Parenting for Connection not Compliance
Therapeutic Parent Coaching
Have you ever heard that you should pick your battles in parenting? What if I told you that you didn’t have to battle at all? You would think I was nuts right? Well I might be, but the fact is, you never have to battle with your kids. It’s true!
The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.
God commands us to be obedient but that is in the context of a relationship. Luke 6:45 tells us that what is in a person’s heart is what leads to the outward expression of either good or evil. If we focus just on this outward expression, we battle. When we focus on the heart we don’t have to battle, we learn to connect and dance with our children.
“Dance? What do you mean dance? I don’t like to dance!”
I am talking about doing a relational dance with your kids. When your child (or anyone for that matter) engages in a negative behavior, they are communicating something to you. They are insecure and acting on what is in their heart. Are you listening? When we address the behavior we battle. When we address the heart, we dance.
All negative behavior comes out of some insecurity that your child can’t regulate. When we battle our kids, they perceive us as against them and as a threat to what they are trying to do to resolve the insecurity. What if you could help them deal with the insecurity and not get caught up in battles no one wins? “Wow, that would be cool!”
- Accept that this behavior is their best attempt to deal with what is going on in their heart. This is hard for a lot of parents because they are afraid if they accept it, it won’t change. The opposite is actually true. Acceptance is the beginning of change. Not accepting leads to more of the same.
- Stop doing what isn’t working. Stop going right to consequences. What if you could create change without consequences? Would that be ok? What if you only had to use consequences as one tool among many?
- Empathize with their hurt and insecurity. Empathy gets you into their heart and sooths the hurt.
- Be curious about what is going on for them. While empathy gets you into their heart, curiosity invites them to come out. This may take a while but if you don’t battle and keep at it, they will begin to come out and connect with you.
- Connect with your kids and enjoy them!
Do you want more? Try Parent Coaching, it will help you learn to dance with your kids and transform your family. Let us know if we can help!
3 Behold, children are a gift of the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
5 How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed
When they speak with their enemies in the gate.
To get there you have to begin the journey, let’s get started!
By Stephen Luther
Executive Director of Grace Wellness Center
Licensed Professional Counselor and Therapeutic Parent Coach
My Kid’s Therapeutic parent coaching group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/890155804375744/
Grace Wellness Center on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/
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