Over the last 15 years I’ve been working with parents and kids to help calm their households. My goal is to reduce parent and child stress so that ultimately, both can enjoy those early years and also to enjoy the adolescent years; rather than to wish them away.
The problem is that most people think that to have a workable, calm household, that they need to exert either total parental control over the kids or to be child centred (sometimes people think this means that they have no control or they think this means that they have to let the child decide). Both these approaches can cause Mahem!
Where is the happy medium? These two approaches are at the opposite ends of the parenting spectrum. Both cause what I call accidental reinforcement of unwanted or challenging behaviour. This means that through the use of a parenting strategy that we think will help, we accidently make sure that we get the same unwanted response next time, from our toddler, our child or our adolescent or indeed our adult child!
This often causes massive angst for both parents and kids. We have anxiety, they have anxiety. We are angry, they are angry. Sound familiar? I get it! We go around and around in a vicious circle, yelling, screaming, fighting. The tone in our home is stressful, not peaceful.
Does this sound like you and your family?
The answer is understanding three pillars of parenting success.
1. Tell them what you expect. Ask for what you want. Kids need to know what you want, what are the expectations on them?
2. Model kindness, love and unconditional regard for your child.
3. Love is love and behaviour is behaviour.
Have a lovely evening.