Does your child have so many problems that you don’t know where to start? Are you so frustrated that you can’t see or think straight? Do you feel helpless about how to make changes in your relationship with your child? Perhaps the first place to start is with a few measurements. When…
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Treats for Mom and Dad
Parents deserve a treat today too! Find new ways to manage your family relationships, increase cooperation and find more joy in your time together.
Shame On Me: How to Parent Without Shame or Blame
by Ron Huxley
The default mode of parenting is to use shame in a desperate attempt to regain control of our home and our children. It is not that parents enjoy using negative tactics. In fact, parents universally describe the “necessity” of using shame or other aggressive tactics because “nothing else seems to work.” Parents feel powerless in their own homes.
Shame differs from guilt in that guilt is the feeling of “doing” a wrong behavior and shame is a sense that “I am wrong” from doing that wrong behavior. It creates an inner world of worthlessness, badness, and feeling damaged or defective. Shame comes from social messages that you are bad when you do bad things. It is backed up by social rejection and isolation from not meeting others expectations or the failure to perform in a certain way. Fear may be involved in both guilt and shame except that guilt is fear of punishment and shame results in fear of abandonment.
Parents reveal to me the road of desperation they end up on…they start off asking nicely and have their requests ignored. They give choices but the choices are dismissed. They provide structure but the child kicks down the limits. All attempts to parent in a positive way, including the use of rewards and social praise, breaks down into the one thing that their children seem to respond to: shame!
Shame can give short term results but the long term price is emotional suffering for both parent and child. The home becomes a prison of fear and breeds discouragement and anger. It kills the spirit of the child and sets up an intergenerational pattern of negative communication that erodes self esteem and destroys intimate relationships for life.
Debating with parents about long term results of shame is not productive either. Parents who feel they have no other recourse will not let go of their grip on the tool of shame because that just increases the powerlessness of the situation. Further exploration of a parents original parenting toolbox shows me that there was only had two or three parenting tools in there to start. As a child grows older and more independent, the parent quickly burns through their limited tools and they feel they have no options left but to reach to the bottom of the box and use negative forms of parenting. The tools got into the toolbox parents because that is often one used by their parents. They were controlled by shame and no they are using it despite vows to never parent the way they were parented. A simple solution to this dilemma is to add more tools to the parenting toolbox and train parents on how and when to use them the next time the noncooperation crops up and it will…
The good news about behavior problems is that if they popped up today, they will pop up again tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that, etc. They are predictable! This gives parents a chance to form new strategies and add new tools to try with their children. If one tools doesn’t work, set it back in the box and try a new one until cooperation can be found that doesn’t require a one punch system of control. Trust me, the problem will come up again giving you another opportunity to find a way to manage it positively.
You can get over 100 parenting tools in Ron Huxley’s ebook by clicking here now! You can also hire Ron to coach you on how to use these tools and create new strategies for parenting with more positive results. Click here for more information on how to regain control in your home.
Special Free Report: “Balancing Love and Limits in the NonTraditional Family”
by Ron Huxley, LMFT
Balancing love and limits in discipline is one of the most
challenging aspects of parenting. Love and limits refer to
different styles of parenting with love representative of a
“permissive” or child centered style of parenting and limits
representative of “authoritative” or parent centered style. Each
style is based on a set of beliefs, in the parent, about what it
means to be a good parent. No one wants to be a bad parent.
They adopt a style that they feel best meets the goal of
parenting to raise children that are able to manage themselves
and function productively in the world.
Get some tools to rebuild your family today…click here!
How do you feel about your child today?
Are you feeling love or are you feeling anger or sadness or disappointment?
Our feelings are responses to events that occur in us and around us. They are not definitions of the relationship status or the amount of affection we can direct towards our children. When they mess up and they are good mess makers, we never change our affections toward them regardless of our emotional state.
Emotions come and go. The word emotion comes from the French term “to stir up” and stir up they do but they also settle down. Our emotional statement is based on our state of mind about our intentions to love our children in unconditional ways no matter what emotions have been stirred up.
