Parenting Behaviour Manuals
It got me thinking how many parenting books and child development books I have read, documentaries watched, podcasts listened to and hours of training with some of the best. Every one of them inspiring with a gem inside. I am yet to have seen any of them that has strategies that works long term without change coming from the parent. I do not believe that exist and I follow so many coaches and parenting experts that promise “Do this = guarantee behaviour change”.
I have sat with parents and carers struggling with their role and I have regularly come back to you can read as many parenting manuals as you want but children do not read them so it will only going to take you so far. As we learn more about brain science and parenting. Leads us to learn how powerful it is to build relationships and communication over behaviour management. However western society has for years taught us that children should be seen and not heard, and we carry the wounds of this lie.
Children as our mirror
Children reflect to us our deepest secret parts of ourselves our fears, our pain, how deeply we can love. They are true reflections of how we carry ourselves. If you really want to be the best parent you can be, you need to learn to recognise and listen to these insights. Look into your past learn heal and grow. the Aim is not to grow mini Me’s but show freedom to be who we are.
Listen to those answers as they tell you who you are
Try as a way to start consciously seeing your child as a reflection of yourself
- Identify 3 behaviours your child displays two of which fills you with pride.
- Reflect on your own behaviour and recognise where you show the same behaviours you have noticed in your child.
- If there is one that does not sit comfortably with you, look at where you can change this in your own behaviours.
Example: When your child is name calling, look at how you respond when you make a mistake do you call yourself silly/ stupid. Do you get teased by your partner or people around you with name calling even in a light-hearted way? Are you consciously treating yourself with love, compassion and respect?
Start showing yourself the compassion and kindness you want to see in your child. Make a mistake say “that is embarrassing/ frustrating. But everyone makes mistakes” “make an effort to vocalise and identify what you like about yourself in front of your child, put boundaries down with the people around you. Even gentle teasing is not always recognised as a joke by our subconscious. So if you have a parenting question look to your child for the answers and they will show you where you need to grow. This is never easy but especially if your child is struggling with there wellbeing or impacts of trauma and change so feel free to reach out.
Fill yourself up with the healing you want to see. If your child is older do this together be open about trying to have kind and loving self-talk, that spreads to others. That is how we use our children as a manual and allow them to become themselves as we grow together.