Posts Tagged ‘Life Coaching’
Finding your own parenting style is not easy. Most of us adopt our parents’ parenting style, without regard really thinking about it. We don’t choose our parenting style, but let the style choose us.
We also like to think that we are better at parenting than our own parents. We often don’t notice how we use the exact same parenting styles we hated in them. To our credit, we sometimes manage to make small changes and this makes us think that we are better than them. We can do something they couldn’t. We think that the harder it was to make the changes, the better we are. This is not always true. In fact, the damage from our choices can be as bad for our own children as it was for us (or even worse).
This is a very hard concept for parents to understand. Kids see things completely differently. If your dad beat you with a belt or hot iron and you only use your hands to beat your own children, it is not very effective to tell your kids that you had it worse and that you are better than your own dad. When you hurt your kids, they can’t really be all “Pollyanna” about it (Pollyanna was a girl who always found the positive side of everything).
In the last chapters of “Save Your Marriage”, I explained how some parenting styles can “breed” kids who clam up and withdraw into their shells. This communication style can be very devastating for them in their future relationships and marriage. In this chapter of the series, I will explain how parents who abuse or bully, like the “king/queen” or the nitpicker, can raise kids who are constantly on guard. These kids try to protect themselves from pain and heartache and by that, they invite bullies and conflicts into their lives.
Growing up in a household where you feel constantly attacked and ridiculed, where one or both of your parents make you feel small and helpless, where you have no support and protection, where one or both of your parents nitpick, criticize, complain, are never satisfied and often angry, can make children alert and hypersensitive to any small signs that someone is going to hurt them.
This is actually a very natural reaction, in an attempt to protect themselves. But when taken into adulthood, into relationships or marriage, it can be very damaging. There is a phrase, the best defense is offense. These kids adopt this philosophy because they were attacked a lot. As a result, they sometimes see an attack when there is none. They are very sensitive to criticism and their emotional state is “I am not OK, You’re not OK” (see series I’m OK, You’re OK Parenting for tips on emotional intelligence).
I have written a lot about affirmations in this blog, mainly because I believe they are very important for our health and wellbeing. You can sit down with a person for 10 minutes and tell if his/she is a happy, successful, healthy person by the sentences they repeatedly say.
Do you know why? Because those things they repeatedly say are part of their beliefs about themselves and the world around them. The way we experience the world depends a lot on how we tune our minds.
Let me give you a good metaphor. Think of the beliefs in your head as colored glasses. If you put pink glasses on, you will see the world in pink. If you put blue glasses on, you will see the world in blue. If you have black glass on, well, you won’t see anything because they block out the light.
Most people dedicate a lot of their energy to changing the world around them, when the greatest and easiest impact would come from just changing their glasses, or in our case, our beliefs about the world inside and outside of us. It is true that not everything can be changed by changing our glasses, but changing our beliefs have a tendency to snowball, for better and for worse. If we make small adjustments in our belief systems, it will lead to exponential change because our beliefs are highly interconnected.
I was officially introduced to goal setting for the first time in my life when I was 18. I was doing a course at university, and goal setting was a very small component in it. I never realized how significantly it would impact the rest of my life.
Research published in Psychological Science says that setting goals, at any age, can add years to your life. I like to think of it in the opposite way as well: goals add life to your years. The study followed 6,000 people aged 20 to 75 for 14 years. The researchers where looking at three components:
1. If participants were goal oriented
2. If participants had more positive or negative relationships
3. If participants had more positive or negative feelings
Throughout the study, 569 participants died (about 9%). The researchers found that those who still lived had more goals and better relationships than those who died. The most surprising thing about the study was that it found that this was true for young participants as much as the elderly. Having goals led to better outcomes. Goals were an advantage for people who worked as well as for those who were retired. So goals get added to the formula for long life.
Many parents think children will learn everything they need to know about life by going to school. Unfortunately (or fortunately), parents themselves play an important part in helping kids develop in a healthy way. That is why I have been running parenting classes for many years.
