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Team Spirited Parenting: 8 Essential Principles for Parenting Success

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     The authors of Team-Spirited Parenting: 8 Essential Principles for Parenting Success, Darlene Powell-Hopson and husband Derek Hopson are a husband-wife team who has dedicated much of their attention helping parents create a positive environment for their children through an effective 8 step process through what the authors describe as team-spirited parenting.

     The book’s opening reminds parents that team spirited parenting will require dedication to the partnership, as well as the children.  Parents must be willing to examine past relationships, commit to current and future involvement of their children, be willing to sacrifice and share every experience with their partner.  (xv-xvi)

     The initial, and most critical, first step is addressing “family origin issues.”  If you were raised by parents whom you feared, you developed in a psychologically restricted environment or if you experienced a divorce, you might feel at risk.  By accepting responsibility, talking to your children about your past and realizing that your family will learn from your desire to change.  As your parents influenced your future, you will influence your children – your actions provide your children’s future foundation.

     Yet another step that influences your children’s future relationships is solid teamwork between parents.  Children are receptive and will absorb negative energy- the partnership has to be genuine.  Other steps include abandoning gender stereotypes, parallel parenting and understanding the demands of your partner’s job.  Compassion is important, “When you show you are compassionate, you don’t berate or belittle the person who has faulted, but off the support they need to get beyond the moment.”  (43)

     As adults, we must develop effective communication skills and our children learn from their parents.  Team-Spirited parenting consists of drawing on each other’s differences by communicating openly and to accomplish this you must define your communication style – “passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, and assertive.” (52)  Draw on others examples, make a conscious effort, and “Master the Art of Assertive Communication.”  (52)

     Other steps include building an outside support system – “Reach Out to Your Village.”  (77)  You will not always find the answer in your partner – associate with others such as teachers, family friends, or maybe a pastor.  “Direct Your Child’s Behavior” is the fourth principle.  (137)  Accept the fact that “disciplining children isn’t always fun or easy” and realize that it is an act out of love that can be a positive nurturing experience for your child.  “Nurture the Sibling Bond,” which can be accomplished through an 11 step process.  Above all, as parents you must understand that “No sibling relationship is ever perfect.”  (163)

     A critical step to address with your children that will affect future decision is peer pressure.  By helping you children “express their individuality in peer situations” will develop confidence in the future.  (184-185)  You must not ignore your child’s relationships with peers and if you observe inappropriate behavior use open communication and be willing to compromise if the situation warrants it.  Monitor friendships without taking charge, become familiar with your child’s peer by engaging in conversation, and make your expectations known in a positive manner.  (185)

     Last, but not least is the 8th step – allow time to enjoy your family in all aspects of life.  If building a relationship through religion builds spirituality – it’s imperative that you make time to illustrate your beliefs to your children through open dialogue.  Simple fun such as vacations, parties and holiday celebrations pull families closer together and this bond influences your child’s ability to have positive relationships in the future.  Above all, make time to spend with your partner – “When two people are feeling valued and cherished by each other, this leads to feelings of satisfaction, joy and fulfillment.”  (213)

     The Hopson’s insight was informative and provided detailed information that allows parents to comprehend the impact of psychological influences upon their child’s future.  Through these eight steps children will look back knowing they experienced a loving relationship with their parents that allowed them to become “strong, healthy branches” of a family tree that will continue to thrive, as well as noticeable when the children become adults. (240)


Hopson-Powell, D., & Hopson, D. (2001). Team-Spirited Parenting: 8 Essential Principles for Parenting Success. New York, New York: John Wiley and Sons.

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