families exist to nurture
i.e. to fill their members'
basic needs. Depending
on many factors, families (like yours) range from low-nurturance to
high-nurturance. This Lesson uses the ideas in the prior five Lessons to
propose how to (a) nurture the young people in your family
effectively, and (b) help protect your descendents from
inheriting the lethal [wounds + unawareness]
is meant to augment
well-researched parenting programs like these:
Effectiveness Training (PET) class, by Dr.
Training for Exceptional Parents (STEP)
Parenting program, by Dr. Michael H. Popkin
This Lesson includes
vital concepts that such parenting programs usually omit:
a family-systems vs.
child-focused approach to effective parenting
subselves, false self, and true Self (Lesson 1 here)
the effects and healing of
parents' psychological wounds (Lesson 1)
principles of effective
thinking and communication (Lesson 2),
the importance of evolving
and using a family grieving policy (Lesson 3)
how to analyze and resolve
most relationship problems (Lesson 4)
traits of a high-nurturance
family and family tree, and
[wounds + unawareness] cycle (Lesson 5)
typical special needs of
minor kids of parental death or divorce, and perspective
on "Parent Alienation Syndrome" (PAS), and...
Quizzes to help
parents assess their awareness of these topics.
Typical stepkids have special needs.
Effective stepfamily co-parenting builds on
Lessons 1 thru 6, and is outlined in Lesson 7.
This Lesson assumes you're familiar with...
this nonprofit Web site and the
I suggest you study and discuss this Lesson (6) with other
family adults and supporters first. Then study one or more
respected programs like those above.
The best time to
study these is before you have or adopt a child.
Quality nurturing during a child's first 4 to 6 years will
minimize problems later on! These Lesson-6 "assignments" are like
a college course, and should take you several months
to do - so adopt a
patient long-range view.
Accept that you won't know how effective your
family adults are at parenting until each child leaves home
to live independently and perhaps parent their own kids.
Pace yourselves, and learn a little at a time. Seek basic
principles, not rifle-shot solutions to parenting problems.
Don't expect much benefit from these parenting assignments
unless each of your primary parents and supporters is
guided by her or his
true Self.If they're not,
focus your energy on
Lesson 1 here.
Use this sixth Break-the-Cycle Lesson as a flexible framework, and adapt it to fit
your unique family situation.
The assignments below build on each
other, so do them in order.
The more you study, the clearer all the materials will
print some or most articles and
worksheets to refer to as you go
keep a notebook or journal to capture your reactions and validate your
include resources in this
Lesson in any family meetings;
alert other parents and any
professionals supporting your family (e.g. counselors,
clergy, etc.) to this
use this Lesson in any
parenting-support group you participate in.
Lesson 6 - Learn to
Parent (Nurture) Effectively
These assignments are for all parents, and
extra ones for divorcing parents
They aim to raise your awareness of effective
parenting, rather than decree absolute right/wrong
ideas. Check off each assignment as you complete
it, and hilight any you feel are specially useful. Ideally, study this Lesson with other family adults and
supporters. Coach yourself as you learn: "Progress, not
A) All Parenting Adults
the stage by scanning these brief selected
research/news items about parenting and family life.
Notice your thoughts and feelings as you do.
__2) Get quiet and undistracted, and take
the first six of these
without rushing. If you have trouble answering any
items, study the appropriate Lesson before working on
the lethal [wounds + unawareness] cycle that causes -
and is caused by -
ineffective parenting and social
denial and indifference. _ Try describing the cycle
to someone to see if you understand it.
__ 4) See if you
agree with these ideas about
Effective parenting is essential to protect your
descendents from the cycle's toxic effects!
__ 5)Review this
introduction to your
family system. Effective parenting is most likely when
your family system is functioning (nurturing) everyone
(not just kids) well.
overview of high-nurturance
("functional") family systems. What's your family's
nurturance level recently? (low > moderate > high). What
would improve that?
__7) Consider these
ideas about qualified
conception. How can you tell if a family ready to nurture a baby?
Do you know any families who weren't ready?
classic ideas about eight child
development stages by Dr. Erik Erickson. Where do
each of your minor kids stand with these stages? If they
need help with any stage, what help, and from whom?
this concept of
surface and primary needs (Lesson 4).
Effective parenting aims to fill current primary adult and
child needs consistently.
__ 16) Reflect on
Dr. Abraham Maslow's ideas about
how normal human needs
rank. Do you agree with his ideas? How is each child
doing with this "hierarchy of needs?" How are each of your
family adults doing, starting with you?
Note - typical kids of parental death and separation
also have a mix of concurrent adjustment needs (#39
__ 17) Refer
periodically to these ageless wisdoms
young people in your life.
__ 18)Compare these
bonding with yours. Do you know any parents who
are unable to bond with their kids and/or other people? If so, how does that affect
their children? Their family's nurtur-ance level?
__ 19)Do these
long-term goals of effective
parents match yours? How many busy parents do you think
could articulate such goals for each dependent child and/or
Option - search the Web for "effective parenting."
Notice what you're thinking and feeling
as you finish this Lesson. Is their something you want to donow with what you've learned?
Would the other
adults in your family (and community) be able to pass these
quizzes? Would the teachers in your
schools? if not - why not?
This sixth self-improvement Lesson proposes fundamental
information that average adults need in order to raise a
child successfully over two decades. Putting this
information into practice requires typical adults to have
(a) freed their true Self to guide them through the decades
(Lesson 1), and to have (b) integrated the key ideas in
each of the
five prior lessons.
Premise - the reason we are a nation of
Grown Wounded Children
(GWCs) is because a high majority of our parents and child
caregivers (including grandparents and teachers) are unable
to meet these two requisites. Our unaware citizens accept
this, tho it is inexorably destroying our culture and
environment. Does this include you?
you're interested in growing and enjoying a
high-nurturance stepfamily, continue with Lesson 7.
If you're motivated
to tell others about what you learned here, see these