I am fortunate enough to get to coach parents and listen to their stories and I have to declare (loudly from the mountain tops) parenting is a tough gig! The more I hear and see the struggles, the more obvious it becomes, that the change needs to start with the minds and hearts of the parents…not the children.
Back to Basics – How Children Work
Children operate for the most part in their primal (survival) brain, and the limbic (emotional) brain. The neo-cortex (rational) brain is still under construction. For the successful construction of the rational brain, they require security (survival) and love (emotion). When basic needs are met, they are free to develop the knowledge and understanding of how the world works and their place in it. This takes trial and error – any learning a child does requires working out the consequences of their actions. They also mimic those closest to them, practicing the words and behaviours they see. This makes them a perfect mirror to our behaviours – and from personal experience, this isn’t always flattering 😊
As parents, we are our children’s greatest teachers – however, to become the best teacher for them, we need to be open to learning about ourselves. In nature’s marvellous design, she has also made our children – our greatest teachers.
Children are hilariously unreasonable, and if it weren’t for my sense of humour, I would have gone quite mad. Let’s look at the ingredients that make up a child, and why they are such powerful teachers.
Speed of growth
In the first days and months of their lives, they grow so fast and transform daily. This means that they change the rules on you all the time. What worked yesterday, may not work today; just when you get a sense of what they need, and start to feel confident that you know what you are doing – they change the rules yet again, leaving you feeling baffled and humbled. If you do happen to get a child that is easier to manage, don’t worry – your time will come 😊
A Radar for your hotspots
The next ingredient is their lightning speed radar to know where your buttons are and how to press them. Even babies innately sense that their cry can cause their parents immense stress within the blink of an eye. It’s like listening to music out of key – the discomfort and assault on your senses are palpable. Your heart gets anxious to find the answers quickly and to respond.
Children are not easily rationalised
Have you ever tried to rationalise with a young child when they are breaking down/have lost their mind/flipped their lid? It provides such rich material for any stand-up comedian. They will leave you feeling bamboozled, powerless, frustrated, and a little crazy until you find the ability within to laugh at yourself and their perfect ingenuity of bringing their parents to their knees.
With these ingredients, parents are forced to upgrade their skills, creativity, ability to read the situation, and most importantly to keep the connection with our children.
The biggest threat to the upgrade of parents is the constant stream of distraction. Apart from managing our many worlds of career, looking after a home, self-care – parents are under incredible pressures. We can look for the quick fix, eg; use of screen time – and yet this only delays the work of upgrading ourselves and learning what our children’s current needs are. Never before in history, have parents had to learn under such distracting conditions. So, my dear families – you are all so precious in the fabric of our evolving species. How we parent now, will set the scene for future evolution, and therefore parenting matters. I will do everything I can to bring you good quality understanding and support, and create the space for you to learn, reflect, feel the support of our community and continue your path of growth.
I am running another course on Talking to Toddlers and Persuading Pre-schoolers in November, you can find more information here https://transformparenting.com.au/workshops/
Sending you all love for the amazing role you play as parents,