The issue of quality time versus quantity time in parenting is an issue that is increasingly coming up in the family setting, especially in light of today’s society, where the amount of time that a parent spends interacting with a child is greatly reduced because of work and social constraints for both the father and the mother, and especially in the case of a single parent. When a child is growing up, it is quantity time that matters more than quality time. It is evident that the most treasured memories of childhood are those moments spent doing just the normal routine or time spent just enjoying each other’s company. Parents should make a point of spending as much time as possible with their children in order to have a constant positive influence on them. It is also helpful for parents to learn the issues affecting a child and a minor behavioral pattern, which can only be discovered by spending a large amount of time in each other’s company (Cloud & Townsend, 2001).
Parenting should focus more on strengthening the relationship between a parent and a child instead of making rules and in the present ones have been broken. It should be noted that the best rules will be rebelled against, if there is no positive relationship between a parent and a child. A positive relationship between them could be strengthened by various activities, such as respectful sharing of perspectives and experiences, treating each other with warmth and respect and sympathizing with child’s thoughts and feelings. A parenting style should then be adjusted to suit dynamic needs of a child so as to minimize friction and conflict. In stressful times, children should be made aware of situations, but they should realize that none of it is their fault. In such instances, maintaining the normal daily routine is essential, as it helps children cope with stressful times. That together with reassuring kids and scheduling fun events to do together helps in strengthening a bond between a parent and a child even more.
Disciplining a child is an important aspect of child counseling and parenting methods in specific. It has been greatly emphasized in the Bible as an integral part of parenting, where it is said that though a child may tend towards misbehavior, discipline (punishment) prevents this and ensures that the child acts in a proper manner (Proverbs 22:15). Children are different and have differing personalities, thus, what works for one child may not work for another. In view of this, it is important to tailor discipline methods to suit each individual child for maximum effectiveness. It is also important to explain to a child the reason behind the punishment so that he/she can know what to avoid in the future. It is also important to differentiate between childish irresponsibility, which is normal for any child, and intentional defiance, as it is unfair to end up punishing a child for a normal developmental accident that could happen to anyone at that stage of development. When talking about disciplining a child, the Bible also makes sure to state that careful discipline is what works for the child (Proverbs 13:24).
Setting boundaries as a part of parenting is seen to be an important part and should be emphasized to bring up disciplined and responsible adults. It helps parents deal with situations of impulsivity, procrastination, aggressive behavior, defying authority, sexual involvement, gangs and drugs, among many other problems encountered by the growing child. The need for boundaries comes about as they teach a child to be a responsible person, who is disciplined enough to know when to stop and when his/her behavior is out of the set proper limits. It also helps children learn that there are consequences that arise from their actions and that they are expected to take responsibility for them. By setting practical boundaries for their children, parents can be sure that their child’s behavior does not get out of control. This will only be possible if a parent follows through with consequences of failure to adhere to the boundaries. It is only when a child realizes the seriousness of boundaries and parental directives that he/she will appreciate the presence of boundaries and respect them. This is in accordance with biblical teachings that state that when a child is taught to act in a certain way (within set boundaries), he/she will not leave the lessons behind, but will instead carry them through adulthood and act accordingly (Proverbs 22:6). Setting boundaries for a growing child sets a range, within which a child can freely act. This is important, since instead of increasing parental control over their children’s lives, it teaches a child self-control, which is an important lesson, when the child leaves parental care to walk the world as an adult.
In conclusion, it can be seen that child counseling is a delicate process that involves finding a balance between several points while dealing with a child. The parenting process is a good example, since it clearly demonstrates child counseling as it happens every day. Most parents may want to demonstrate their love for children and in doing so some resort to negative parenting, such as overprotecting children, over-controlling and overindulgence among others. On the other hand, some parents show minimal and sometimes absent control over their children’s lives. This leaves children out to find their own way in this potentially dangerous world. Both of these have adverse effects on the child’s development and should both be curbed for a more balanced method of parenting. Parents that show too much involvement in their children’s lives should try to avoid this, since it is only by doing so that a child will learn how to stand up for itself and discover its likes and dislikes. On the other hand, uninvolved parents should make a point of taking more interest in daily lives of their children and providing so much needed guidance and advice for a growing child. It should also be noted that what works for one child might not work for another, as children are different and develop different characters and because of this, a proper parenting method is that, which has been tailored to fit a particular child in question. Parents provide the first and major role model for their children, and in light of this, they should make sure to act in the manner that they desire to see from their children, as they emulate them. Discipline and boundaries comprise an important part of parenting and parents should make sure to follow through with the stated punishment for misbehavior in order to demonstrate the seriousness of boundaries and teach accountability.