Children are Punishing… A Youth Worker’s Complete Parenting Strategy
Wow, Looking back I’ve been working with Children a looong time!
At first it wasn’t as obvious, I was working with adults as well in disability work. Having a number of non-verbal clients was a blessing, this taught me to listen closely to people’s body language, to learn how each person communicates and read their needs.
After a number of years I was working in a gym, teaching children’s class. This is where I learnt the different ways people learn, and taught me to structure classes. Which I also did teaching classes in primary schools during that time.
Eventually, I ended up working with the children in care, emotionally supporting them and helping them stay on track in class. I also got to write and deliver group classes, usually teaching life skills or resilience and anti-bullying.
Moving into the high schools I got to do more of the same, also floating from class to class for check ins with the students. This is where I really learnt to focus and discipline children. A lot of the children I had worked with in the primary-school moved over into the high-school! So I was able to see what was working with new students and what success was from the previous work.
Now, having a step daughter, I have truly pressure tested the ideas and skills I picked up during my career! Some of these tools only worked short term and had to be scrapped, others needed a little tweaking. Here’s a full rundown of what’s working for me as I tackle parenting in this modern age.
Who likes having someone come storming up and unloading on them all the time?
Not many I would bet. But we can fall into this with our children pretty easily!
One too many times slamming the door, dish washer not cleaned again, homework ‘forgotten’ for the third day in a row… it can be easy to forget how many times we have tried to correct our child in the past half hour!
As frustrating as these things are, and all the rest of it, we would do well to just relax a bit. Let some things slide, try and flip the script.
Encouraging our children when they do well is a MUCH more effective approach.
Just think about it,
We are noticing the good (so we are remembering positive interactions with our child)
We are praising the good (so our children are feeling good about the interaction)
We are encouraging the behaviour to repeat (because our children feel those happy feelings and naturally want them more)
Our children are still learning (and they are remembering what to do, not what not to do…)
This means that our children are left thinking do this, instead of don’t do this (we all become what we focus on, give them the correct focus 😉 )
If this wasn’t convincing enough, remember that a lot of children play up for attention.
With these children punishing and nagging are as valid as the positive reactions, both give them what they want. So why not keep it positive. Better yet, by ignoring the negatives completely (where possible, with no reactions) we are taking some of the power away from this tactic.
Backing off gives any of our frustrations a chance to dissipate, it also gives us a chance to slow down and think clearly.
While first watching my partner and our daughter, there was a weird tension, almost like a dancing going on every time there was an expectation. Our daughter would argue back, throw out a suggestion, and usually get what she wanted. My partner would start strong, saying no a second time, but would then usually either get annoyed and go to far (risking the relationship) or give up (and almost sulk, not interacting with our daughter much until she felt better.)
Over time she is learning to slow down, to not get into the emotional states, and to watch out for the crafty little power plays (and being a teenage girl there’s a lot of them!…)
When these situations pop up for me, even if a situation is just bothering me, I will slow down, say less, and remove myself as soon as possible. While taking my time away I will google the problem, read some solutions, try to figure out where I am wrong, and where the problem was my fault. Then I’ll make sure I’m calm, and return to the person to discuss what happened.
I find the more I do this, the closer and easier all of my relationships become. Doing these things also gives the other person full license to speak their mind, making it possible to clear up any of the confusion and hurt feelings caught in the middle.
Give it a go!
The other thing I’ll do to overcome big problem is to consider my options, then discuss them.
Decide & Discuss
When it comes to discussing our parenting ideas there are a few really good places we can go. First call should always be to any of our co-parents. As long as there is a good relationship, start there. Then we have our parents, family and friends, even people without children can have ideas, and at a minimum listen (which gives us a chance to get our thoughts straight). As well as a search, when it comes to the internet there are groups and question and answer sites filled with great responses. The biggest issue here is the time it takes to wade through it all, as well as the experience of the person writing. Another option is courses and coaches. Again, as long as there is experience, this can be a great option for fast success.
