Every year, when Mother’s Day approaches, I think of my role as a mother. It may not be easy to be a mom, but it is highly rewarding. Many mothers come to see me in my coaching practice. A lot of them experience many parenting struggles. Not all of them were ready to be parents.
This makes me wonder: how do we expect people to do something we do not prepare them for?
The only preparation we get for being a parent is from our parents. This comes long before we even think of having children, and we need to keep these memories for 20 to 25 years in order to use them with our own children.
I think the saying “we are only as good as the quality of our teachers” is suitable here. Much like in school, you know your subjects well if your teacher was awesome. In the school of life, you know how to parent if your parents were awesome. Unfortunately, we cannot choose our teachers, not in school or in life.
In on one of my workshops, there was a segment on communicating with kids. We talked about being negative and how this affects our children. I gave the group an assignment to change their language from negative to positive. I told them to pay attention to the 2 or 3 sentences they use most often and change these first.
During the break, I noticed one mother crying. She was trying to hide it bravely, but I noticed. I went over to sit next to her, I patted her on the shoulder and asked, “What happened?”. She dried her tears and said, “I only talk to my kids in a negative way”. I explained that we do what our parents did before us. She asked, “If I’m as good as my parents were and they were as good as their parents had been, how much control do we really have over our parenting style?”
That was a very good question! And the answer is that we have a lot of control over our parenting style. We do things differently to our parents. We question what they did. We adjust our philosophies to suit the time we live in, without dismissing things just because they are old (some strategies are timeless). We adjust our own parenting to that of our partner. We adjust to our kids’ personalities and temperaments. We take the great things our parents did, we get rid of the things we did not think were good and we remember to tell our parents what we appreciate about them.
Keeping an open mind and doing things your own way is the formula to breaking the cycle of negative parenting habits.
This video is for all mothers, especially for Mother’s Day. It contains some very positive parenting tips:
Happy Mother’s Day,