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

Mom! Mom! Mom!

Posted: February 7, 2019

Q: What do I do when my children shout, “Mom! Mom! Mom! all day?  I’m going crazy with all of this “Mom”-ing!

A: First, relax.

Regulating your inner response to this is even more important than getting the kids to stop it. The way you think about something has everything to do with how you receive it, so think of “Mom” as your child attempting to build a bridge to the safety of your attention.  Just know that your child’s repeating your name is a signal that you are his or her safe haven.  Every child needs one, and it’s fundamentally an honor and a sign of your success that he or she sees you in this light.

AND how do you keep your kids from driving you around the bend with the repetition of your “esteemed title?” Here are seven steps to follow:

1. Get together with the kids when there’s no shouting.  Just say, “Do you have a minute to talk about something?”

2. Say, “Thanks for your attention.  I just realized that there’s way too much shouting ‘Mom’ going on around here.  I know you really want to get me to listen to you, but when you say my name over and over, I don’t want to answer.  I want to run away.

3. So let’s think of ways you can get my attention without saying, ‘Mom, Mom, Mom.’ First, let’s work at noticing when I am already talking to someone else or busy on the computer.  Those are the times when you’ll need to wait a bit before I can pay attention.  So let’s practice noticing when I am not able to talk. (Actually go through the scenario of being on the phone, have the child notice, and then go to the new solution, instead of saying, “Mom, Mom, Mom.” Reward waiting by saying, ‘When you wait for my attention, I feel so grateful, because in just a minute, I’m going to get to really know what you are saying.”) Then ask for the new solutions. “Who has an idea?”

4. Listen carefully to the kids’ answers.  They may just have one that works really well for you, and if they do, you have just included the players in the solution, thereby greatly increasing your chances of successfully coming up with an alternative.

5. If the kids have no idea, offer some.  Say, “If I name some ideas, will you tell me what you think? And keep in mind we are going to decide on one today.”  Then say, “How about thinking ‘Can I solve this problem myself?’ and then trying to do that,” or “How about when you want my attention, you come and gently touch my arm?” or “How about writing down what you want and putting it in front of me if I’m busy with something else?”

6. Once you have decided on new ways of resolving the “Mom, Mom, Mom” issue, write them down.  Then tell the kids that you will only be responding to the new ways, and you won’t be responding to their repetition of “Mom.”

7. Thank the kids very much for helping you to resolve this issue.  And give heartfelt appreciation every time they use the new techniques.

Here’s to a peaceful existence with your children!

If you’d like help with handling this or any other challenging behavior, call 651-453-0123 or write for parent coaching today!  To learn more, click here.

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