Posts Tagged ‘happiness’
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.
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.
The choice theory, founded by William Glasser, suggests that all our actions are chosen and driven by the five basic needs: survival, love and belonging, power, freedom, and fun.
In relationships, our needNeed for love and belonging for love and belonging is the most important one. Based on Glasser, satisfying this specific need will guarantee our ability to fulfill all other needs. The source of all problems in the world, according to the choice theory, is disconnection. Behavior problems, mental illnesses, violence, abuse, crime, school problems, marriage breakdown, relationship challenges, and depression are all a result of our inability to connect or feel love and have a sense of belonging.
Our relationship with those we care about and care for us depends on our caring ability. Glasser suggested that there are 7 deadly habits that needed to be replaced with 7 caring habits.
In order to convince children that they are OK and good, a parent first needs to know that they are OK and good. Psychologist Thomas A. Harris. suggested four levels of emotional intelligence, that provide a framework for positive parenting. To read about the four levels, see “I’m OK, You’re OK Parenting: OK and EQ”. In an ideal world, parents would always be in an “I’m OK, You’re OK” state of mind. For this, for the parents must agree with the “I’m OK” part – they must first believe that they are OK. Once this is established, it is time to work on the “You’re OK” mindset.
Little boy and girl huggingLike a self-fulfilling prophecy, parents who see the good in themselves and their kids tend to raise kids who see the good in themselves as well. This is a great cycle. By taking care of ourselves, we ensure our children and their children know they are good and “OK”. This mindset can impact for many years even after we are gone.
Dr. William Glasser is an American psychiatrist who developed the Reality Theory, which later on became known as the Choice Theory. In the seventies, Glasser’s work was not highly accepted by his colleagues. While others thought that human behavior is affected by external sources, Glasser believed in personal choice, personal responsibility, and personal transformation. While others considered certain behaviors as mental disorders and prescribed medication for these, Glasser believed in the education and empowerment of his clients to change their choices. He applied his theories on education, management, and marriage.
The Choice Theory states that a person’s behavior is inspired by what that person wants or needs at that particular time, not an outside stimulus. Glasser thought all living creatures control their behavior to fulfill their need for satisfaction in one or more of these five areas:
The happier people are, the more successful they are with their money, work and relationships, claims psychology professor Ed Diener, an author of a study conducted by the University of Virginia, the University of Illinois and Michigan State University. The study found that happy people are more likely to get married, to stay married and think positively about their marriage.
Diener compared people who were not happy to those who were happy and said that the happy people volunteered more, earned more and were highly rated by their supervisors. He also found that happy people, on average, are healthier, and live longer.
The surprising bit about this research was not that money, good work, long life and health brought happiness, but that it was exactly the opposite! Happiness brought money, good work, long life and health.
In my workshops “Happy Parents Raise Happy Kids”, we discuss many aspect of parenting. One of the main topics parents bring up is that it is not easy to being a parent. I have 3 kids of my own, whose ages spread over 13 years, and I know that parenthood can be challenging.
One of the best tips I can give parents is to shift to an “I’m OK-You’re OK” parenting framework. I came across this framework over 30 years ago, in a tiny little book. I was studying at the time and was fascinated by the simplicity of it. Later on, when I started teaching kids, I adopted this mindset. It allowed me help them so much that when I had my own kids, I adopted an “I’m OK-You’re OK” parenting style. It worked like magic for me and I would like to share it with you.
If you are familiar with this blog, you know that parenting is one of our key topics and that is why it is important to discuss parenting when you get to know your partner. This is the final installment of Know Your Partner, a series of posts to help you get to know your partner, and today’s post is about parenting.
You may find that you need to ask many questions that are not cover here. Also, keep in mind that people’s opinions about parenthood are often not fully formed yet. If you have never been a parent, you don’t know what you don’t know.
In this case, parenting is like a discovery zone – you pave the path while walking it. Focus instead on attitudes you think will benefit you or may become an obstacle in your relationships. If attitudes are an obstacle, do not worry. It is possible to change them. It is just good to know what they are at the start, so you can make an educated decision about whether to go into this relationship or not.
You cannot truly know your partner without discussing beliefs about gender and sex. Even in our modern society, these topics are not easy to talk about, but are very important.
Our attitudes towards gender and sex stem from our childhoods. Sometimes it is because of something we hated and sometimes it is the opposite, something we liked or never really questioned.
I grew up in a house where my mom thought boys were worth more than girls. I, of course, am a girl and I had three sisters and one brother. For my mom, my brother was the “prince” and we were supposed to serve him. My dad on the other hand, was the opposite. He taught me a lot about gender equality. He cooked, he cleaned, he helped us with homework, he did artistic things. He would even force my brother to be part of the dish washing roster. I did not like my mother’s attitude and chose to follow in my dad’s footsteps where my own life was concerned. When I was looking for a partner, this was one of my “musts”, I was not willing to live with a guy who thought girls were supposed to serve boys. When Gal and I started going out, I was happy to discover he was on the same page as me.