Creative Parenting Wins Cooperation Pt. 3
Most parents I coach have never learned that their own thoughts get in the way of solving problems with their kids. Here is how you can shift your thinking and teach kids how to think about and solve challenges. Remember that discipline means to teach.
To problem solve and gain cooperation with our kids, we need to be open to and respectful of their perspective.
Feelings of frustration, helplessness, or hopelessness are often indications of inflexible parental thinking.
Inflexible thoughts include:
- You’re doing this to annoy me.
- You’re trying to drive me crazy.
- You never listen.
- You’re so stubborn (lazy, inconsiderate, selfish, etc. )
- If you followed my advice you wouldn’t have this problem.
- Why can’t you be nicer to your sister?
- Don’t talk to me that way.
Each of these thoughts and resulting actions makes the parent right and the child wrong. This approach instantly shuts down the problem solving process. The hopeless feeling that the situation will never change is due to this inflexible perspective. It can be changed.
First, become aware of your inflexible thinking and then consciously choose flexible thinking.
Here are examples of parental thinking that will lead to creatively solving problems together.
Maybe I need to stop and listen closely.
- He isn’t really trying to do this to me. He’s just trying to cope.
- I need to speak in a way so I will be heard and receive a respectful response.
- Labeling hurts my child. She may be stuck or suffering. What kind of help will she accept from me?
- I need to support my child’s problem solving process.
- Her mean behavior probably means she is feeling bad inside.
- I wonder if my child is talking to me the way I talk to him. I better look into this.
When parents approach problems from creativity rather than control, they demonstrate great strength of character for their children. Your relationship with your children will become mutually respectful and beneficial for all family members. The family will then be a haven where children learn and thrive.
© 2013 Cynthia Klein, bridges 2 understanding, Cynthia Klein has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She works with parents and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between parents and children of all ages. Cynthia is a speaker, private parenting coach and author. She is a member of the National Speakers Association. Contact Cynthia at bridges 2 understanding, bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com or call 650. 341.0779.