The good news about emotions and relationships is that they are new every day. Today is a new day to start fresh and re-store new emotional experiences. Don’t let emotions drag yesterday into todays thoughts and actions. Yesterday is a drag…it drags down your ability to parent from a fully charged emotional purpose to love and cherish your children.
Give yourself permission to feel freely, in love, with your child today.
Tired of time-out? Yelling and counting to three no working for you? Parents can have a whole toolbox of parenting ideas with this power packed ebook.
Parents need the right tools for the job. Get 101 Parenting Tools from family therapist Ron Huxley and his popular ParentingToolbox.com website. This 53 page ebook gives an A-Z guide on how manage the toughest parenting problems. In addition, each tool lists the age of the child and parenting style (balance of love and limits) it is best suited for…get it and start taking back control of your home today!
The essence of parenting doesn’t occur in the schedules, checklists, and daily chores. It occurs in the moment by moment encounters that happen between family members. These tiny experiences that repeat a thousand times a day offer parents a change (or a redo) to install values, model behaviors, and equip children with emotional tools for successful living. The ultimate goal of parenting is to create prosocial, proactive human beings, not compliance driven, homework completing robots.
Fasting from Guilt…
Lent is just a day away and while I don’t always observe this Holy Day, I do find it a powerful discipline. I wonder what would happen if instead of fasting from food or drink, parents gave up some unnecessary guilt? Recently, I was looking at the beautiful clouds and had this thought:
There are a lot of very good parenting techniques available to parents in the form of parenting books, videos and classes. I have written and taught them myself. What you don’t often hear about is how to “do" parenting when the rubber hits the road. How do you get through the daily grind of life and keep a cheerful face and engage your child (or for some us multiple children)? My best parenting advice is this: Be silly. I know, parenting should be serious, shouldn’t it? The truth is that it is serious way too often.
Silliness is a useful way to lighten up the mood in the home and to engage bored or irritable children. Over the years I have used variations on the silly theme with mostly good effect. Here’s a few to try on and see how they fit for you:
Change the game rules Parents can get exhausted playing the same old game of “Go Fish" or “Sorry.“ Anything done hundreds of times can be hum drum. Spice it up by changing the game rules. Use a pirate voice when playing a card game. “Argh, give me your fours!” Narrate the characters in the book you read at bedtime every night. Act it out instead of reading it. This weekend I played my niece, nephews and grandson Ping Pong Poetry. Every time you hit the ball you have to rhyme a word: Ping, sing, ring, thing, king, etc. It resulted in several belly laughs.
Tell a joke This is perhaps the simplest silly strategy. Have a long car ride? Tell a few Knock-Knock jokes. OK, you might have to do a Google search first to come up with a few but it will be worth the research! I have one I told me kids over and over again. They groaned every time I would start to tell it but I could tell by their smiles they loved the “tradition" of it as well. Want to hear it? “How do you make a hanky (handkerchief) dance? Put a little boogie in it.“ Made you laugh? I know it is a little irreverent but isn’t that the point here?
Make up a song Need to get your kids to focus and march in a file through a store without touching everything? Come up with a marching song and sing it (quietly) as you go down the aisles. Preschool teachers do this all the time to get kids to clean up their mess and move to a new classroom activity. Use it at home too.
Food can be fun Got a picky eater? Dinner time always turns into a fight? Use the food to create some fun. Put coloring food into the milk. Make a game out of how slowly you can eat. Wiggle your nose at others around the table and see who can catch who doing it. Eat in courses, switch seats for each one or use your opposite eating hand to do it. Make faces out of the foot as you place it on the plate. We often use special pancake forms on the griddle to make dinosaur shapes. A lot of food is package in shapes of animals or other character. I enjoy biting their heads off. Sorry, but I do. Have a crunching contest – keeps kids focused and eating mom!
Wear funny slippers My sister-in-law came over for the weekend and wore fluffy pink slippers most of the weekend. She was comfortable and the kids loved making fun of her. Keep a full house of people energized and in good humor. Alternate this strategy by wearing bright clothing, mix patterns or act cool in your shades. I am sure you have a few silly tricks up your sleeve.
Reposted from Parenting Toolbox April 2011.