• http://www.thekidscoach.org.uk Naomi

    Love the analogy and love the ideas that you are presenting Denny. Parents can often try and make the fit but you cannot make something work that is impossible.

  • http://www.ad-virtualassistance.com/career-hop-skip-jump Anastasiya Day

    Denny, I love your great ideas and I love reading your articles! Brilliant post (as always) :)

  • http://www.ad-virtualassistance.com/career-hop-skip-jump Anastasiya Day

    Denny, I love your great ideas and I love reading your articles! Brilliant post (as always) :)

  • http://pathtolifesuccess.net Hughie Bagnell

    Hi Denny…using the “square peg in a round hole” analogy is awesome! Thank you for the five suggestions to help create or empower true joy and happiness! …Hughie

  • http://www.travelwritingpro.com Claudia Looi

    I grew up under the shadow of a neighbor’s daughter, all because of parents were ‘doing unhealthy comparison studies’. The 5 suggestions you gave are key for raising confident kids. Great article.

  • http://www.angelabrook.com Angela Brooks

    With a teenager finding out who he is and what direction he wants to go in – your articles always come at the right time :-)

  • Anonymous

    Denny, you know I’m not a parent.  So these questions are “innocent,” yet sincere.   Where does discipline get instilled?  At what age do you start “asking” instead of “telling” if a child is functioning from the non-critical thinking (subconscious) mind from birth until about age six?  How does personal responsibility form?  I guess what I’m trying to understand is where the line is between allowing the child the freedom to develop as an individual and abdicating one’s responsibility as a parent.  Am I totally off base?

  • http://www.facebook.com/denny.hagel Denny Hagel

    You are not off-base Sharon and these are great questions. All of which are addressed in what I refer to as a “healthy parenting mindset” which of course is what all of my work is based on.  This new parenting paradigm approaches raising children from a perspective of relating to them in a way that honors them as the individuals they are…The parent’s responsibility shifts from one who “tells and orders and chooses for them” to one who inspires and guides by offering options and possible consequences then allowing them to choose for themselves.  This begins at a young age in areas that are not potentially dangerous of course…but, for example,  in allowing them to decide what they like better, peas or carrots, or playing with dolls rather than trucks or napping on the floor rather than in a bed. “Discipline” shifts from punishment to learning through the  consequences  of their choices which automatically translates into an understanding of their personal responsibility. If they choose to sleep on the floor and wake up with a sore back, they most often choose the bed next time. Generally speaking children are very smart and when left to their own devices naturally go toward what is good and positive.

  • http://www.facebook.com/denny.hagel Denny Hagel

    Thanks Angela, so glad to hear that they help! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/denny.hagel Denny Hagel

    Thanks Claudia…I often hear of stories where comparisons caused problems in self-esteem and confidence. Although some parents have good intentions thinking it is a way to motivate…the opposite is true.

  • http://www.facebook.com/denny.hagel Denny Hagel

    Thank you Hughie!

  • http://www.facebook.com/denny.hagel Denny Hagel

    Thank you Hughie!

  • AJ

    Great advice as always Denny! Helps keep me on the right path with your advice on parenting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/denny.hagel Denny Hagel

    Well said Naomi!

  • http://www.iWomanMag.com Scarlett Von Gunten

    As a mom to 7 children, I definitely see each of my children’s unique differences. They are extremely creative and amazing!! Finding ways to recognize and encourage each one as an individual is so important!! :)

  • http://twitter.com/CarolGiambri Carol Giambri

    Great ideas Denny and always great insights to parenting. Such a smart “cookie.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/DrJenBennett Jennifer Bennett

    Love your point Denny to celebrate uniqueness. If only every child could really see and understand just how unique and wonderful they are, this world would be a different place.  

  • http://www.thechoicedrivenlife.com Olga Hermans

    A lot of hurt and pain could have been avoided if we as parents and even in relationships only would really realize that we are all different and unique and that’s why we are all valuable. Plus, that is exactly the reason why we need each other. Thanks Denny for pointing that out to us one more time. We ALL need it! :)

  • Sue

    I love this article, Denny.  It’s easy to see how we can be damaging out children by having expectations of them that is only in align with “our” thinking”   Honoring someone by respecting what they are thinking, especially when different from ours, is a great characteristic and we will end up having much better relationships.  As always, awesome information!

  • http://www.positivecalm.com Solvita

    Great tips Denny! especially I like the #1 don’t tell…ask! thanks for sharing! :)

  • Donovan Grant

    Thanks for that refreshing post Denny. I love the metaphor of square pegs in round holes; it makes the point so brilliantly and gives us a clearer understanding of some of the problems facing our young people. What many of us need to realise is that it is not only the children who need to adjust their habits, parents can do with some adjustment too. This quote is awesome reminder that anyone can be a leader “When you speak to your child ask them for their help, ideas or opinions rather than telling them what you believe they should think or do.” Cheers!!

  • http://imdebtfree.com Cheree Miller

    Excellent advice, Denny! I definitely experienced these challenges when raising my son… we are as different as night and day! Early on, I tried to mold him into a “mini-me”. It was obvious that wasn’t getting either of us anywhere but frustrated and angry. It wasn’t easy, but I have learned to celebrate his differences and allow him to be him. Thanks for another great article!

  • Joanie McMahon

    I really like those 5 points Denny …… 

  • http://www.complicatedtosimple.com Robert Seth

    Thanks for the wisdom Denny!  My children are adults now but I sure could have used this advice when they were growing up.  Fortunately I figured it out before it was too late, but it would have been nice and less stressful to have known it in the beginning.  Thanks again!

  • http://www.annemariecross.com Annemarie Cross

    I LOVE your 5 steps Denny – they are so very important. I’m learning so much from you – and with three (actually now two) teenagers in the house and one 20-year-old, your insights are valuable! Thank you!

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