When discussing our options we want to get our emotions out of the way first. We may find that we are still feeling very strongly about the topic when we bring it up, I’ve even had this happen with my daughter! When we feel our frustrations rising up, like in the first section, we need to slow down. Ask ourselves “who are we talking to right now? Can we just vent? Is there any reason to hold this in right now?” If it’s the child, bail. Go and regroup, then try again when you’re calm. If this is someone you trust that will understand your context, go for it. Get it ALL out.
Once we are calm again, we can listen to the advice offered, and being to plan our way out. This is time for being creative, we don’t want to shut down ideas. In fact, the crazier the better. This is time for “park the car on the moon to save on parking at work” type ideas. By leaving nothing off limits we are freeing our minds to do what they do, think up some solutions!
As fun as thinking up how to ride a dinosaur to work next Wednesday is, at some point we need to get practical. We have to dig down and write a plan down.
Once you have a plan, write down some ways that you could go above and beyond! It could be planning in outings and rewards, maybe a trip to a theme park a few months after you bring in a new routine (and it goes well), better yet… ask your child! Talk with them about the ideas you have, and let them give you feedback and ideas. This is called buy in, and helps to keep our children focused on the tasks over time. Because they become a part of the creation process (even if it is only for boundaries and routines in the home), and should feel some ownership of the new changes. We should also remind them that any boundaries and routines can change. We could move times around, change orders, and when it comes to boundaries, that’s on our children. As they show competence in one area, we allow them more freedom, more room to grow and move and make mistakes in that area of life.
For more on how I brought this practice in, and decided which issues to address, check out How I’ve Disciplined A 14-Year-Old Girl
– Follow Up
During the time we were changing things in the home, nothing was working.
We would seem to have one thing under control, and 7 more would seem to pop up. If lying stopped, maybe attitude would start. We would straighten out the attitude, and the lying would just start again, along with not eating or messing up the routine. At first it all seemed so random, how was this happening?!
I was working a residential care job, and living a bit away when it finally clicked. Some of the routines we set for ourselves weren’t happening consistently. We had created morning and night routines, and had been setting boundaries around the behaviours we needed to change. Those nights I was at work a lot of these were just being ignored, and our daughter was able to argue her way out of a lot of things, or play on our sympathy and doubts. Because of this, my partner wouldn’t enforce many things while I was away. To this day we are still trying to correct that, and we noticed that she had little authority in the home. In an attempt to even this back out we are spending lots of time tactically with our daughter, and building their relationship back up. The element missing was respect, and that is best built back with consistency.
To be consistent is to do something in the same way, over time, remaining unbiased and acting with integrity. Consistency resists the urge to say “I’m tired” “I’ll do it tomorrow” or “next time.” Like a shot of adrenaline, consistency is it’s own energy, it’s own life force. When we are consistent, a lot of our decisions are easy, our minds are already made up. We can switch into auto pilot, resting our minds a little bit.
One of the latest places I’ve done this is with my coffee and tea bags. Recently I decided I wanted a worm farm again for compost. So I got a bucket for scraps outside and began saving our veggie scraps. Then it hit me, my coffee bags have nice grounds in them, perfect to add to the compost!
Now, almost every time I finish my hot drinks, I will automatically got to the sink, wash the bags out, and walk them out to the bucket. What’s more is, adding this habit in has seemed to change my consistency in other tasks, specifically ones I don’t particularly feel like doing. Continually catching myself cleaning off dishes, rinsing plates and cups, cleaning the floor, actually cleaning up messes when I make them… and I put it all down to the compost habit. The correct habits can change massive parts of our character!
In our parenting, as I mentioned earlier, this is even more important. Not only will we get a huge confidence boost when we start seeing the differences in ourselves, but we also begin to win that respect back in our children’s eyes.
