Tag Archives for " toddlers "

Kids Are An Interruption To My Life. Ouch!

One day, my children were mucking around. My husband was working away at the time and I was trying to get them into bed.

They were laughing and giggling and jumping about. At first I was playing along, but then I wanted them to settle down. I had a lot of work to do when they went to sleep and my focus was on doing that. I’d had enough of the play. It was time to sleep and I was attached to the picture of them calming down.

However, they weren’t playing the game and kept mucking around (as children do). My blood started boiling as the conversation in my head started to roll around in “they’re not listening to me”…I just want them to stop….”They need to go to bed NOW”….blah, blah, blah.

It escalated until I came to breaking point and shouted at them in my clenched-teeth way when I lose control. They instantly quietened down and went to bed, but I felt awful! That’s not the way to end the day. However I’d done it and I couldn’t take it back.

Knowing what I know in regards to the teachings of The Parental Stress Centre, I knew I needed to find the core belief that drove my anger to begin with. What was really going on to make me react this way? Was there any pattern to my thinking that causes me to react like this in other times?

I got to journaling, like I get my course participants to do when we’re trying to establish the beliefs behind our emotions, and after a while of looking at my ‘story’ behind my anger, it hit me. My core belief was:

“My children are an interruption to my life!”

WTF, are you serious? I couldn’t believe this is what I had thought. How terrible that was to think that way. But there it was right there on the page, and I knew that’s what I believed, because I felt it to the point of tears stinging the back of my eyes.

Oh dear, that was one belief I definitely needed to upgrade. I didn’t want my kids to feel like they were interrupting my life.

So here’s the upgrade:

Nothing can interrupt your life. Every experience IS your life. It’s just one event giving way to the next. There is no event that is more important than another. Everything is valuable. My children were in the moment, something I need to do more of. Parenting is a part of my life experience, too and I need to embrace every moment with my kids because, just like every other moment in life, it will rise and pass away. They will grow up, leave the nest and I will move onto other activities. My children are not an interruption to my life. They ARE my life, and a big part of it. Enjoy the moments while they’re here.

Change what you think about and what you think about changes…

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

Why Your Kids Disrespect You (Part A)

I wish I had a dollar for every time a parent said to me “Why doesn’t my child respect me?”, so I thought I would dedicate the next couple of days to understanding some of the reasons why they don’t and how you can change them.

Here are three reasons why your child might disrespect you:

  1. They don’t know how to respect! I know that sounds really funny, but often our children don’t know what respect is or how to show it, particularly if you have not had anyone specifically show them.Often, we are so busy complaining about what they’re NOT doing, that we aren’t showing them what we do want them to do. We just keep saying things like, “You don’t respect me,”  “You’re speaking rudely to me,” “Don’t speak to me like that.” But nowhere in there are you telling them what you want them to do. We expect it to be obvious, but the reality is, it may not be.
  2. Do you deserve their respect? Whoa, I know that’s a confronting question, however, a valid one. Just because you do things for your children, does not mean they will automatically respect you. Respect has to be learnt and earned – often being earned because of the way you are treating them. Respect is a two-way street so sometimes that means taking a good look at your own behaviour.How is your treatment towards them? Are you treating them with respect? Are you recognising and validating their thoughts, opinions, suggestions and wants and needs as a result or are you just demanding they treat you nicely and obey your rules regardless of how you are treating them?

    The thing is, you can go down that road, but you won’t be getting respect. You’ll be getting compliance and a child who obeys you.

  3. You teach people how to treat you! There are several ways we can unconsciously allow our children to disrespect us and then wonder why we do. Here is a few of them.
  • You ignore them when they speak rudely to you, or there are no consequences. You merely say “We don’t speak to each other like that” and then go on your way, issuing no motivational reasons why they shouldn’t speak to them that way.
  • You think that you have to do everything for them and you have your self-worth on them needing you, so you worry that if you take that away from them they won’t love you as much, thus you don’t want to issue consequences. This also goes hand in hand with “I don’t want to see them unhappy”. The reality is that pain is how we learn. I don’t mean you should go around inflicting physical pain on your kids, but I mean the pain of not getting what we want can often teach us how to get what we want.
  • You don’t feel worthy of respect and therefore are used to people treating you poorly, thus your kids follow suit and you don’t think of doing something to change that. It has become the norm that people treat you like that. (They may even be following suit with how someone else in the family treats you and is copying them).

If you can’t relate to any of the above reasons why you are being disrespected, I urge you to think about how it got set up for your child to treat you this way. What was your contribution to it? What is your reaction to it? What might be going on for them to make them want to treat you this way? Is there another issue going on for them that might be resulting in you being the punching bag.

The bottom line is that if disrespect is a problem in your home, that is your reality right now. It’s time to figure out why, so we can then work out what to do about it.

More on this in the Part B – Eliminating Disrespect

"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

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

How to get my two year old to sit still

Parent: How can I get a 2 yr old to sit and eat his dinner

Jackie Hall: This is a tough one because the reality is that you may not be able to.

At this age, she doesn’t understand enough to know why she needs to sit still and you may be at the mercy of repeating the instruction over and over until she gets it.

If she is continually getting up from the table, keep bringing her back and reinforcing the rule that you have to sit at the table. Model the behaviour and show her that the rest of the family is doing it too. Try to find a reason why your 2 year old would WANT to stay up at the table, perhaps by making it fun or funny to be at the table.

I know it’s difficult, but she is at a learning stage and sometimes we have to battle with our adult minds which thinks our children should know what to do and how to do, because that’s what we would do.

But we’ve had years of practicing these skills. They are still learning how to DO life.

Just keep repeating to yourself, “This too, shall pass.”

"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