When you’re rushed of your feet, your mind is racing and the last thing you need is a stroppy child refusing breakfast. The very thought of dealing with another meltdown is enough to push you to your limits.
But take it from me, pausing before you react will change everything.
This is what got breakfast back on track and lead to a peaceful school run –
The first step.
During my Language of Listening® training I learnt how to stay in the moment, and to focus on what IS happening rather than what’s NOT happening.
What’s that about? you may ask.
We have a funny thing we do as humans. We give meanings to situations. We make up stories and judge situations, especially the tricky ones. We take our assumptions and judgments as facts and then we react to those made up stories in our heads and not to what is actually happening.
Staying out of judgment can be hard to do, especially when you’re stressed out and already predicting a massive meltdown, – one you just don’t have the time for.
But learning to stay in the moment was the key to changing how I reacted.
What IS happening = my daughter wants pancakes.
What’s NOT happening (the meanings and stories I tell myself about what I think is happening.) = that she’s rude, stubborn or always wants her way, she’s always fussing, she’s pushing my boundaries.
The simple 3-step coaching approach I use and teach, helped me shift my attention.
Because changing what I ‘see’ automatically changes my perception.
Staying with what IS happening, I was able to remain calm, validate what was going on for my daughter behind her demands, and give her the language to use next time:
I used the first step in the Language of Listening framework. Say What You See®
“Oh! Sweetie, you really want pancakes, mummy’s pancakes are SO yummy. You wish there was time for me to make them. There isn’t time this morning.”
She carried on moaning and fussing for a short while. “I don’t want toast or cereal!!!”
I added another SWYS – “AH! that’s so annoying, there’s nothing you want to eat!”
I didn’t engage after that exchange. I didn’t get hooked into her frustrations, I knew there was food for her to eat.
From here, I was able to move on to finding solutions within my boundary by offering my all-purpose CAN DO statement. “There must be something you can do… “
And the funny thing was, when I gave her time to work through her upset, without trying to fix it for her, she was quick to move on to find a solution.
“I know what I can make!” and she hurried off to make this banana concoction she likes. (Don’t ask! It involves bananas that are nuked in the microwave. But it works for her!)
I then replied by offering a STRENGTH. “You found something you wanted for breakfast. You got upset and calmed yourself and made what YOU wanted all by yourself.”
She was SO proud of herself and I could see her standing tall.
And best of all, she now quite frequently makes her own breakfast. Including her own pancakes and scrambled eggs.
Coaching is all about bringing out the best in our children.
Using this 3-part coaching model lets you change an otherwise difficult situation that usually ends in tears and frustration for you AND your child to one that ends in calm and connection while bringing out the best in your child.
I can look back at this situation with the pancakes and see how differently it could have unfolded. – And did so on numerous occasions before I had these tools.
If I had tried to control her behaviour with a telling off, threats or punishments, or if I had tried to teach her the errors of her behaviour by pointing out her ungratefulness or justified how busy I was… It would all have ended in tears.
By using this 3-step coaching approach I was able to end the situation with my daughter by seeing her strengths.
A girl who could make her own breakfast.
A girl who got upset and worked through it.
A girl who felt understood and connected.
So, what’s the difference with this way of interacting with your child?
Instead of controlling behaviour, which we all know is exhausting anyway, we become our child’s coach.
So, the way that you use our coaching model is very simple. You always start with one thing. Say What You See® this is the connection step. Once your child feels connected, they are primed to listen to you for guidance.
If we see something we don’t like. We offer an alternative within our boundary. What we call a CAN DO. Literally, what your child CAN DO that’s still within your boundary.
And if we see something we DO LIKE we state it as a STRENGTH. Think of it as praise in a new way. One that actually works to help our child to see their inner greatness. The child knows who they are and can see that strength in themselves. And this is how our child starts to be able to control their own behaviour and actions.
Since children act according to who they believe they are, when you prove to your child, they have that strength they naturally change their own behaviour to reflect it.
The definition of Coaching is “A process used to transport people from where they are to where they want to be.”
How cool is that! you become your very own child’s life coach.
And don’t we all want that for our children?
How much easier is THAT than having to manage their behaviour for them.
We get our child to SEE their own greatness and they act accordingly.
Would you like more support? If home life feels like a daily battleground and you want to go from a shouty house with threats being thrown around and constant battles to a more fun, relaxed, happy family life let’s chat. You can schedule a complimentary, no-obligation call. You can do that by clicking right here.