Anyone can dance BUT it takes two to tango
Relationships can be compared to a dance. For them to work well together, they need to be in sync. As parents, we need to lead and support in order for our children to follow and be in step with us.
Henry Ford said: –
‘If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got. To create change in your life you must do something different.”
I hear from many parents who want to change some of their children’s behaviour. It could be tantrums, hitting, lying, answering back or not listening. They come to me for help and advice on how to control their children’s behaviour.
In fact, there are many books about how to change a child’s behaviour. Everything focusing on the child behavioural management system, rewards, consequences, punishments and timeouts.
But the truth is, we are focusing on the wrong things.
You can’t control or change another person, it’s exhausting even trying!
When we change, our children will follow.
I heard from a father who told me that his son was always arguing with him. Well you guessed it, the father argued back. The best way to stop the arguing? Stop arguing.
The way to get our kids to listen?
Start listen to them, show them how to be a good listener. Our kids will not listen to us unless they first feel heard.
Instead of focusing on our children’s behaviour we need to ask ourselves.
What role do I have in this behaviour?
Am I expecting too much from my child? It is unreasonable to expect a child to have self-control, impulse control and to be able to self-regulate his emotions. A child’s behaviour or lack of, is not a reflection on our parenting but a reflection of their emotional state.
Am I going into a situation all bells a blazing and escalating a situation and adding fuel to the fire?
How am I contributing to this situation?
Am I escalating or de-escalating the situation?
Am I on parenting auto pilot or am I learning new ways and have new tools and have I learnt new techniques to change the usual dynamics?
What can I do differently next time?
Do I need to learn how to keep my cool? Learn to see things from my child’s view point?
Think of the moment, the fork in the road when it all went pear shaped. What just happened?
As a parent, we are like movie directors. We get to set the stage. So many times, we set our kids up to fail, we place them in situations that we know they can’t handle and then we wonder why it all ended up in tears!
What skills does my child need to do better next time?
Do you know that research suggests that 90% of misbehaviour is due to us not teaching our children the skills they need to do better!
How can I help support my child to make better choices next time?
Once we focus our attention on our role in this parent child relationship and what we can change, we can start to look at all situations in a new light.
Then and only then, will we see real change.
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