Have you got some RULES in your head about what is ‘the right’ kind of behaviour for a ‘responsible parent’ who’s bringing up a good kid?
Can you picture how they deal with their kid when the kid is acting up / not listening / won’t get off xbox / talks back?
Maybe you have beliefs about the expectations you NEED to have or you would just be ‘letting things go off the rails’?
If you asked them about what was going on for them instead of yelling at them, grounding them or punishing them:
You’d say to yourself you were irresponsible as a parent.
You’d say to yourself you were too SOFT.
You’d say to yourself ‘you let them away with FAR TOO MUCH.’
In your own mind, it’s as though you’ve got the parenting cops going round checking that you’re not letting your kids ‘get away with it.’
You need to see the outward behaviours that society gives the tick in the box to so that you can say to those cops ‘Hey look, I’m a good parent, my kid is acting nice!’
You demand your kid immediately ‘go and apologize,’ and march them across the school yard to say sorry…
and maybe don’t notice that they’ve twisted their ankle and every step is agony.
You say ‘look if we have any more behaviour like this, I’m never…’
and maybe don’t find out that your child has been bullied at school that day and didn’t know how to tell you because you were so MAD at her, and that bullying is the REAL reason she was acting up.
You get uncomfortable that you’re not the ‘perfect family’ at the restaurant, the kind that colors pretty pictures with the crayons rather than pouring out sugar packets to make a ‘sugar loaf mountain’.
and cut off the creativity that inspired the sugar loaf mountain. (I’m not saying that you DO let them pour sugar everywhere, just that you appreciate the artistry!)
When you kid storms in the store you get angry at them to show other adults present that you are ‘in control’ and ‘are not a pushover’…
when instead you could help your kid to learn to control his own emotions, by re-establishing connection and finding out what’s REALLY going on for him.
SURE, maybe shouting at your kid in the parking lot does make it look like ‘you mean business’ and ‘you won’t take any crap’.
But what is your child really learning from all of this?
My mom doesn’t care that I’m hurting.
My mom doesn’t care that I’m bullied.
I was a bad kid to play and create something.
My mom doesn’t help me when I’m tired, hungry and finding things overwhelming.
The idea of what a ‘good parent’ does isn’t helping you.
It’s all about what’s happening on the surface.
It’s not about what’s REALLY going on for your kid.
Sometimes that means you’ll look like a ‘push over’ to the parenting police.
You’ll be the one who helps your daughter with a warm hug after she’s calmed down from a storm of huge emotion in the middle of Target with everyone watching. You realize that she’s had a tough day and she’s tired and hungry.
You realize her storm doesn’t mean she’s disrespecting you.
It doesn’t mean you’re not parenting well.
You use the clues you find out what’s REALLY going on.
The reward for that?
You’re able to deal with the situation in a way that is respectful to your child and their feelings and needs.
They realize that you are really LISTENING to what’s going on for them.
And from that comes DEEP CONNECTION.
That’s something worth having, isn’t it?
A round of applause from the ‘demand your kids behave well at all time and punish them or yell at them if they don’t’ crowd?
Not so much.
P.S. If you’re still thinking ‘but Lisa, the behaviour is so awful, I need to do something,’ I need to tell you that the clincher is that with the deeper connection the behaviours you are struggling with often sort themselves out. That’s what peaceful parenting is. It works by getting on the same team as your child rather than being on the opposing team. And I have a free master class that helps guide you to the clues as the what is going on. Click here to register for the free master class.