Dr. Rich Patterson

How Can We Invest, Not Over Correct?

Often as parents, we get caught up in correcting our kids so much that it seems that is all we’re doing.  It is so easy to do, and there are so many opportunities!  Right? I know that as a parent, I indeed fell into this pattern until I realized how it must feel to my stepson.  Then I realized that I must find the opportunities to invest in him upfront so that there aren’t so many opportunities to correct.  It was a mindset to be more proactive rather than reactive that made the difference.

We are more practical, positive, and upbeat with our kids when we’re proactive.  There will still be those opportunities to make corrections, but they seem less important somehow.  Investing in our kids requires more of a devotion attitude, specific participation with them in life. We can guide them in such a way that feels more like a partner than a disciplinarian.  It provides us as parents with the opportunity to empower our kids to do things and then offer assistance.

The combination of the two enables them to take charge of leading their life, rather than relying on us for correction.  True, sometimes they will get themselves into situations.  Then we have another opportunity to invest some time in them leading a discussion or partnering with them through the problem or situation.

I like to encourage them to take the initiative to figure something out and realize how to think through a challenge.  My father was a hard worker, and my older brother would work with him from time to time.  At that time, my father’s approach was to correct my brother, sometimes rather soundly.  It didn’t work; it only served to drive him away from my dad and resign himself to be a failure in that area.  His approach to me was different.  When we worked together, he would show me how to do something.

He was a bit more patient and encouraged me to go back and do something again if it didn’t meet his high standards.  Over time, I grew to enjoy the hard work together.  To this day, I credit my dad for the time he invested in me rather than over-correcting me.

Our kids do need Parental Discipline, but there is a fine line between that and over-correcting.  In my series, What Kids Need, I write about Parental Discipline here, What Kids Need: Parental Discipline – Dr. Rich Patterson (

I love these 5 Things to Check post here, please read this, 5 Things to Check Before You Correct a Child (

I hope you will consider taking a different approach to teach your kids to lead quality lives by investing in them being more pre-emptive and passive in your practice.  You may find that you enjoy being a parent a whole lot more.

Yours for better parenting!