I believe that by working with parents and giving them skills to help their own kids, we can help children all around the world. Even the best teachers and coaches in the world are not as good as Mom and Dad and parenting classes make even better moms and dads.
Over the years, I asked parents why they decided to come to my parenting classes. I wanted to know what they were thinking, what triggered their search for parenting classes and what their criteria was for picking a service.
The answers I received were interesting, and even a little surprising. Here are just some of them.
I have been teaching happiness for many years and one of the things most of my clients want to know is how to find out when they are happy. You see, people are focused on what is going wrong in their lives. They have signs that tell them that things are not going great. Let me share some with you.
image”I am unhappy when I’m in conflict”
“I am unhappy when I don’t succeed”
“I am unhappy when things don’t happen the way I want them to happen”
“I am unhappy when people do not agree with me”
“I am unhappy when I am tired”
“I am unhappy when I don’t have the money to do all the things I want to do”
“I am unhappy if I can’t predict the future”
“I am unhappy if I am not in control all the time”
“I am unhappy when I worry”
“I am unhappy when people do not appreciate me”
“I am unhappy when others are more successful than me”
Research shows that people have more signs for unhappiness than signs for happiness.
Mother’s Day was a few days ago and it always makes me think about my role as a parent. Over the years, I have written a lot about being a mother to my 3 wonderful children. As a life coach, specializing in families, parenting has been my calling. I believe we bring our kids into this world so we can learn love. When our first child is born, we discover just how much love we are capable of.
The greatest struggle of being a parent is the unrealistic desire to be superman and wonder woman so our kids can be proud of us. In this quest we are often too hard on ourselves. We focus too much on what we do not do well rather than what we do that is inspiring to our kids.
A while ago, I received this video from my daughter that shows how hard we are on ourselves as parents. I think it is very touching and inspiring.
Forgiveness is not something you do for someone else. It’s something you do for yourself. Judgment robs us of our happiness. Forgiveness restores it.
I love Byron Katie. I think reading her book “Love What Is” helped me a lot as a person, as a mother, a partner and as a life coach. In my coaching, I cover many aspects of Byron Katie’s techniques and I have been asked by my clients to share it here on my blog, so they can teach it to their families.
Think of your mind as a house, prime real estate. The different qualities of your house include tenants knocking at your door, asking to rent some space there. As a property manager, you want to rent the space to very good tenants and avoid the trouble makers. Judgment is like a very important tenant. As much as you think you do not want it residing in your mind, it is very important and no house can survive without it. We all have to have some definition of the world so that we can navigate through life efficiently. Still, it is important not to give judgment the biggest room when we talk about judging others. Forgiveness on the other hand is a very important tenant. If you have a few trouble tenants, it can help you manage them and bring peace in your mind.
I have dedicated my life to promoting happy living. I have watched many people living the life they want and, unfortunately, too many people who have no clue about bringing happiness into their lives.
I suggest to all my clients that they come up with an A to Z list of living a happy life. Below is just one version of what they have come up with. I hope it will encourage you to come up with your own.
Appreciate yourself and others. Accept everything as it is. Appreciation is the ability to see good in yourself and others. It does not change who you are but how you perceive things.
Be yourself! This is the main goal in life. Do not try to be someone else. It is draining. You are unique, special and perfect, just the way you are. Cherish it!
In the last two posts on “choice theory,” I covered William Glasser’s reality theory and the seven deadly and caring habits and their impact on relationships and parenting.
Glasser’s choice theory helped not just individuals but also organizations like schools and businesses to enable management, workers, and students to take part in the system using internal motivation and avoid conflicts.
Every business transaction (and schooling is similar) is a transaction in relationship. We call good relationship a good business transaction, and conflict, anger, disappointment, and frustration a bad business transaction. For a business to succeed, it needs to establish good relationship between all participants and connect well. Glasser called it “Lead Management.” Using the choice theory in business, employees, managers, suppliers, and clients replace external control with internal control based on happy and successful relationship and are very much dependent on the managers, who lead the organizations.