Consistency tells children that they are safe and secure, it shows that the boundaries and expectations won’t move much, and our reactions should be fairly stable. When we are hit and miss with our expectations and boundaries it is like when children are neglected. Most of the children I have worked with that have any type of neglect around food will raid the cupboards and eat everything they can. They have learnt that food is inconsistent, so they better get it while they can. Inconsistencies in our parenting can have this same type of effect. Like my family, it could cause people to walk on eggshells. Or it could drive a wedge into the relationship.
The only way to avoid this is to continue to grow, and we can’t teach what we don’t know.
If we are having relationship problems, how can we fix a relationship?
If it’s discipline, how do we do anything differently?
When it comes to routines, where do we even start?
Just like deciding on what to do, when we are teaching our children new life skills we are going to need to do some work and research. By telling our children to do one thing, while doing the opposite we are going to confuse them. Now, I’m not (just) saying children are stupid… I’m saying that because they are so young, they don’t have as much life experience. There isn’t as many things in their mind, less memories and experiences, to draw on and think with. When we are making our decisions, we are processing through all of the similar times we have had this decision, and weighing up the outcomes we got. Our children have been in our homes, in school, and in small, safer sections of the world. They get ideas from friends, entertainment and the internet, usually believing whichever voice is loudest (and fits with their current ideals)…
We need to be learning and growing, so that we can teach them. Everyone has deficiencies, none of us can teach anybody everything, so we can all learn and grow. Diving in to our inner worlds, the things that we experienced as children, where our motives and motivations come from, what we really think, and why we think it… these things can be hidden deep inside. While parenting we have a perfect opportunity to look back at what has shaped and formed us. Right in front of us is a little human, that we have made or shaped in some way, that is struggling and learning how to live in this world. After years and years we have built up all types of ideas and biases, some of which are still serving us. Issues come in when we continue operating on old (or wrong) ideas, or lessons learnt from hurt and great heights. Something that was helpful to us 10 years ago, might get us in trouble or killed if we tried it today. From extreme sports to walking the wrong streets, over time things change. When we don’t change how we think and operate this gets us in trouble.
Grow, not only for your child, but for yourself.
Another part of the follow up process is re-connection, that’s where our child really gets to heal.
After we have a disagreement, or feelings towards a person, we need to reconnect. Establishing baseline again can be tricky, and as the adult in this parenting relationship, it’s our job to make this transition back to normal as smooth as possible. Leaving things unsettled is damaging, especially to children. As we grow, we are constantly connecting, disconnecting and reconnecting with our parents. Babies and toddlers swing back and forth between attached at the hip and fiercely independent. In fact, this is exactly what the “terrible two” stage is, bouncing back and forth between independence and reliance. All of our relationships go through this, in every interaction. Any conversation that goes long enough becomes a series of pauses and silences, this is where new topics come from. But on some level we are disconnecting and reconnecting. The feeling is strange, I’m sure you can think of a time you wanted to reconnect, or could feel someone trying to reconnect with you. It can be like time and space get sucked out, like a vacuum, but somehow we’re floating. There’s pain, but there’s a warmth, like an internal smile, or a grandmother’s hug (or roast meal!). It’s an odd place to be in, so we need to be aware.
While handing out consequences,
Giving too many reminders,
Starting to nag,
Just doing life,
we can get wrapped up and miss the damage we could do.
Avoiding doing too much damage to our children is impossible, unless we are listening to them!
There are soooo many ways to make space and get your children talking.
Random tickling, sitting on the couch, going for a walk, talking them grocery shopping, hiking, doing art together, working out if they’re old enough, fixing the car, doing the gardens, baking a cake, washing the dishes… literally any moment we are sharing with our children can be transformed into an opportunity to listen. Just treat them like a normal human being and ask them some questions, share some stories, have a laugh!
Doing this day after day, week after week, month after month will bond you together like nothing else. Best yet, by talking with our children regularly as they age, we increase the likelihood that they will come to us when something big goes wrong. It will take a lot of the fear some children experience away, they will see that we can be supportive and understanding (*which can take practice and some bluffing)!
