You might have noticed while reading my other articles, that I love talking about how to make changes so you can succeed as a parent. Many people will give you suggestions for new parenting strategies to try. This is helpful information however, I find that people have a hard time keeping up with the new strategies unless the foundation of why they made their ineffective parenting choices in the first place is examined.
Whenever I coach a client I have them review what changes they have experienced in their family and why. They often start out with “I don’t know why. It just seems better.” In order to know what to continue doing so it doesn’t feel like your child’s improved behavior is a fluke, we need to look under the hood This means understanding what changes you made that brought about a different response from your kids. Knowledge and repeated successful actions turn into confidence that what you are doing is working.
Let’s review a common problem:
My child always argues with me and wants their own way. They don’t listen to what I say.
It’s very common to see this problem from the view that the child needs to change. They need to stop arguing and instead listen and follow directions. This perspective leads you to want answers on what you can do to your child to get them to change. How do you control them?
This will lead you to use controlling, or punishment, strategies to try and get compliance. For example:
- Threats… If you don’t……then ……will happen to you.
- Bribes…..If you do what I tell you then I’ll take you out for ice cream.
- Taking things away……Since you are on the cell phone rather than doing your chores, I’m taking away the phone.
This controlling approach actually gives up your parenting power. Did you know that? Instead, I encourage you to shift your perspective to how can we work together to solve this problem. Your child or teen then becomes part of the solution, not just the problem.
Another piece of the puzzle is to think about the definition of arguing since your complaint is that your child argues with you. Here is a definition of arguing: To give reasons or cite evidence in support of an idea, action, or theory, typically with the aim of persuading others to share one’s view. What I find happens is that probably both you and your child/teen are arguing. You are at an impasse because you are both trying to convince the other to agree with you. This oppositional approach continues the conflict with anger and frustration being vented.
What if you said, “we seem to see this problem from different perspectives. Let’s see what kind of solution we can come up with so we both get more of what we want.” This becomes a collaborative problem that will build greater connection and unity when you solve it together. Your power is NOT in controlling them. Your power is in GUIDING your children to learn how to collaborate with others. That is an essential life skill.
I hope you are getting excited about stepping away from controlling to more collaboration and seeing what amazing solutions you can up with together.
Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to download “The 7 Most Common Phrases Parents Say That Stop Kids From Listening”! You’ll also receive my weekly emails where you will learn how to transform annoying conflict into loving cooperation in your home.
Cynthia is available for private coaching sessions so you can quickly get the answers you need and make those much need changes right away. Click HERE for a complimentary 45-minute Fast-Track Clarity Session to learn what you can do now to create more harmony in your home.