Finding a better way to get positive behaviors by acknowledging the real reasons for them. "It Was Never Your Fault"

These are some of the most powerful words I use in coaching parents.  "It was never your fault," carries a healing message to children that releases them from undeserved guilt.  When children are free of guilt, they're learning, listening, and functioning well.  

When parents are also freed from guilt, they, too, learn, listen and function well. That's my aim, to help you, as a parent release guilt that you never deserved.  

"How does that work?" you might wonder.  I offer parents forgiveness because I truly believe you/they have always been doing what you knew how to do. When my kids were young, I made a lot of mistakes. If I'd had a parent coach back then, I would have loved guidance and forgiveness from a trusted professional. I think it would have made all the difference. Now that that ship has sailed, I feel privileged to be able to lead parents through Present Moment Parenting in a way I never was. I feel honored to say, "You did your best. It was never your fault when things didn't go well."  

And for kids, it's the same. There's not a child in the world who doesn't want to be in close connection with their parents. After all, parents are their survival, so it makes sense that they would strive to maintain the bond. But their emotional state, undeveloped as it is, prevents them from making the bond stronger. They falter, they have meltdowns, they make their parents feel frustrated and angry. 

As the adults, it's our job to realize they never intended this disruption in the closeness with us. They just lacked the brain development to control their outbursts, their refusals, and their nasty words. Once we realize that undeveloped brains is the issue, and not bratty, controlling, impossible kid, we're miles ahead of the game of healing the break between ourselves and our children.  

So, what's the first step? Changing our automatic reaction to defiance from one of upset and consequences to one of understanding, calm, and listening to the underlying emotion. When we can do that, our kids feel seen, heard, felt, safe. And from there, we can gain their cooperation.  

Recently I heard a quote from a parent that went: "Once I dropped the parent role and focused on strengthening our relationship, everything got better."  That to me, is gold.  

What do kids need? A loving, accepting, guiding presence. This enables them to learn, follow, and emulate their parents' behavior, especially forgiveness.  

If you'd like more information on how parent coaching works, click here. I'd love to help you form that strong, healing bond with your children that reduces defiance, strengthens your relationship, and brings peace to your home. 

To read or listen to my book, click here: Present Moment Parenting; The Guide to a Peaceful Life with Your Intense Child

Ask A Question

Posted: February 7, 2019

We so often have to tell our kids what to do.  We run from home to school, from school to the store, from the store back home.  After a hurried dinner, the older siblings have events, to which we need to “drag” the younger ones.  Then bedtime carries another whole set of requests.  By the time our intense kids are done with the day, they’ve been asked to do 100 things they don’t want to do.  Not exactly a formula for a smooth family life!

Many of you have heard me say, instead of issuing an edict: “Time to get ready to go!” or “I said it’s time for dinner, and now I expect you to come,” ask a question instead.  To gain cooperation, acknowledge that the child already KNOWS it’s time for dinner.  Stating it keeps you in a managerial position that you really don’t want.  It prevents the child from learning to “read the family routine” and respond to it for herself.

So instead of saying,”Time for dinner. Everyone wash hands and come to the table!” say, “Did you notice what was going on in the kitchen the past 1/2 hour? Smell anything good?” and pause.  Let the kids “wake up” to your family’s process, figure out that dinner is ready, and come on their own.  How do you get them there?  By sitting down to dinner and waiting.

Some bright kids are insulted by your stating the obvious: “Time to get up and get your clothes on.  Come on, find your jeans and shirt.  Let’s go. Time for breakfast.  When you’re done, get your backpack.”  If someone did that to me, I’d be oppositional, too!

So if your child needs a chart for the daily routine, make a chart and watch him follow it.  But talk about something else so you don’t become the negative stimulus his brain wakes up to every morning, and goes to bed to every night.

Si nce you’re not recounting the routine any more, you may just have time to talk about something truly meaningful.  Share your plans for the day, say what you’re looking forward to, or ask a specific question about your child’s day with sincere curiosity.  That’s the way to avoid triggering opposition.  And by the way, it builds your relationship, too.

Copyright © 2011 Tina Feigal

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