, but
he doesnt dare take more time off from work.
Hes also bothered by his inability to get his
kids to listen to him, and hes resorted to
yelling and threats as measures of discipline.
Johns family seems rushed all the time,
and the routines in the morning and at bedtime are
almost always chaotic. He often doesnt have
the energy when he gets home from work to spend
quality time with his kids, and he feels his
relationships with them are growing more distant.
In particular, hes struggling with his
twelve-year-old daughters behavior. John
feels he has little in common with her at this
stage in their lives.
Welcome to the life of an American parent in the
There are many reasons that parenting today is
more difficult than in years past. Here are a few
The typical, middle income married couple
family works 3,885 hours thats an
increase of 247 hours, or nearly six weeks, more
than their counterparts ten years ago.
Working couples lost an average of 22
hours a week of family and personal time between
1969 and 1999.
In the last three decades, American
families are eating 33% fewer meals together as a
In 1990, the American advertisers spent
100 million dollars advertising to children. In
2000, they spent 2 billion dollars in their
advertising to children.
Alvin Toffler once said, Parenthood
remains the greatest single preserve of the
amateur. For too long, parents have taken on
the most important job theyll ever have with
little or no training. Parents cant afford to
be amateurs anymore. They must arm themselves with
the knowledge, support, and discipline needed to
parent their kids effectively. They must take
responsibility for the impact their parenting will
have on their children. And they must recognize
that in todays culture, their kids need them
to be there more than ever.
In Johns case, hiring a coach helped him
Simplify the life of his family, so they
could spend more time together.
Learn positive discipline skills, so the
daily routines went more smoothly and there were
Develop a plan to put in place when he
got angry, so he wouldnt do or say something
hed regret later.
Learn stress reduction skills, both at
work and at home, and to learn how to
transition between work and home.
Learn how to be less judgmental with his
daughter, and to find specific ways to be more
connected with her.
Though parenthood can be extremely difficult and
challenging, it can also be incredibly fulfilling
and enjoyable. Most of us would never think of
starting a new career without the information and
training necessary to be effective. Do we think our
job as a parent is less important? Effective
parenting skills can be learned by anyone who cares
enough to commit to them, and by anyone who knows
the importance of good parenting to the future of
Its time for parents to consider other
ways to improve. It may be the best investment
theyll ever make.
© 2009 Mark
Other Father Issues,
* * *
To this day I can remember my father's
voice, singing over me in the stillness of the
night. - Carl G. Jung
a Masters degree in counseling psychology and has
been a counselor, business consultant, sports
counselor, and a certified life and business coach.
He has worked with individuals, teams, and
businesses to improve their performance for over 20
years. Prior to life and business coaching Mark was
a world-ranked professional tennis player and has
coached other world-ranked athletes. He has helped
hundreds of individuals to implement his coaching
techniques. Mark specializes in coaching men to
balance their lives and to improve the important
relationships in their lives. He is the author of
the popular e-books, 25
Secrets of Emotionally Intelligent
Your Wife in 30 Days or Less (And Improve Yourself
at the Same Time
Mark is also the publisher of the Dads
Dont Fix your Kids ezine for fathers.
To sign up, go to www.markbrandenburg.com
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