Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category
Children will strive with encouraging. If kids were plants, their environment would be the soil while encouragement and support would be the water and sun they need in order to grow.
Children who receive positive encouragement grow up to have very strong emotional stamina. Their emotional intelligence helps them manage challenges, difficulties and failure. These skills form the basis of growing up to be successful people. Parents, teachers and caregivers are those who can give us these skills.
Here is a list of 20 positive feedback starters that encourages kids to keep doing something you would like to support and promote. You can change the ending to suit whatever it is you want to encourage.
“You’ve done a wonderful job at… picking up the toys”
“It was an excellent idea to… make a strong foundation for the Lego building”
“You must be very proud of yourself for… submitting the assignment on time”
Being a mother has been one of the greatest achievements of my life. Each of my kids is an achievement, and they are also big achievers themselves. Some say that it is a cycle. We, as parents, make our kids successful, loving achievers and in return they make us successful, loving achievers.
One of the best descriptions of my feeling towards them is pride. They do amazing things and I am enormously proud of them. I have come up with a theory that I like to call “Pride Therapy”. Every time one of my kids has an achievement, by proxy, I have also achieved something.
In my coaching and presentations, I sometimes ask people to describe their feelings as animals. I find it makes it easier to express these feeling. It does not have to be an animal that represents all your feelings all the time. Each feeling is a different animal. For example, you might be a panther in the office, and a sloth on a relaxed Sunday.
Self regulation is the ability to control ourselves and not do things impulsively. This skill is like a muscle – the more we practice, the stronger it gets. Once it is strong, it is much easier to resist temptation and function according to a “plan”, rather than going with whatever comes your way or whoever applies more pressure.
In the last two posts in this series, I explained the mechanism of self regulation and shared some research on its importance, particularly in parenting. Today, I want to share some tips with you on how to strengthen the self regulation ‘muscle’. It can be easy to find self control and be the role model you want to be for your children.
In my last post I wrote about the difference between parents who try to control their kids and those who are self controlled. It all depends on the “self regulation muscle”, which has three levels of strength: weak, medium and strong.
This week, I would like to share some research on self regulation that might help you on your parenting adventure. It may even help prevent conflict and disagreement in your other relationships.
Remember, it is called “self” regulation for a reason. It is not something you can do to someone else. You have to do it for yourself. This is what most parents do not understand. They try to enforce regulations, but they are an external force so it does not work as well.
This week, I met a guy at a social gathering and we introduced our families to each other. I talked about my wonderful kids and he told me about his kids. About the first two he just mentioned their age. About the youngest he said “This one is the kid from hell”. I talked to him a bit more and realized that you can tell a lot about successful parenting from a parent’s ideology about whether they should control their kids or control themselves.
There is an area in the brain, a bit like a muscle, that is responsible for “self regulation”. Self regulation is the ability to control ourselves and not do things impulsively without thinking them through. People who are able to self regulate have better relationships, mange conflicts better, have more money, were more popular as kids and have less conflicts and problems in life.
In the previous chapter of the choice theory, I explained the controlling and connecting habits—the caring or deadly habits based on William Glasser. In his theory, Glasser explained many of our behaviors as a choice. There are basic beliefs in his theory that all therapies are based on.
Based on Glasser, when we behave, it is a mix of action, thinking, feeling, and physiology. He called it “total behavior,” as they appear in different degrees and in combination.
He very much focused on taking responsibility in order to gain control and it is quite relevant to parenting.
This is the last installment in the “I’m OK, You’re OK Parenting” series. To wrap up, I want to share some beliefs that have helped me as a parent, and also many of my clients, to adopt an I’m OK, You’re OK parenting mentality.
The best way to overcome guilt and shame is to adopt beliefs that strengthen our view of ourselves as OK (I’m OK) and of others as OK (You’re OK) – The I’m OK, You’re OK mindset. There are many ways to identify whether you are in another frame of mind. For example, If you are upset, or disappointed, if you lecture your kids, or want them to do something they do not want to do, if you are threatening them, punishing them, shouting at them or if you want to teach them a lesson, if you shame them, use name calling, or ridicule them, and if you think life needs to go your way “or else”, this generally means you are not in the I’m OK, You’re OK mode. This means your child is also learning this mindset and will most likely not be in the I’m OK, You’re OK mode either.
In an ideal world, we would all like to be in an “I’m OK, You’re OK” state of mind all the time. People in this state are confident in themselves. They know they always do the best they can, and so does everyone else. Unfortunately, it is not always easy. Life has its own agenda and things do not always happen the way we want them to.
In parenting, circumstances make us shift from one emotional position to another. Our aim should always be to keep an “I’m OK – You’re OK” parenting style as much as possible. We may find ourselves straying to other styles, but the idea is to snap back as fast as possible.
In parent coaching we have many techniques for helping parents shift to an I’m OK, you’re OK mode. They all start by making sure parents think of themselves as “OK” first. When you are on a plane, the safety demonstration always tells you that when the oxygen mask is released, you should always put the mask on yourself first before helping your child. It works the same here. Before we can help our kids think they are OK, first we need to recognize that we are good and OK!
As a parent, it is important to be aware of which parenting style you use. The ideal is an “I’m OK – You’re OK” style. What’s your parenting style?
Once you know how you parent, you can slowly shift towards a more positive mindset. According to psychiatrist Thomas Harris, there are four types of parenting style:
- I’m OK – You’re OK
- I’m OK – You’re not OK
- I’m not OK – You’re OK
- I’m not OK – You’re not OK
The I’m OK – You’re OK mindset is important in all kinds of relationships: parent-child relationships, love relationships, family relationships and even work relationship.
Guilt and shame are siblings in the family of feelings. Despite certain similarities, there is a clear distinction between them. Guilt is feeling bad about something you have done, while shame is feeling bad about who you are or a part of you. One is about behavior and can be changed. The other is related to your sense of identity and therefore harder to change.
In the ever evolving phases of parenting styles, the shift from physical punishment to shame was intended to use guilt more effectively than before, in the hope that it would teach children how to behave when their parents were not there. A bit like a GPS. Parents decided “guilt” was better than smacking because it worked even when mom and dad were not there. The purpose was still to monitor and control emotionally, but with good intentions; to create lasting discipline.