Tag Archives for " communication "

A Self-Harmer Taught Me An Important Lesson

I was working with a young 17 year old girl with depression and a history of self-harming and she taught me such a valuable lesson in parenting that I want to share with as many parents as possible.

She said:

“My mum just doesn’t get it.  She always wants to fix me and tell me what to do to fix my problems. But sometimes she can’t fix them. I just need to work them out from myself. Sometimes I don’t need her to try and fix me or tell me what I am doing wrong. Sometimes I just want her to love me, cuddle me, sit on the bed together and watch a movie and say nothing….But she just doesn’t get it.”

WOW! What an eye opener that was for me. Now I don’t have girls, but I certainly remember being a teenage girl and I remember my mum doing the same thing.

This is because as parents, we take on this ‘fixer’ role with our kids. We want to take away their pain. We want to help them and get them to the other side of our struggles. But sometimes we need to recognise that helping them to work through things themselves by just being there is just as valuable to them.

Sometimes they just need their soft place to fall and maybe even the place where they can get away from their problems.

How frustrating is it for women when they often try talking to a male and they don’t listen. They just try and fix things. Women often feel unheard, not validated and unloved. This is often what parents unknowingly do for their kids too.

Teenagers are naturally trying to find their independence, so perhaps begin to ask your teenager what they need from you when they’re experiencing something difficult. Perhaps ask them if they want your help to find the solution?  That way you are giving them exactly what they need.

Remember that their problems do not mean their life is going wrong. It is simply an experience they are learning from and sometimes the experience is exactly what they need for their personal development.

Work WITH your child, not FOR them.

Letting your children find their wings…

 

Jackie

"It takes a village to raise a child"

The PSC's 'Bring My Family Calm' Membership invites you to that village

Never feel alone or stressed in your parenting again

Eliminating Disrespect (Part B)

In my last article – Why Your Kids Disrespect You, we looked at some of the reasons why disrespect occurs between a parent and a child. Now let’s look at how you can turn it all around.

Your children will not respect you until you demand that they respect you.

By that, I don’t mean ranting and raving about how they don’t respect you and how they don’t care about what you do for them. I mean when you teach them a standard of treatment that you expect from them and issue serious consequences for them if this expectation is not met.

Human beings operate with the agenda of pursue pleasure and avoid pain.  If you set the standard and issue consequences for behaving less than the standard, and those consequences are painful (meaning they don’t like them or it means they have to lose something they want or experience something they don’t like), then they will learn not to behave that way.

This doesn’t just work for respect, this works for anything you are trying to teach your children (FYI, it doesn’t always have to be punishment either, you can motivate using the pursuit of pleasure – i.e., rewards for co-operation or good behaviour).

Just remember what you’re doing it for. What is it that you’re actually trying to teach? What is the life lesson or life skill you are trying to teach? Make sure it’s for those reasons, as opposed to just obeying so you get what you want…as tempting as that is, lol.

One final point….

 

Is it really disrespect? Is it really about you at all?

Keep in mind that often, our child’s behaviour has nothing to do with you at all. We can be so quick to make our child’s behaviour personal and jump onto the “My children don’t respect me train” but often it’s not because they don’t respect you at all, it’s because they’re learning how to deal with their frustrations, they are learning a new skill or using you as a venting board because they don’t know what else to do.

It’s important to take your self-worth away from your child’s behaviour and start to look at what’s going on in the child’s mind behind the behaviour.

When you do this, you might just see that they need your help to deal with a situation differently. You can still address the fact that they are treating you rudely or inappropriately, but make sure you give them some tools to help them deal with the actual problem differently too.

If you don’t know how to help them, then maybe you can sit down together and work it out.

Dealing with the problem by finding solutions….

If you would like more information on how to communicate more effectively with your child, change the way your family interacts with each other, or how to lower the stress levels in the home, our Stress Free Parenting program can teach you all that and more.

Warm Regards,

 

Jackie

"It takes a village to raise a child"

The PSC's 'Bring My Family Calm' Membership invites you to that village

Never feel alone or stressed in your parenting again

Children Want To Have An Opinion. Don’t You?

