Ezzo and Buckman call it gaps in parenting. Hogg refers to it as accidental parenting. It is the notion that often when the child is misbehaving, the root of the problem can be found with something the parent is doing wrong.
I personally have found this to be very true. I haven't kept track, but I would be willing to say 100% of the behavior problems I have encountered with my children have been my own fault. Perhaps it is that I let Brayden watch more TV than I know he can handle without misbehaving. Maybe a nap didn't go well because I let one or the other stay up a little longer than I should have. I have often found I have allowed Brayden too many choices or freedoms, resulting in Brayden thinking he is deserving of more than he actually is and can tell me no.
I love this quote from Carl Jung. If (when) your child has a behavior problem, you will solve it most quickly if you first look within yourself and figure out what you are doing wrong. Yes, this takes humility, but you must get over yourself. I am pretty sure parenting is a quick cure for anyone who thinks they are always right and can do no wrong. If you haven't gotten there yet, get there. The faster you identify what you are doing wrong, the faster you can correct the behavior problems you are encountering.
This quote can also be applied in another way. As your baby turns into a walking and talking toddler, you will start to learn the quirky phrases and gestures you make in an exaggerated way. Brayden has picked up on something my husband or I do that neither of us realized happened. They watch every move you make and look to you as an example. My husband and I recently realized we say the word 'stupid' a lot. It might not sound so bad coming from an adult, but once your three year old starts saying it, it doesn't sound so cute. In fact, it sounds quite offensive. How did we fix it? We told Brayden we shouldn't be saying that word, it isn't a nice word. Mommy and Daddy wouldn't say it anymore and Brayden shouldn't either. No problem. We are both happy we are not cursing people.
When you make a mistake, there is no harm in explaining to your child that you have made a mistake and resolve to do better. I don't think children need to think their parents are infallible. Young children (since that is my experience) are very accepting and forgiving. They don't hold it against you or rub it in your face. Also, it shows them an excellent example of how to apologize and make things right.
You are the only person you can control. Yes, you can and should guide and teach your children, but when it comes down to it, you cannot force them to do things. So the fact that most behavior problems are rooted to actual parenting problems, this should make you feel much better about the situation. You can change yourself. You can change your behavior and actions.
For more on discipline, see (see also blog index under Discipline for posts published after this one at http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/index.html):
- Baby Highchair Manners: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/baby-highchair-manners.html
- Baby-Proofing : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/07/baby-proofing.html
- BW II: Freedoms: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/babywise-ii-freedoms.html
- Creating a "Good Eater": http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/creating-good-eater.html
- Discipline: Progress is a Spiral : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/07/discipline-progress-is-spiral.html
- Discipline Strategy: Surrender with Dignity : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/04/discipline-strategy-surrender-with.html
- Get To Know Your Child's Personality: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/get-to-know-your-childs-personality.html
- Hand Folding: Establishing Self-Control: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/hand-folding-establishing-self-control.html
- In Action: Find Your Child's Currency : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/07/in-action-find-your-childs-currency.html
- In Action: "Yes, Mama" : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/06/in-action-yes-mama.html
- The "Mini-fit" : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/07/mini-fit.html
- Prevention : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/05/prevention.html
- Problem Solving Using Beliefs, Goals, Why, and How : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/06/problem-solving-using-beliefs-goals-why.html
- Tantrums and Discipline: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/02/tantrums.html \
- Tantrums: Stop and Think : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/06/tantrums-stop-and-think.html
- Teaching Your Baby "No": http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/01/teaching-your-baby-no.html
- The Choice Addiction (for Toddlers) : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/03/choice-addiction-for-toddlers.html
- Throwing/Dropping Food off of the Tray : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/06/throwingdropping-food-off-of-tray.html
- "Yes Mom" : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/05/yes-mom.html
For more posts on parenting skills, see (again, see also blog index under Parenting Skills):
- Baby Whisperer: Skills of a Good Parent : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/07/baby-whisperer-skills-of-good-parent.html
- Childwise Goals of Parenting : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/05/childwise-goals-of-parenting.html
- Four Phases of Parenting (Childwise): http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/08/four-phases-of-parenting-childwise.html
- Leadership and Authority: Childwise: http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/07/leadership-and-authority-childwise.html
- Parent vs. Friend: Childwise : http://babywisemom.blogspot.com/2008/07/parent-vs-friend-childwise.html