No Blueprint for Parenting? How to Lead by Example and Raise Drug-free Kids
Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes to you from motivational speaker K.D. Hardy. K.D. began his formal education at Alabama A&M University, but shortly after arriving at A&M, he made a drastic u-turn, becoming involved in street life and the illegal drug trade. After years of illegal activities, K.D. was incarcerated for six years. During his incarceration, K.D. completed his education, receiving an Associates degree in Early Childhood Education, which became the catalyst for the change in his life.
I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard the statement, “There is no blueprint to parenting; you just have to wing it.” My reply is always the same: There are no guarantees for most things in life, but there are effective ways to get positive results.
Parents who consistently model appropriate behavior for their children have a much better chance of seeing the results desired. My mission in life is to help parents produce drug-free and productive youth. I’ve spent numerous years studying and researching this topic because it hits close to home and because I’m so passionate about it. Today I’m going to talk about some more effective ways to parent your kids with results you can be proud of, and will try to dispel the misconception that “You just have to wing it.”
Before I get into what I refer to as the “3 levels of effective parenting,” let me say that to be a more effective parent, you must first deal with your own pain experienced during childhood. You must get the help you need to heal, so that you do not model that pain in front of your kids. Ultimately, effective parenting begins with adults who are “whole.” If you are broken spiritually or emotionally; if you are battling and struggling with addictions, loss, depression, grief – you must first be willing to do whatever it takes to be made whole if you are to be effective at parenting!
The first level of effective parenting is “Leading Yourself.”
In order to parent effectively, you must first get results in your own life and work toward becoming whole. There are certain behaviors you should model in front of your child so that they can emulate you while working on becoming whole themselves. That means that as a parent, I want to engage in habits that not only improve my life, but will also improve my child’s life, should they choose to model those behaviors. This is part of the blueprint. For example, continuous education as an adult helps to increase your knowledge base and gives you opportunity to put into action new things that you have learned. (It also gives you an opportunity to explain to your kids why are you reading and attending seminars at 45!) Reading has become a lost art in today’s society. If you are not an avid reader, become one and share what you are reading with your children. Help your children to develop a habit of reading and using their imagination. Einstein said imagination is better than knowledge!
The second level of effective parenting is “Leading Others.”
I often tell my son that ultimately, his success is directly tied to his mom and me, because we are the ones who have been guiding him since birth. It gives each of us pleasure to see someone we have taught and mentored go on to achieve success. In fact, it drives me (as a parent) to be my very best!
I am a believer and I want that for my son, as well. Because research confirms that the best way to parent our kids is through our personal example, I work hard to ‘practice what I preach’.
Parents can get discouraged when not witnessing the results they think they should see in their children. BE PATIENT. It can sometimes take adults a little time to “get it right” when it comes to new ways of doing things, so afford your child the opportunity to get it right, as well. Change does not often happen overnight – especially when it has to do with attitudes and ‘right thinking’. Your example as the adult will lead the way.
Parents should continually strive to become ‘whole people’ via these four aspects of life:
To effectively lead your kids, it is paramount that you are committed to working on all areas of your life. After all, we want to produce WHOLE kids! That is a committed parent’s ultimate goal.
The third level of effective parenting is sharing with other parents…
Maya Angelou says when you learn, you teach. This has guided me since the period of my incarceration, because my mission is to help kids to NOT experience that sort of pain! I had to go through what I did. Because of my choices, however, my goal is to convince other young people that there is a much easier way to learn life-lessons and a much better way to live the life they dream of living.
I am committed to helping parents become more effective by leading with their very best examples. I know that if I can teach them what I have learned through hours spent reading and researching — if I can show them the blueprint — they can be whole. They will parent effectively and ultimately, they will raise whole kids!
I challenge you today to incorporate the 3 levels of effective parenting into your life and witness the remarkable results possible — for you and for the others in your life!
K.D Hardy began his formal education at Alabama A&M University, but shortly after arriving at A&M, he made a drastic u-turn, becoming involved in street life and the illegal drug trade. After years of illegal activities, K.D. was incarcerated for six years. During his incarceration, K.D. completed his education, receiving an Associates degree in Early Childhood Education and other achievements which became the catalyst for the change in his life, planting the desire to lead with the right choices. With experience as a part of Les Brown’s Platinum Speaker’s Program, K.D. (speaker, author and coach) brings his exceptional, life-changing knowledge to every event, as he inspires young people, their parents, educators and mentors, to achieve excellence and LEAD – with the right choices – in all areas of life.