Today’s society is not like when you or I were growing up. The “children should be seen and not heard” rule doesn’t really seem to apply in today’s society. Or if it does, it seems to be to the detriment of the connection between the parent and the child.

This is because children are growing up in society that encourages them to speak up, be honest about their feelings, and that it’s okay to have an opinion.

On one hand, we encourage them to be this way, but on the other, if it doesn’t match what we believe is right we can get all riled up at times.

So are we giving our children mixed messages? Do you want them to have an opinion or not?

I think for most of us, we want to raise confident, happy children who feel free to express themselves. We just want them to do it in a respectful way.

The other day, I said to my 8 year old son Ryan:

“Ryan, you are getting to an age where you won’t always agree with me or like what I’m telling you to do. That’s completely fine and I’m open to talking to you about our differences but I won’t be spoken to rudely, nor will I speak to you when you are yelling, throwing yourself on the ground or whingeing about the problem. We need to discuss things calmly.  

It doesn’t always mean that you will get your own way, but I will explain why you can’t have your own way and why it’s in your best interests. But on the other hand, you might have an idea that I haven’t thought of and maybe you can get what you want by doing it differently. The point is that we can discuss the problem and focus on a solution, rather than fighting with each other.”

He was pretty happy with that and it set the platform for future discussions, rather than arguments. It makes him feel empowered over his life, rather than feeling like his life is being controlled and dictated.

Think about what you want in your life. Don’t you want to have your opinion heard? Don’t you want to discuss how your life is going to be run? Wouldn’t you want to know why you can’t do something you really want to do?

We need to treat our children as equals because the superior/inferior trends of the olden day parent/child relationship doesn’t suit today’s societal messages.

If you try to stick to the ‘old school’ way, it won’t be a wrong way to parent, so there’s no judgment. But it is possible that your children may not be as close to you as you would like, because they grow up to feel unheard or that their opinion doesn’t matter to you.

It is for you to decide though, how you wish to handle your child’s relationship. I’m just here to present some ideas for contemplation.

Open the communication channels…

 

Jackie

"It takes a village to raise a child"

The PSC's 'Bring My Family Calm' Membership invites you to that village

Never feel alone or stressed in your parenting again

My Breakdown (I was in tears writing this)

“Nobody knows…..nobody knows but me that I sometimes cry. If I could pretend that I’m asleep when my tears start to fall. I peek out from behind these walls…I think nobody knows…..nobody knows, no….”
Pink

Every day, I put on the facade. My friends didn’t know. My husband sometimes knew. And to everyone else, I was easy-going, happy, friendly and coping well with my two toddlers only 16 months apart. To everyone else, I loved being a mum and had it all under control.

But inside was a war zone – with myself.

It was an endless cycle of loving motherhood, hating motherhood, being tired, pissed off, flipping out in anger, feeling guilty and hating myself. I threw things, screamed, swore, then would see the scared looks on my toddlers’ faces and then fall to my knees in a heap, devastated at the mother I had become.

I felt like I was everything I swore I would never be as a parent and felt I was failing miserably.

But there was no way anyone was ever going to know that. I was the achiever. I got things right! I was SUPPOSED to be a good mother. How could I tell anyone that I had failed? How could I even admit that to myself?

So I sat there and suffered day in and day out until finally, after getting so angry, I slammed a knife on the bench so hard in anger, that it bounced off and narrowly missed my (then) two-year old’s head, I finally realised enough was enough. I had to change, so I dedicated my life to doing exactly that!

After retraining myself to completely change the way I felt about parenthood, I began to educate other parents that YOU ARE NOT ALONE and you don’t have to go through this feeling alone.

You can turn all this around and I want to help you to do so. I don’t want anyone to feel the way that I did.

I want you to know that there are so many parents feeling the same way that you do, the way that I did, and I don’t want you to ever feel ashamed for what’s happening for you right now.

You are not a bad parent. You are a parent who just needs a shift in their mindset, an education in self-worth. A parent who is just receiving a wake-up call for their personal development.