Sit down / back seat
Be sure to balance your talking and listening, we want to give them a chance to tell their story. Ask probing questions, follow up questions, curious questions. Have them run through their stories a few times and look for discrepancies. Listen for the inconsistent, pretend to be a detective. Whatever it takes to let them drive, it’s time to do some back seat parenting!
Chill out, have fun, kick your feet up. Spend some time on your children. Get into their world! Remember what it’s like to be a child yourself, try reliving some of the fun you used to have. Take risks, you only get these opportunities for a limited amount of time… take full advantage. Get some mud on your work clothes in the yard, scuff up your business shoes trying to skateboard, get paint on your favourite tie. Encouraging your child’s hobbies, and loosening up like this, will give them the chance (and space…) to shine and show off who they are. It’s easy for children to be swept aside with the winds of life blowing us every which way. Staying tethered together is tricky at times. Try making that extra effort, it’s is well worth it, and usually we surprise ourselves!
One of our parenting superpowers is our instincts.
The amount of times I have checked the phone apps, to find something outside of our tech boundaries is ridiculous. It will go unchecked for weeks at times, and then I will check it three times in a row and find something we need to discuss.
At one point our daughter wasn’t eating her lunches, I just had a feeling and asked her about it. This issue was much larger than I imagined, and without asking the question it could have gone unnoticed for a while longer.
Same goes with our consequences. Sometimes our child has lied so much that we aren’t 100% certain of their guilt. I think the best way to tackle this is by just going with our instincts, and explaining that! We aren’t just giving out consequences for nothing at that point, we are explaining that we can’t be sure, but that it looks more like whatever we suspect has happened than not. Probability and our previous issues have created this situation. (Basically we are letting our child realise that they have made decisions in the past that have led to this outcome. I wouldn’t recommend saying it that way, unless they are fairly emotionally mature though…)
Trust your instincts more, practice with things that don’t matter as much, children are just our mirrors, they might be reflecting our own habits back at us . . .
“As children develop, their brains “mirror” their parent’s brain. In other words, the parent’s own growth and development, or lack of those, impact the child’s brain. As parents become more aware and emotionally healthy, their children reap the rewards and move towards health as well.” Dr. Daniel J. Siege
Children are made from our genes, and they are continually exposed to our behaviour. How could they not be reflecting a lot of what we do and think back at us? But this gets far more complex, quickly. When we are children we do not understand a lot, there just isn’t experience there. On top of this, our brains aren’t completely wired together yet. It takes until we are 25 for our brains to completely connect, causing areas in the brain to not communicate with each other in children. The area I noticed this most was around emotions. A lot of children are unable to pinpoint why they are feeling a certain way, or have overreactions as their brain is saying danger (rather than something more specific like ‘little danger just over there’). The reactions are extreme, the frustrations feel life threatening, and usually, the information our children are working off is incorrect, the nuance is all taken away, the context? Twisted.
Factor in a child who has misread your actions, and this is a recipe for disaster. Take being tired for example, I can be terrible at getting moving some mornings. When this happens I need to be aware, our daughter is going to think that I’m bothered by her, and try to mitigate that. This pressure on her isn’t fair, so I need to put in extra effort to ensure she feels secure, and doesn’t misread the situation. The days I fail at this, almost anything I tell her to do sounds (really feels) like I’m annoyed at the simple fact she is existing. If I didn’t catch this, she would carry this into tomorrow, and eventually have a way of living that avoids this potential conflict. This isn’t good for anyone.
As if there wasn’t enough incentive for us to improve our own habits and quirks before, now our parenting has to become self help. We must improve.
One simple improvement we can make is how we engage when we communicate. Taking this mirror idea further, it’s called mirroring!
