I’m coming to end of the program in my current Clean Parenting group, the point where the breakthroughs happen, and where the situations the parents have been working with the whole program finally get resolved.
And something’s become crystal clear to me this time around (the 10th time around!)
There are many important things we work on throughout the program. Things like:
And though things change in families, frequently even dramatically, in the first four weeks of the program, it’s not until the fifth week that the stubborn behavior issues that are often the ones that led parents to sign up for the program get almost magically resolved.
And it’s when we get to the point of digging into and implementing two things:
1. Identifying the core unmet need that the child might have and working on meeting it.
2. Making sure that all the interactions with the child come from a place of knowing the child is innately good, and being on his team.
Though these are often intimately connected, we still come at them from a different angle.
Let me say a bit more about each of them.
IDENTIFYING THE CORE NEED AND MEETING IT:
One premise to my work is that all ‘misbehavior’ is a symptom of an unmet need, and that it’s our job as a parents to identify that need and either meet it or support the child in meeting it, or at least take it into account in how we handle the child’s behavior.
It’s important to realize that this need can’t always be met right in the moment.
Examples of this are:
But to get the results I described earlier, we take this a step deeper and ask ourselves, for each child, what is a core need that isn’t met in his life?
And I’m talking about core needs on the level of FEELING loved, liked, welcome, enjoyed, that they matter, etc.
Once we identify that need, we go to work on figuring out how to meet that need for a child. In my program, because we’ve laid a strong foundation through working on all the elements I listed above, it’s relatively easy to do, once we pointedly focus on this.
(Click here for an audio on this topic.)
HAVING ALL INTERACTIONS COME FROM A PLACE OF BEING ON THE SAME TEAM AND KNOWING THE CHILD IS INNATELY GOOD
If a child is treated as though he’s bad, wrong, or needs to be fixed, he won’t feel good about himself, and therefore won’t be able to be his best self.
If he doesn’t feel his caregiver is on his side, he won’t feel like cooperating because he’ll see the other, rightly so, as an adversary.
And this is true even if the mom is doing and saying the ‘right’ things but not really feeling them, just going through the motions.
Think about this for yourself. How do you act around someone who you don’t feel trusts you, is looking for you to mess up, isn’t concerned about the quality of your experience in the moment, and just wants you to behave a certain way? And how do you act when you feel seen, valued, trusted, connected to the person you’re with, and that they really care about your experience?
Though this one is pretty self-explanatory, it can take work as well as a certain level of proficiency in handling situations and setting limits peacefully, to be able to put it into practice.
Some of the strategies we use to shift to a place of consistently seeing children as innately good and being on their team are:
It’s been heartwarming to hear of the changes in children once the moms’ focuses changed. No longer hitting siblings. Being able to name feelings and stop behaviors midway. Becoming more affectionate. Opening up to moms.
And hearing from the moms that they’re finally starting to get what I mean when I say that parenting CAN be easy.
FOR HELP ON PARENTING in the way I describe in this article, 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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