The experiences we have during our childhood shape our adult relationships, and in turn, they influence our daily interactions with our children. There's a huge correlation between our early childhood experiences and our current adult relationships. The way we were treated as children greatly affects how we parent now.
Our subconscious mind learns patterns to whatever it’s exposed to. Since the subconscious feels safe with what it knows it will subconsciously recreate a sense of familiarity and unknowingly repeat patterns of behaviours that we can pass on to our children.
As parents, we want our children to grow up confident, resilient, and self-assured. However, our communication with them can sometimes have unintended consequences that damage their self-esteem and emotional well-being. The truth is, the way we speak to our children has a profound impact on their development and self-image. Even when we provide constructive feedback or motivation, our kids often don't receive our intended message. When we concentrate on recognising and bringing out the best in our children, it not only affects their behaviour in the present but also has long-term implications for their entire lives.
“I hate chicken! I won’t eat it.” My daughter wailed. We were driving home from a long day in London, and with no food at home, we decided to grab dinner out.
Question: “Just wondered if anyone had any advice for me?? I have two children, the eldest is a very strong willed 4-year-old daughter. My hubby and I have just taken the children on holiday with my parents. Every day my daughter has been a drama where she has had tantrums, continuous moaning and really ungrateful behaviour...In short, her behaviour has been truly awful on holiday!!
If you want outings with your child to be calm and enjoyable, then you need these 3 powerful coaching tools I’m going to be sharing with you.
As soon as you see your child’s tantrum begin and escalate, literally in the first few seconds, you can do these three things to defuse the situation. When you’re feeling very triggered, or have run out of patience, it’s simple enough that you can use it in the moment to get you the results you’re after.
I was recently asked- What can I do when my kids accidentally hurt a sibling? - either verbally or physically. It's not something we experience often, but my children don't think to say sorry. Their initial reaction is to blame the other person for it happening. An example would be snuggling in bed with one child. Another child jumps on the bed to join in and lands on a leg. Not intentional, just an overexcited accident. Rather than apologise and ask if you're OK, they blurt out "It isn’t my fault, it's your fault for having your leg there!" I get disappointed when they don't apologise after an accident or mishap.
If your child is cheating or a sore loser, we know that's not very healthy, and we often want to put a stop to it by any means. But when you really look at what's their need behind cheating or being a sore loser, it will completely shift your perspective and the way in which you respond to your child. I know many adults who still rage if they lose. My daughter used to be a sore loser, she’d storm off if she lost a game. If she didn’t win you could guarantee she’d fling the game and all its pieces across the room. Nothing changed until I understood what was really going on, and when I did it blew my mind.
Question: How do I get my children (6 & 3.5) to eat dinner without having a tablet in front of them?! We started using them occasionally to get them to just stay in their chair or they wouldn't eat a thing. Now I regret my decision. If I try to get rid of the tablets there is a joyful mix of screaming rage and sulking. The littlest will wander off. The 6yr old agrees with us that it shouldn't be there all the time but struggles as he's so used to it.
You might see your child as clever and bright, funny and gorgeous and be like “Why can’t you see what I see? Wake up! Get with it, you're worthy, you're amazing and the best thing that’s walked the planet.” As a parent we know how important healthy self-esteem is for our children. It affects everything, how they think and how they behave. Self-esteem has a massive impact on their mental health and their future success. We know that by having good self-esteem, you’ll generally feel more positive about yourself and more likely to best handle whatever life throws at you. No wonder it feels so hard to watch our kids suffer with low self-esteem.
I often get parents who reach out to me and let me know that they’ve tried the gentle approach. They tell me that they remain calm, explain their boundaries, and talk about emotions but yet their child is still not ‘behaving’ or is going wayyyyy past their boundaries, and they are at their wit’s end. They feel that they are “doing it wrong.” And although I wholeheartedly believe in the philosophy of gentle parenting, it falls short. You’re made to believe that validation and connection is enough to change a child’s behaviour. And it’s not.
Parenting a stubborn, strong-willed child is challenging to say the least. I should know! My daughter would just refuse point blank to do as I asked. She’d scream and shout, and jump up and down and put up a fight. She wanted things her way. Every day was a battle of wills. It was utterly exhausting, and however firm I held my limits nothing would make a blind bit of difference, she would constantly pushed my boundaries. That was until I learnt to see what was really going on. And how to best support my daughter.