Many of you attend a free workshop with me to find out how I work, and get some parenting tips to start you on a new journey.
But for some of you, the dates/timings never seem to work. And although this can't replace a live workshop, I did want to give you a quick taster, somewhere to start.
Start with your Why..
As a parent, you are a leader of your (family) team - so start with your Why. If you've never seen this Ted talk by Simon Sinek, it's definitely worth 20 minutes of your time. And then take a step back and think about your own family.
What skills do you want to develop in your children, and why. For each of us, those skills will be different. For some it'll be about creativity and generosity, for others it will be respect, academic skills, autonomy, patience, responsibility. Take a moment with your co-parent and come up with the list for your family.
Now the How (to get my child to LISTEN!)
I lead Group Workshops using many Positive Discipline tools - which are designed to foster mutual respect, and use encouragement to bring about change in our children's lives. There are 52 of these tools - if you want to know about all of them, you can start here.
But if you'd like some ideas on where to start, I would start with changing how you listen.
Many parents that I work with, when asked what their parenting challenges are, say
"My child doesn't listen to me"
I wonder if they actually mean.. "I think they might be able to physically hear me, but they never do the thing I'm telling them to do"?!!
Ring any bells? If that's you, then try these tips
When you want your child to listen to you - get down on their level. Make eye contact. Their brain will actually find it easier to hear you, and their 'heart' will respond better to your request because of the connection you're making.
Try using just one word. Instead of 'Sarah, make sure you zip your coat up properly before we go outside because I've just looked at the weather forecast and I think....etc etc", try "Zip-up". They don't need to work out which bit of the sentence contained the important information, so they can process your request much more quickly.
Give limited choices "Red or blue toothbrush tonight?" If you want to know more about how this third tool works and why, then join me for a Positive Parenting intro session in January.
Taking it further
With any topic, we can take it deeper. Pause for a minute, and imagine being given a list of orders (by your manager, a co-worker, your partner). How do you feel? What are you thinking? What decision are you making about the person giving all the orders?
It might look like.
I feel angry, I'm thinking how much I hate being bossed around, and I'm deciding to say no to my bossy manager.
What if, instead of a list of orders, your manager asked you questions - for example
What's your plan for finalising the report?
Do you need any support from me, or can you handle this?
If I asked again..How do you feel? What are you thinking? What decision are you making about the person? Are your answers different?
Intrigued to know more? Take a look on my group workshops page for an upcoming intro to Positive Parenting, or book a chat with me directly to find out more about individual coaching. Not ready for that? My weekly newsletter might be more your thing.