Understanding Your Child
I 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 work with parents and their struggles, the more I see that the changes that need to happen, need to start within the minds and hearts of the parents – not the children.
It really helps to know the basics of how children work
Children operate primarily in their primal (survival) brain and the limbic (emotional) brain. The neo-cortex (rational) brain is still under construction. For the construction of the rational brain to take place 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 own 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 close to them and practice the words and behaviours they see. This makes them a perfect mirror to our own behaviours – and from personal experience, this isn’t always flattering 😊
As parents, we are our children’s greatest teachers – however, in being the best teacher for them, we need to be open to being a great learner 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 you immense stress within a blink of an eye. It’s like listening to music out of key – the discomfort and assault on your senses is 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? 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 within yourself the ability 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 understandings and support, and create the space for you to learn, reflect, feel the support of our community and continue your path of growth.
Sending you all love for the amazing role you play,