Parenting is an opportunity for personal growth. Self reflection helps us be gentle with ourselves and forgiving. When your children “misbehave” they still love you. Please do not equate love with obedience.
Children coming into our world love when loved yet they do not necessarily believe that pleasing their parents is a form of love. Those of you who have children who are “pleasers” are not reading this email to get help about them. You are probably reading to get help with the more independent and challenging child. A child is often considered challenging because we can’t control them.
Tonight I was coaching a mom during her 20 minute complementary coaching session. What she said inspired this article. “My son (5 years-old) needs to do what I say. My son needs to know I am the authority.” This overt belief that your child is in the world to be obedient will not sit well with most children.
I’m sure that this loving and concerned mom wants her son to be safe and happy. I believe that too often we equal love to obedience. “If my child, husband, son, etc. really loved me, they would do what I want them to do.” May I offer a different perspective? Love has no strings attached. Love is to be given freely without guilt, shame, and expectations.
Think about this. When your child is not obeying you, do you unconsciously feel hurt because you feel unloved by their behavior? Do you think that your child wouldn’t make you upset if they really loved you? Do you feel unworthy as a parent and take their reach for independent thought as an attack against you?
If so, your emotional triggers could make it especially difficult for you to use conscious based discipline. These thoughts may be one reason why you resort to control tactics such as time outs, taking toys away and threats. Rules and expectations are very important. Our beliefs behind our actions will determine whether we follow the road of positive discipline or of negative punishments and rewards.
I’m providing the thought provoking questions. Only you know the answer.s. Let me know if I can help you reveal your answers and lead you on the path to creating a home based on positive discipline. Private parenting coaching is the fastest way to improving your family interactions. Contact me for support.
©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, webinars, and private parent 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. Contact Cynthia at bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com, cynthia@bridges2understanding,com, or 650. 341.0779 to learn more about creating the relationship you want with your children.