"Is there a way to change how we experience the hair-pulling challenges of mothering? Can one truly alter her feelings in the midst of the supermarket trip from hell? … there is always another way to see the situation, a way that potentially offers greater peace, comfort, acceptance, and balance than our initial response.”
-- Bethany Casarjian, Ph.D. & Diane H. Dillon, Ph.D.
Baffled about what you should do when your kid does something you don’t like, and you're too upset to think straight?
There are always times when we simply can't get our emotions into alignment with our conscious desire to be a patient parent. When this happens, sometimes we have to act our way into who we want to be, and let our feelings follow. So when you don't know what to do: READ POST
"Let it go. The moment you
feel your hackles rising, let it go. If you let it upset you, what
follows is anger, and to quote Yoda, that leads to the dark
side....Notice … and interrupt it. Find your own way of accepting things
with grace." -- Steve Errey
All parents get angry at their children. And there's nothing wrong with anger; anger is a message. The problem is that we can't hear that message clearly while we're angry. In the heat of the moment, we think the message is that we should hurt our child. In fact, the message might be that we need to put him to bed an hour earlier. READ POST
recently discovered Aha! Parenting and am trying hard to change things
at our house, but my kids seem to be acting out more. So I still lose
it. And I feel so guilty about the past. What am I doing wrong?" - Kate
"For me, this type of parenting is a daily choice. Every morning I have to make the commitment not to yell, to stay calm, to chose love. And there is something very empowering about that. I've learned that when I apologize to my kids when I make mistakes and slip - I see that when they accept my apology, they feel empowerment and generosity of spirit. This influences their behavior with each other - there are more kind words and gestures, more "I'm sorry" and more "Don't worry, I know it wasn't your fault" that they extend to each other, than before. There are days when things are a big struggle, but I really feel that something is changing deep within our hearts AND I feel us grow closer together when we chose love, and when in the middle of a tantrum I hug my child and genuinely tell him that I hear his pain and that I'll help him work through it."
Shifting your parenting approach is a big transition, and you can expect some bumps as you and your children learn new patterns of relating. It doesn't mean that you're doing anything wrong. In fact, what's happening is that you're healing old hurt feelings so they stop driving new bad behavior. When your child acts out, he's showing you feelings from the past when you punished or yelled. It takes extra compassion from you, but your empathic response will heal those hurts so you can all move on. READ POST
"One generation of deeply loving parents would change the brain of the next generation, and with that, the world." - Charles Raison READ POST
especially important during the holidays to remember that aiming for a
PERFECT holiday is actually a bad goal. Not only is perfection
impossible and striving for it adds stress, but honestly, the holidays
families remember most fondly are those when the dog ate the cake, or
everybody got the flu on Thanksgiving. Play it loose, have a sense of
humor..." -- Meg Cox
If you live in the US, you're already bracing yourself for Thanksgiving Thursday. (If you don't, I hope this post will start you thinking about your December holiday.)
Are you trying to figure out how to get everything done this week? Or how to go beyond mere gluttony to add some meaning and gratitude in between courses? I'm the first to trumpet the benefit to our kids -- and ourselves -- of rituals, and of learning the habit of gratitude. And you'll find plenty of ideas on the Aha! Parenting website to add meaning and Aha! moments to your family's Thanksgiving.
But my plea to you this week is to remember that perfection is not attainable, and striving for that magazine-spread holiday will only stress you out and make you yell at your kids. Luckily, perfection isn't necessary for you and your family to have a perfectly wonderful Thanksgiving. READ POST
"I've been very careful to
not use bribery with my child, but there have been times when I've said
'If we all get buckled into the car, we can have time for a book before
we eat lunch'... or something like that, and I've wondered if I had just
used bribery. What's the difference between bribery and helping them to
move towards the next thing with a little incentive?" - Julie
It's a well-accepted tenet of parenting that bribes are a bad idea, used only by desperate parents. But why? READ POST
"I don't negotiate with my kids, I think it would confuse them... And didn't you say in a previous post that parents should stand firm so that children know they can trust them to mean what they say? It seems that allowing negotiation would undermine that, and give the child the impression that the parent isn't confident in the boundary they are enforcing... Wouldn't it make more sense to tell the child in the first place if a particular request is a choice, instead of giving an instruction and then allowing them to negotiate their way out of it?" - Sylv READ POST