Would you give just about anything for everyone in your family to be happy and get along? Read on for a strategy and an attitude that have the potential of making a HUGE difference in your life!
Building the muscle of automatically looking for win-win solutions is a simple exercise that can change your life. It opens the door to the possibility of everyone in your family being happy and having their needs met.
Having your focus on looking for win-win solutions will go a long way towards your children (and spouse!) feeling like you’re on their team, which is so core to having harmony with your children and them maintaining their sense of wholeness.
('Being on the same team' is one of the four pillars of Clean Parenting™. Click here for a report that describes all four pillars.)
It will ensure that you consider your children in how you approach the situation, AS WELL AS YOURSELF!
Unfortunately in our society, the vast majority of parents live most of their lives either considering the children’s needs and preferences at the exclusion of the parents’, or the other way around.
THE ONLY WAY TO HAVE A TRULY HAPPY FAMILY LIFE IS TO HAVE EVERYONE'S NEEDS TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT. Re-orienting your thinking in the way I’m describing here is a very simple and effective way to do so.
A lovely side benefit you’ll find when that becomes your general orientation, is that your children will be much more likely to accept your “no's.” This will happen because they’ll really KNOW, in their gut, that you’re on their side and rooting for what they want. They’ll therefore easily trust that there’s a good reason for your no’s.
Here are several examples of looking for win-win’s:
Many times, parents come to me saying something like:
“Eliane, I'm not sure what to do because when my child asks me for a snack as I'm cooking dinner. I don't want to say 'no' and have him go hungry, but at the same time I'm putting effort into making a dinner he'll like and I want him to still be hungry for it! What should I do?"
If you’ve worked with me already, you know how I respond, right?
Because it’s what I answer probably 90 percent of the time!
“How about you tell HIM exactly what you just told me, instead of telling me?”
This truly can work like magic. I urge you to try it!
If your child truly feels that you’re on her team, when you speak to her in this way, she’ll most likely be open to hearing you and want to come up with something that works for you as well.
Enlisting her in coming up with the "action plan," assuming that you genuinely want her to be happy with it (and this is key!) will AUTOMATICALLY make her feel that you’re on her team.
It’s very possible that she’ll come up with an idea you may not even have thought of!
I may not know your child, but I’m guessing that she’s creative and impresses you regularly with her ideas. Take advantage of that and make it work for your family!
So in the next few days, notice what you tell your friends and spouse relative to a challenge you're having with your child. And see if you could just talk to your child about it directly instead of to a third party!
Another benefit of talking to your child about the dilemma is that it forces you to put it into words. And as you've likely also experienced, often times all that's needed to find a solution is to clearly verbalize the issue.
How about applying this with babies and not yet verbal toddlers?
And if your child is too young to work something out with you, I suggest that you STILL tell him or say out loud, in the midst of the situation, what your dilemma is.
This will help for three reasons:
A. Depending on your child’s age, she may understand some of it. Children tend to understand MUCH MORE than what we think they do!
B. Even if she doesn’t understand the words, she’ll sense and understand the intention of what you’re saying.
C. It’s a way of training yourself to look for win/win situations, and to think outside of the box. It’s a way to reset your (most likely) negative conditioning to an approach that is more conducive to having harmony in your family and meeting everyone’s needs.
If this isn’t already how you handle situations in your family, I really hope that you’ll try it and would love to hear how it works for you once you do!
And if this article and the Clean Parenting™ approach speak to you, and you’d like support in integrating it in your family life, check out my QUICK START PROGRAM!
This article is part of Module 8’s assignment, in which you’re asked to ponder this concept, work on applying it to each of the items on the list of challenging situations you created at the beginning of the program, and get to exchange about it with all the other committed parents in the Facebook group who are also working through the program alongside you.
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