Welcome to Week 03 of the Mini-Family-Makeover, brought to you by Mums Lounge and Parent Wellbeing.
Last week, we talked about the 3 things your kids really need from you. Having these broad principles really helps to focus on what’s important…and not worry about what isn’t important. Thanks again to everyone for sharing your thoughts on boundaries. It isn’t always easy, but it is worth it!
This week, in our final week, we’re talking about the truth about your child’s behaviour.
Many parents who have completed our Parent Manifesto program say this is one of the most important pieces of information they’ve learnt.
It goes something like this…
￼There is one very important point about parenting that helps you to manage the most challenging of your kids’ behaviour…
It is not them, it’s you.
No, it’s not a typo! It is definitely one of the more provocative ideas in my parenting philosophy, but let me explain.
When it comes to raising our kids, we experience many challenges – challenging behaviours from our kids, and challenging emotions within ourselves.
How we handle the situation says more about us than it does about the situation or our children.
Let’s say your child isn’t doing as you’ve asked, and you become angry and frustrated. You have a choice about how you respond.
If your child isn’t doing what you’ve asked, and you get caught up in thinking, “My child never listens! I’ve asked him a million times! I’m sick of this!” You’re likely to feel angry and frustrated…which can lead to yelling.
If you let those thoughts go or if you focus instead on thoughts such as, “My child is in the middle of something. I will go over and repeat my request and give him a warning. If he still doesn’t listen, I will follow through.” You are more likely to remain calm but determined.
The situation is the same but you respond differently. We can guide, influence and teach others, including our children, but we cannot control them. We can only control ourselves.
It isn’t about blame or who caused what behaviour. It’s about how you want to behave.
If you’re not happy with the way you interact with your child, don’t expect your child to change. Instead, try changing yourself.
We’ve probably all had moments when we’ve stayed the calm, confident parent we
would always like to be, and other times when we haven’t. Even though it might not always feel like it, we have some choice in the situation.
3 reasons why this helps
1. You have the power
We can often feel powerless when our children are misbehaving. We don’t know what to do to make them behave differently.
￼But when you focus on what you can control – that is yourself – you actually feel more power in the situation. You decide how you would like to behave and you no longer feel powerless.
2. You lead the way
Our kids aren’t always listening to us but they are watching us. You are a role model for your children. When you behave well in a situation with your child, they learn what is appropriate behaviour. And you feel so much better about yourself.
3. You set the tone
Yelling plus yelling often equals more yelling. But yelling plus calm often leads to calm. When you stay calm but firm, you are in a better position to calm your child and encourage their cooperation. Most of the time, yelling gets us nowhere.
What do you think about this idea? Do you have an example of when you have stayed calm and other times when you’ve lost it? What has been the difference?
Tell us below.
So how do we create lasting change?
It is possible! I teach parents a step by step process that involves:
1. Deciding what your values are – Thinking about that bigger picture so you can be the loving, confident and consistent parent you want to be
2. Developing a plan for how to deal with any parenting problem – So you can live out your values
3. Learning wellbeing practices – That keep you and your kids emotionally fit and healthy You are already well on your way because you have:
1. Acknowledged where you want to be – That was Week 01 of the Mini-Family-Makeover 2. Understood what your kids really need from you – That was Week 02
3. Understood what role you can play in a better family – We’ve just talked about that!
If you’d like to learn more, our next Parent Manifesto program is beginning very soon. We’d love you to join us!
Thank you to everyone for participating in our ‘Mini-Family-Makeover’! It has been fantastic to hear your comments and share the experience.
If you have any further questions or comments, please let me know below.
Otherwise, thank you again…and best wishes to you and your family!
Jodie is the creator of the Parent Manifesto online parenting program, and the author of four parenting books including the highly acclaimed Full Belly: Comfort and inspiration for pregnancy and birth, Little Bundle: Comfort and inspiration for new parents, and The Parent Manifesto: How to create a parenting approach that’s perfect for your family.
She has been featured on national TV, newspapers Australia wide, on ABC and commercial radio, and in all the top parenting magazines, and is a regular on The Morning Show on Channel 7.
She is Affiliate Lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Adelaide, and is Editorial Advisor for Family Fun Magazine. She is also mum to two young children.
Unlike many parenting ‘experts’, Jodie doesn’t try to show you the ‘right way’ to raise your kids. Instead, she believes in a few key principles that can be easily adapted to each family, to create the approach that’s right for you.