Most parents I meet want their children to grow up to become productive members of society, enjoy healthy interpersonal relations, and achieve an overall life satisfaction. However, frequently parents I meet fail to recognize how their own “helpful” patterns interfere with their desired outcomes for their children.
Typically, as parents we want the best for our children and therefore we try to “help” them or tell them what to do and how to do it. Our best thinking tells us that this method is in the interest of “teaching” them to grow up to become healthy and happy individuals. Right? The problem comes when we are shortsighted. As parents, we often focus on a moment, attempt to be “helpful,” and inadvertently steal an opportunity for growth from our children. It’s easy to lose sight of the underlying messages our behavior patterns send to our children over time. These moments add up over a lifetime and can result in children who grow up with self-doubt in their abilities, which decreases their confidence and corrodes their self-esteem. When this occurs we have inadvertently contributed to our children becoming more anxious and less capable, thwarting our desired outcomes for their lives.
Ask yourself this question, “am I working harder on my children’s lives than they are working on their own lives?” If the answer is “yes,” then it is likely time to take a step back and note the ways you’re trying to “help” your children grow up are interfering with your desired outcomes for them. Working harder on your children’s lives than they are willing to work, is an indication that it is time learn how to allow them to take more responsibility. To learn more, sign up for one of two parent education courses, or the whole series offered by True Form Coaching this Fall.
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You can also ask yourself, when I do favors for my children, are they genuinely surprised, appreciative and respectful in return? If the answer is “no,” this could also be an indication that the ways in which you are “helping” your children grow up, and may not be leading towards your desired outcomes for them. Learn some new parenting tools and techniques to generate the desired outcomes you hold for your children’s future. Here!
One Free Parenting Tip:
Set limits by saying "yes" instead of "no."
When you are talking to a tween or teen try saying, "Yes, you may have those sneakers if you pay for half of them" which is far more effective than, "I am not buying those for you! Do you think that money grows on trees?"
Additional ways to say, “yes” instead of “no” is, “feel free to attend the party (or friend’s house) as soon as your chores and school work for the week are completed.” This is much friendlier than, “no you can’t attend the party because you haven’t done your chores or completed your math homework.”
If you are talking with school age children, these words will work, “feel free to play outside as soon as you finished feeding the dog, thank you.”
If you’re talking to a toddler you might say, “I’ll be happy to give you a snack, as soon as you put your shoes in the closet.” Instead of “put your shoes away or I won’t give you a snack.”
In all of these examples you are actually saying “yes” rather than saying, “no.” This helps to enhance the relationship with your children, avoid power struggles, avoid rebellion and strife. Learning to say “yes” rather than “no” powerfully changes the dynamics around power and control and still communicates your limits. This is an example of learning to share control, but on your terms, as you are the parent!
What to learn more effective ways to parent your children for success? Sign up today!