Watch two people talking, quickly you’ll notice that people copy each other. It could be a subtle glance, it could be using the same language, taking a sip at the same time, whatever it is, this non-verbal signalling (also known as isopraxis) is used in many ways. Having common speech shows that we are all a part of the same group, so changing the words we use around certain people build rapport with them quickly. Making similar gestures signals that we have similar intentions to the other person we are communicating with, putting them at ease. In life we have uniforms, these uniforms show that we are on the same page and the same team (much like a school uniform, this uniform signals that all wearing it will be treated identically). In our conversations these same signals can be used, if we become aware of them.
With our children I would recommend looking for times our children mirror us, this will give us a signal that they are present with us. It could be sipping a drink at the same time, crossing arms together, adjusting in our seats, literally anything that we do at the same time could be signalling this connection.
As our children are so small compared to us, I like to mirror their height. If a child is on a chair, I will try to meet their gaze, even if that means sitting on the floor sometimes. Being at the child’s height saves them from staring up with a kinked neck, and evens out some of the power balance we have naturally as adults, levelling with them.
Another way to mirror is simply matching intensity! When our children are excited, pump up the energy. If they are low, calm it down. By matching where they are we feed into their world, like a meeting in the middle.
This short clip is a great example of mirroring… Even if it is a liiiittle over the top 😉
Know (your enemy)
Now, I completely get that some people don’t like to think of their children as an enemy, here is my thinking. Is parenting a struggle? Is struggle difficult? Is this struggle and difficulty because of another human being? Is it not fair to say that this human being is the enemy of peace and order in our home? Then we best know what motivates and dissuades this individual, so that we don’t end up hurt or worse yet, hurting them.
When we use the lens of combat, we can kind of detach… begin to look at the behaviour as separate to the individual… We are combating the behaviour, which is the true enemy, but this behaviour is coming through our children… which makes it difficult.
“We have to deal with the behaviours, within the children we love…”
This is immensely difficult sometimes. By approaching our parenting in this way, we can go from frustrated and over our children one minute, but talk it through and reconnect the next. Consistently doing this, and being upfront turn this enemy, into an ally.
Now let’s battle the true enemy!
When we address the enemy, we need to be careful with our concerns. We want justice for ourselves, and ultimately we want justice for our little human. As I have addressed before, we should always start with ourselves here, but with our little human in mind! When we are bothered by something our child is doing, no matter how small, once repeated enough we are going to treat the child poorly. We, even as adults, will find a way to balance out this “wrong” against us. It may be
deciding not to do something nice for them,
cancelling a plan,
being on them about a certain chore more
making them try a liiiiittle longer on their homework today
eat all their school snacks…
Whatever it is, we balance this stuff out.
So do our children…
EVERYONE gets justice.
The trick is being aware,
Mitigating the damage we do
Getting ahead of our children’s version of home justice
and react calmly, quietly, boldly, with power… not by giving them what they want and reacting negatively.
Let’s help them,
Let’s coach them,
Let’s grow them!
That’s true discipline!
We need to be soft, tender, approachable, cautious, asking questions and listening… It sounds like a lot, but by adding in these habits as we go there are enough positive results to out-way our efforts! The strain is quickly replaced with less drama in no time.
There is just one more ingredient Consistency.
“This isn’t just in parenting… This is in Life!”
Never give in
Consistency: The act of never surrender, never yielding, never betraying your course.
Consistency is one more for the 75th time. Consistency digs in deep. It claws the energy out from the depths, reaching into pain and negativity and mindsets that hold us back.
Consistency takes the power away from the quitter.
Hurts in the beginning.”
The thing about consistency is that, even if we are taking the completely incorrect actions, the art itself (mixed with some awareness or help) will create massive differences. These differences help to make consistency even easier, which will happen naturally with time. It is easy, in the long term, to be consistent now. Hard Now, Harder Later.
Consistency is legitimately the largest part of parenting.
It’s difficult to stay on top of things,
and realistic with time-frames.
