In the midst of the hustle and bustle of parenting kids, a common mistake involves the parent focusing too much on the child’s inappropriate action, and not focusing enough on the parent’s reaction to that action.
For instance, say your toddler is behaving inappropriately in a public setting, like in church.
While the Pastor attempts to deliver a moving sermon, yours is the only child determined to move right along with it.
He breaks free of your grasp and runs up and down the aisle.
In your embarrassed effort to demonstrate good parenting, you guide your child back to his seat.
But the next moment your child is loudly calling you “Stupid” as you resist his efforts to leap back into the aisle.
This is when parenting kids becomes not much fun.
You feel embarrassed. You also feel yourself growing increasingly angry with your child, as the faces of those seated around you turn toward you with reprimanding looks.
When yourparent-child relationship turns into a noisy wrestling match, you finally decide to take your child out of the location where the service is being held.
On the way your little one kicks you, calls you “stupid” several more times, and then one of his flailing little fists lands sharply on your eye, temporarily blinding it.
By the time you stumble into the lobby with the child half falling out of your arms, you are fuming. It takes all of your self-control to resist the urge to scream at your child and to strike him in a vengeful fit of anger.
In situations like this it’s easy to become so fixated on how poorly the child is behaving that the parent overlooks how poorly she is dealing with it.
One reason why parents pay too little attention to the quality of their reactions is that they themselves were raised in a family culture of blame.
Their parents’ attitude taught them: When you feel frustrated in parenting, the kids are to blame.
In other words, when the parent loses patience in response to child behavior, it is seem as the child’s fault.
This way of parenting must guide the child to blame others for how he himself behaves.
You will begin experiencing a more satisfying and successful child-parent relationship when you accept total responsibility for your responses to your child.
Taking responsibility for your reactions empowers you to turn transmute yourparent-reactions into more pleasant, constructive responses.
The next time that you feel disturbed by your child’s behavior, pause to focus on the quality of your response.
Are you feeling more stress, strain, or emotional intensity than you want to feel?
Are you expressing and experiencing more anger than is good for you oryou’re your child?
Are you feeling overwhelmed? Are you repeating yourself more times than you would like? Are you yelling, arguing, complaining?
None of this is your child’s “fault”. These are painful, draining reactions of YOURS. They represent habitual parenting patterns that you CAN change.
To improve your parenting experience, improve your mode of parenting.
When parenting your kids begins to feel like an unpleasant strain, alter your reaction in order to stop straining yourself.
* Author, Seminar Leader, Motivational Speaker, Consultant (www.wisie.com) (www.boblancer.com)
* Host of the WSB Radio Show Bob Lancer's Answers, focusing on the challenges of parenting, marriage and personal / professional development.
* Motivational Speaker for Large and midsized companies, associations, government agencies, schools, hospitals, youth groups and other organizations
* Child Behavior Expert of WXIA TV News (Atlanta's NBC TV affiliate)
* Host of Atlanta's Radio Disney show Ask Bob (helping kids deal with their issues)
* Featured Parenting Expert in local and national media
As a public speaker, seminar leader and consultant for over 25 years, Bob Lancer has been inspiring audiences around the nation and overseas, and setting them on a more direct and fulfilling path to total life-success, with his empowering insights and strategies.