Most of us experienced disrespectful parenting when we were raised. That seems to be our default strategy. Often parents tell me how upset they get with themselves when they yell, pull their child, or threaten them. The frustration gets overwhelming and they lose it.
When we are about to lose it, this means we have lost connection with our child. We get so enmeshed with what we want done or not done, that our child no longer feels our love and connection.
When our child feels emotionally disconnected, they can no longer think right. It doesn’t matter “how many times you have told them,” your words can’t sink in. They can’t cooperate. The overwhelmed limbic system has shut down flexible thinking in the prefrontal cortex. They become inflexible and stuck.
When this happens; STOP. You are no longer trying to find respectful ways of getting cooperation.
Try saying, “This isn’t working. We need to …… or you need to ……. and it isn’t happening. What can we do together to work this out? ” Just asking your child for help changes the connection. Your child now feels heard and valued and connected. Your child feels a part of the solution, not just the problem.
You can learn new language patterns to replace your old and ineffective patterns. This is a major part of my parent education webinars, talks and private coaching. My goal is to teach you how to talk so your children will listen and cooperate more because of your respectful language.
©2013 Cynthia Klein has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She works with dads, moms 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 magazine Parenting on the Peninsula. Contact Cynthia at bridges 2 understanding, bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com or call 650. 341.0779.