My partner and I have caught ourselves FAR too many times feeling like the past 2 days had been a week. Minimum. Sooo many things happen between our relationship, children, home life, work, pressure. Done. If just one thing goes wrong in each of those areas on any given day. BOOM. A mini week. Too much subtle stress, even if we’re on top of it.
Being consistent helps. Our reactions, expectations and actions are very similar. Buying us the space to fix the problems, and giving our families the ability to help us fill the gaps. When we are regular and consistent the people around us see that. We learn by watching, that means with little prompting we have backup to keep the family running stress free when everything else is on fire!
If this all feels too much I will definitely dive into more about consistency as this blog evolves (and I get better at it myself!)
Consistency; it also protects.
We spoke earlier about justice, protection is a part of that justice. Having our child unnecessarily harmed is an injustice. ANY child being unnecessarily harmed is an injustice, and any person around who can help should help or be held accountable. That is why parenting is such high stakes.
For the child we have created, or that is in our care, we are responsible.
When baby sitting, we are responsible for that child.
Whatever contact we are having on that child, we are responsible for our influence on them. We have to ensure we teach them the skills they require to navigate life. We have to pass on everything we know, and admit when we don’t know, do the research, and find some answers. We need to be healing our own childhoods as we are navigating all of the childhoods evolving around us. Each child we have contact with is another childhood we could be having an impression on, that we can harm or protect. We need to take that seriously.
The first step to seriously protecting our children, is to begin to remember the things they are saying and doing. To push this soldier, battle, war, general, army thing… We are gathering intel on this enemy. We need to establish a baseline, attempt communications, and prepare for the worst. Strategically entering different phases of our child’s growth will ensure the greatest outcome, when coupled with open, honest, close communication.
Every time we communicate we can be taking mental notes.
When something stands out even write it down in a discreet way.
By noticing patterns and habits.
Phrases. Entertainment. New hobbies. Different friends names. Stories that change a little.
We can point these all out, and ask about them.
Growing our relationships deeper.
This is the closeness that will help us to fill in gaps as they grow, to provide them with more tools and opportunities to navigate life successfully themselves. To have a real shot at letting them grow on our shoulders.
Use that memory. Find memory tricks if you feel yours is terrible. Sidestep with things like writing. Just find a way to put pieces of your child’s personality together more and more over time.
“Let time unravel their personalities, imaginations, joy, happiness, sorrow and courage…
Create the space for your children to create their own space.”
Don’t keep a list
But, keep a list. This is a treasure map, and X marks the spot.
Watch your child.
Find where they are
TRYING THEIR BEST
And overcoming difficulty.
List them out.
Read it and add to it regularly.
And CONTINUE to consistently remind them that they have done these amazing things.
Pump them up.
Keep that treasure list close.
Speak it out to them every chance you get.
Be sure it isn’t forcing them to keep going, don’t let them do it for you. Cheer them on for betting on themselves and making their own decisions, especially when you are telling them you disagree and to be careful. This is their life we are helping create.
Really, creating a list like this covers the entire real work of this system I’m proposing.
The work is this:
Get to know child.
Watch child, Talk with child, Open up to child.
Keep watching child to learn where their actions do not match their words.
Help them to learn how to do the thing that is a struggle, whichever kind.
Resist the urge to do the work for them.
As much as it hurts, as long as they are safe, let them suffer. It is how they learn and grow.
BE THERE FOR SUPPORT AND DO NOT TORTURE THE CHILDREN, HELP THEM WHEN NEEDED. Just judge this carefully.
Make a list of the good that you see your children doing.
Encourage independent thought.
Allow them to push back in age appropriate ways and have appropriate conversations.
Make space for grievances. Treat each one as if it is legitimate.
Talk out how you decide if you will make a change based on your child’s feedback.
Make changes in your life to improve yourself, it will give you the skills and experience, the knowledge, to equip your child with for their lives ahead. This is a long game. Win the war, do the work. Be consistent, be willing to learn, be open
– Open Up
Isn’t that about one of the scariest things you could hear?
