Redefine the Problem with Parent Coaching
“My Kids” Therapeutic Parent Coaching Program
When you look at it the way you have always looked at it, you will see what you have always seen. We have been programmed by our culture to think in behavioral terms.
“My child is defiant…manipulative…controlling…dishonest.”
“I can’t let them get away with this.”
“If I don’t make him feel bad, I am a bad parent.”
“I have to give a consequence (even thought they aren’t working)…maybe something more severe will work.”
“This time the sticker chart will work, they will want to earn TV.”
If you are cool with that way of thinking about things and don’t want to see things differently, you probably should stop reading now. For the rest of you, open your minds to a better way to connect to your kids!
We are human beings, not Human doings!
We treat our children as if they are human doings instead of human beings. Why is this? It’s because our world has programmed us to look at behaviors and not at the individual. Think about it…insurance companies won’t pay for treatment if behaviors can’t be measured…many parenting books see kids, from new born to adolescents, as manipulative brats…If you walk into Target with a screaming kid under your arm while smiling and wave to people who are staring at you, they talk about you behind your back (or am I the only one who does that?). Anyways, our world is about compliance not connection. God created us to connect and for compliance to come out of those connections. Neurologically, the executive functioning part of our brain (the prefrontal cortex) is designed to make decisions based 90% on our understanding of relationships, and based 10% on rewards and consequences.
“What you do does not determine who you are, who you are determines what you do.” Neil Anderson
If this is true, traditional parenting approaches are very inadequate! We need to redefine how we see the problem if we are going to change how we parent. What would I do if I didn’t see my child as defiant, manipulative, or controlling? I’m glad you asked! At the root of all negative behavior, your child’s and yours, is insecurity. When I am insecure I react out of fear. Why do many parents give consequences? Because they are afraid of what will happen if they don’t or that their child with think they “got away with it.” Why do children act up? They are stressed and become insecure because they don’t know how to manage it. They haven’t developed the connections necessary to help them regulate their stress.
When I am stressed, or when one of my kids is stressed, we chose either the green (secure) path, or we chose the red (insecure) path. If I see my child’s behavior as defiant or manipulative I am more likely to go down the red path which means I react with the same consequence (maybe more severe this time) that has never worked (If it worked you wouldn’t still have to do it). This reaction leads to disconnection with my child, failure and limitations in our relationship. If I redefine the problem and see my child as stressed and insecure instead of defiant and manipulative, I am more likely to move down the green path. I stay regulated and connect with my child. This gives them the opportunity to connect with me and regulate their stress. This leads to success (you are successful even if your child doesn’t comply right way because you have stayed regulated and changed the pattern…eventually your child will regulate and connect to you and begin to change his behavior). This path also leads to more possibilities to connect as the relationship grows and behavioral patterns start to change.
Are you ready to go on this journey or do you want to stay stuck in old patterns that haven’t worked? If you are ready to transform your family, our parent coaching program is for you!
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/gracewellnesscenter