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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

EVERYTHING is going so shit at the moment!

“Why are they ALWAYS whingeing? They NEVER give me any time out. I NEVER get anything done around here. They’re ALWAYS needing me for something. I’m so sick of dealing with this DAY IN, DAY OUT. Why can’t they just do as they’re told. They NEVER listen to me. NOBODY gives two shits about what I want. I’ve had enough! I can’t do this anymore. I’m tired. Clearly I’m doing something wrong. NOBODY ELSE feels this way. EVERYONE ELSE seems to manage, but not me! I’m hopeless.  Why can’t I get this right. What’s wrong with me? I’m such a failure. I hate my life!”

This used to be a regular conversation that would roll around in my head. Needless to say I would feel pretty crappy looking at my life from this perspective too.

See how I started with one little event and how quickly this little event escalated into meaning something about my whole life!!!

Here’s how I would respond to myself now:

“Really Jackie? ALWAYS. NEVER. NOBODY. EVERYONE ELSE. DAY IN. DAY OUT. These words are making this situation mean something about your whole life, but it’s not really that way is it?

  • The kids do listen to me sometimes. It’s just that they’re not listening right now. 
  • I do get things done around here, I’m just getting frustrated with all the demands, in THIS moment.
  • My family does care about me, but perhaps I’m feeling a bit run down and I need to make some time for myself.  When was the last time you actually planned that time out? Have you specifically asked for some support for yourself? You have to be your own hero, don’t just expect others to know what you want.
  • Not every day is like this. This is just a full on day today. Sometimes we have awesome days where I’ve had enough sleep, the kids are happy and I really enjoy being a mum.
  • EVERYONE! Really Jackie? What proof do you have that EVERYONE is managing, but you? Are you in their heads? The reality is that everyone has challenges and many parents feel the same as you. There’s nothing wrong with you. This is just a tough day.  Other people have challenges and difficulties too. It’s part of life. Even if they aren’t challenged in parenting, they’ll just have challenges in other areas, because that’s how we learn and grow.

You are NOT a failure. So what is the problem that you need to deal with right now and what is the solution?

All stress is a conflict between belief and reality!  Be mindful that your internal conversations are not ‘catastrophising’ a situation that in reality, is just one event in your life that will come and go.

What you’re experiencing right now is NOT a reflection of the rest of your day (or your life for that matter!)

Look at the whole picture…

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

Are You Part Of The Problem With Your Child?

 

The reality of any relationship is that two individuals, with two individual belief systems are integrating together to create a result. That result becomes the dynamic between you and the other person.

So when you look at the dynamic between your child and you, BOTH of you have contributed to the current reality of what you’re experiencing.

If you’re looking to solve a problem you’re having with your child, not only do you need to look at their behaviour, you may also have to look at your own.

Ask yourself some of these questions:

  • How did this behaviour begin? Did you say anything when it first started? Did you let them get away with it?  Were there any consequences for their behaviour when it first began?
  • Are you always trying to be right without allowing them to have an opinion or a voice?
  • How are you reacting to their behaviour?  Are you treating them the way you want to be treated?
  • What is their/your payoff for behaving this way over and over again? What do they get from it? Every human being operates with a ‘what in it for me’ factor – how do I pursue pleasure (get something to feel good) or avoid pain (avoid something bad)? So what’s going on for both of you behind the behaviour?
  • Do you give in when the going gets tough, teaching your child that all they have to do is up the anti and they’ll get their own way?

The reality is that BOTH of you will be contributing to the problem, but someone has to break the pattern between you.

So how can you break the cycle?  If you stop playing the game, the dynamic HAS to change!

Stopping the trend…

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

Government Website Keeps Solutions Flowing

I’m a big advocate of reality parenting so I love it when I find some reality-based strategies for dealing with child behaviour.

The Parental Stress Centre focuses specifically on the ‘thinking’ behind yours and your child’s behaviour, which is what fundamentally causes stress, and how we can teach our children a reality-based perspective of life.

That said, we also still need to deal with the behaviour itself, and I have come across a FANTASTIC government website (so this isn’t a plug that earns me any dollars), that deals with the reality of your child’s development and solutions do deal with their developmental stages.

Whether your child is newborn, about to leave the next, or anything in between, I absolutely LOVE this website for giving you a reality-based understanding of what’s likely to be going on for your child and how to deal with it.

Check it out:  www.raisingchildren.net.au 

Find Solutions, not problems!

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

Why Your Child’s Emotions Won’t Be Rational

“Your child’s behaviour is not rational….”
Quote from a website (can’t remember where, sorry)

I read this quote in an article on child behaviour and I remember thinking, “That is so true!”

Before the age of about 5/6 years of age, all the information our child is getting is going straight into the subconscious for processing, catogerising and understanding life. They are creating filters to enable them to interpret life. Basically, they’re trying to figure out how life even works.

Children need to create these filters before they can learn to get to the point of being able to judge, reason and use logic to determine their responses (behaviour).

Your child’s behaviour won’t be rational because rationale is a function of the conscious brain, and before the age of 5/6 years of age, that ability hasn’t even really come into full swing.

We need to be patient with the reality of where our child’s behaviour is at and stop expecting them to live through our 20/30/40 something years of logic and reasoning skills (heck, even we aren’t entirely logical about our reactions – drinking, smoking, chocolate habits…ring any bells?)

Keeping it real.

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

When Will It Be Time To Change?

“Meanwhile, life keeps moving forward. The truth is, there’s no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when?”
Richard Carlson

Time is slipping away. How long are you going to leave it until you make a conscious effort to change how you feel about parenting?

One day, you’re going to wake up and they’ll have grown older. Perhaps you’ll reflect back on their younger days and wish you were calmer, happier, less stressed and that you seized the day and enjoyed them more.

Why wait to look back in despair? MAKE IT HAPPEN TODAY!

Be the parent you want to be today.

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