So often parents read parenting books that have great ideas of how to act differently and solve parenting issues. One challenge though, is that in order to permanently change your actions, you need to change your thinking that triggers the undesirable actions.
Parents often say, “I tried the new way and it doesn’t work.” Before throwing out the new idea, evaluate how your thinking needs to change first. Often we get stuck with inflexible thinking that takes us back to old habits. Try to force more flexible thinking so you’ll be open to change.
Here are some examples of how to shift inflexible to flexible thinking.
Inflexible Thinking Statements
Flexible Thinking Statements
|You’re doing this to annoy me.
|Maybe I need to stop and listen closely.
|You’re trying to drive me crazy.
|He isn’t really trying to do this to me. He is just trying to cope.
|You’re taking advantage of me.
|Have I been clear on my own boundaries and acted accordingly?
|You never listen.
|I need to speak in a way so I will feel heard and get a respectful response.
|How dare you talk to me that way.
|What’s going on behind those hurtful words?
|This is manipulation.
|I have control of what I say or do.
|You’re getting out of control.
|I need to change my approach.
Rather than trying to change our kids, change ourselves first. This is where the real power lies. Are you willing to be the one to change?
©2013 Cynthia Klein, Bridges 2 Understanding, has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She works with parents and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children of all ages. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking and private parenting coaching sessions. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and writes the Middle School Mom column for the Parenting on the Peninsula magazine. She works with parents of 4 – 25 year-old children. Contact Cynthia at bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com, cynthia@bridges2understanding,com, or 650. 679.8138 to learn more about creating the relationship you want with your children.