One key thing for your children to want to cooperate with you is that they have to feel that you’re on their team.
In fact a lovely mom told me something today on a Clean Parenting group call that I want to share with you.
She said she knows right away if she's on her daughter's team. One way she knows is that she can really FEEL it within herself.
But the other way, which relates to today's article, is that her daughter complies right away when her mom feels on her team, and invariably resists her when she's not.
I thought it was so cool that she saw such a clear and immediate correlation!
So here’s the one almost universal mistake parents make which automatically makes their children feel like they’re not on their team: they try to talk them out of what they’re feeling or what they want.
They try to convince their children to think, feel and want what THEY want them to.
Check out for yourself what this feels like:
Imagine you’re having one of THOSE days (you know just the one I’m talking about, right?)
At that moment your mom (or friend) calls, and you vent to her: “I can’t do this parenting thing anymore, it’s just too hard!! I need a two week vacation away from them!"
And she responds: "Come on, you don't want to be away from them. You know you love being home with them! You'd miss them like crazy. You have such a wonderful life!"
How would it make you feel in that moment?
How connected would you feel to your mom (or friend)?
Would you feel she’s with you or against you?
And how open would you feel to her at that moment, if she asked you for a favor?
Now let’s bring it back to your children.
Here are some examples of common ways parents deny their children’s experience:
I want to acknowledge here that I KNOW you likely had the best of intentions when you did! But this unfortunately only backfires on you.
Here’s what you can do instead, which will make your child feel that you’re on his team, and will allow him to feel heard and that his inner experience matters:
You’ll be amazed at how differently your child responds to you if he feels that you’re on his team, and that how he feels matters to you.
He’ll be much more open to hearing what you have to say, and to coming up with a solution you’re both happy with.
It will make him open up to being on YOUR team.
And it will give you both an opportunity to explore any painful and confusing feelings he’s experiencing which led him to say things you would have preferred he didn’t, such as him hating his sister or wanting to hit his friend.
For help on parenting from a place of being on the same team and using empathy to connect with your child and help him process negative emotions, request my FREE report: The Almost Magical Formula for surprising EASE and HARMONY in your family while fully honoring your children’s spirits.
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