It seems that almost everyone feels they have something to hide.
Do we want our children to be keeping secrets?
So, why do we fall into keeping so much from them?
I’m not sure. I aim to be open as age appropriately as possible. Living in that kind of truth just makes everything free and easy. There’s nothing you can’t talk through, because you will say anything and take the time to explain yourself if the other person will listen.
In the simplest form, in parenting
This looks like sitting down and talking about the rules,
Like realising there is an issue and taking it to the child in a calm and curious way,
It’s peeling back the curtain and revealing how our parenting minds think and how we discuss things while making our decisions.
Being more open and honest with our children is giving them our “Why?”
Laying out what motivates us to make the choices we do.
It gives our child context, and an understanding of how we navigate the world as adults.
This kind of openness will strengthen our bonds, and improve behaviour quickly.
Any change is easy when we understand why we are striving. Add in a complaints process and boom, you’re raising a massive winner!
Now. That’s the work, nice side of opening up, how about that scary part?
Opening up to our child with… stories, ideas, memories, our struggles, some of our dirt when they can handle it, and definitely our mistakes and their consequences… basically anything close and personal will teach them all types of lessons that we may not have even learnt from our own stories. Ask them what they think of one of your best stories, and how they what they would have done different. Use being open and vulnerable to teach, to guide, to inspire!
Being open and vulnerable has a flip side, the silence.
We need to just simply learn
to be comfortable and fine
in the silences
and the mess
and all of the random
annoying curve balls
life may through your way.
We need to be able to just sit, being present but silent, and calm, at peace, content.
With our partners.
in everything . . .
Just like the “Why” earlier, we need vision, a glimpse of the future, a hope, something to strive for, basically a plan. If we have vision in every aspect of life, we become unstoppable. The end.
When there are children involved, number one has to be the relationship. If there is a partner, in or out of the house, that relationship needs to be as close and as good as possible. Everything, and therefore everyone, has ups and downs. There’s something positive in the scummiest person, it’s just outweighed completely with the negatives. That’s all toxic people are. We need to find and celebrate the good (better yet, continued good… even if it’s just effort), and deal with the rest (that’s life, and it nothing last forever).
The family needs to know which direction it is heading in. There needs to be a place to arrive, things to be looking forward time, rituals. Simple rituals, like a movie night or visiting a certain park, can be amazing things to look back on and share. They are things that can be potentially passed down your bloodline! Have THAT kind of vision!
What’s your personal vision, and how does that align with the family vision?
As one of the leaders in the home, your goals and visions need to match with the families goals and visions, and the families visions and goals need to be complimenting your visions and goals.
Where ever there is a disconnect, a compromise needs to be made.
Play your cards right, and you truly can have it all.
But it isn’t for the faint of heart.
What is your child’s vision of themselves?
What is your visions for your child?
Does your vision match with their visions… and not the other way around, don’t get sneaky now…
Does YOUR vision of your child’s future, match their vision of their future… ?
Of course, warn, teach, set solid boundaries, have a deep relationship, be consistent and have fun… But remember that at some point you have to turn over the reigns to this thing… it’s not your life… It’s your child’s life.
(Ok, real closing after writing that last paragraph 😉 )
There we have it.
This article began as a thought exercise.
I literally sat down and wrote out the alphabet,
With a heading for each letter.
An A to Zee Parenting System.
I’ll be honest, this wasn’t my plan at the end of this article, but I’m sitting here at 130am, alone, after disagreements, tension, disgusting insults, all kinds of terrible… but we just talked it through in an hour. We were working with toxic behaviours and attitudes, almost at boiling point. But sorting out the issues cleared up SO much stress that I’m inspired. That gets me here…
With all of the experience working in schools, foster care and with my family, I am beginning parenting coaching sessions and am also taking applications for a parenting course.
If you would like more information enter your details below, and we will be in touch promptly!