On the other side of this you are a confident, happier, calmer and reality-focused parent who is able to share your new found wisdom with your children and help them avoid depression and anxiety in their futures.

This is, undoubtedly, the hidden good in all this. So when will it be time to learn how to change? Today. Don’t leave it any longer. You can do this.

Showing you the way…

Jackie

To find out how we can help you, head over to our Bring My Family Calm Program that will help you to turn it all around.

Luckily, My Friend Didn’t Get Offended…

A little while ago now a friend of mine made a comment about a mother who would often be quite vocal at school carnivals, hollering out to her children and yelling out encouragements in a more-than-usual emphatic way.

My friend voiced her concern that the children would be very embarrassed by their mum and she felt bad for them.

I questioned myself, as to whether I should say anything to my friend, but decided to anyway, braving potentially getting shunned for my response in lieu of giving some valuable insight into the statement. Thankfully, she’s used to me and didn’t get offended.

My response was that although the children may be embarrassed and possibly even pressured to perform (something we don’t really know though), that child would also get some very valuable lessons in commitment, determination, working hard and getting results from working hard. Attributes that would serve them well in life, as well as feeling supported and encouraged by their mother.

So while (and we’re still assuming here) that child may have experienced something ’embarrassing’ or unwanted because of the mum, there was also some enormous value that came from that child’s experience with that mum – the hidden good in the bad (not that it was really bad).

This is a valuable lesson for all of us when trying to be more than enough for our children. We will be ourselves in the best way we know how, in the place where we are in our personal development (we’re still sifting through and growing from our childhoods to become better people).

Your child will, without a doubt, learn things from you or experience things with you that will cause them or lead them to struggles, challenges and hardships at some other point in their life and their experiences of you will also lead them to some awesome things too (the highs).

Everyone experiences highs and lows. I’ve seen ‘perfect’ families (whatever that is) who still have children that get depressed because they believe that perfection is the right life and don’t know how to deal with challenges.

The reality is you cannot get your child’s life right!  And that’s because it can’t go wrong! Life is just a unique story we all have, full of highs and lows and lessons that come from BOTH ends of the spectrum.

Your job is to contribute to your child’s life and you will do that in the best way you can, with the information you have. You are always teaching your children about life, even when you are behaving in a way that you wish you didn’t.

If you feel you want to improve your parenting skills, do it! This will still lead to your child having experiences that will both serve them and challenge them. But that’s what life’s about. Everything has value!

You are good enough for your child RIGHT NOW!

Jackie

"It takes a village to raise a child"

The PSC's 'Bring My Family Calm' Membership invites you to that village

Never feel alone or stressed in your parenting again

Is This Harder Than It Needs To Be?

The other day I was observing a 2-year-old who stopped at a vending machine with curiosity and watched his mother’s reaction to him.

She spent at least 2-3 minutes trying to coerce him into continuing on, getting more annoyed and starting up on the threats. She didn’t get angry, to her credit, but she was taking quite a bit of time to get him to co-operate, to no avail.

I resonated with this incident from over the years, but found myself wondering (which was easy to from my objective position of observation, rather than being in it), do we really make this harder than it needs to be?

Reality:  The boy was inquisitive and found it amazing that there were buttons to press.

What if the mother had recognised what the boy wanted, walked back to the vending machine and shared his fascination, “It’s so cool isn’t it?” I wonder what would happen if we pressed the button?  [get him to press button].  Uh-oh, nothing happened, but that was fun wasn’t it?  Oh well, let’s keep moving on and see what other fascinating things we can find.”

Would this have moved him along quicker without the fight?  Would it have empowered him and made him feel like his wants/needs were important?

Are we unnecessarily trying to get our way, when acknowledging what our child wants and ‘negotiating’ with them gets us what we want quicker and leaves us with less fights and happier children / parents?

Food for thought…

Jackie

"It takes a village to raise a child"

The PSC's 'Bring My Family Calm' Membership invites you to that village

Never feel alone or stressed in your parenting again

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