How Did I end up with “THAT KID?”
How does it happen?
“My child sasses back at me.”
“My son will not practice the piano.”
“I’m not sure how I got the kid who is lousy at school.”
Lately, there seems to be a sense of exasperation in the voices of parents we meet. They can’t seem to understand how they got the child with a specific misbehaviour. It’s as if this behaviour was handed to the infant just prior to the stork gathering up the bundle and dropping it in the cabbage patch for the parents to discover.
There is no question that temperament plays a factor in every human. Statistically, 1 in four children will be a pleaser, 2 in four will go along with some motivation and the last one will fight things tooth and nail. If you happened to be blessed with a child in the latter category, it is going to take a great deal more structure and consistency to get through to that one. That’s what we call parenting.
At Parenting Power, we believe that KIDS ARE CAPABLE. They are capable of so much, they are capable of meeting our expectations and they are capable of learning from their parents. If parents declare the fact: My daughter is a troublemaker, they are correct. She will believe them. She will live that declaration passionately. Parenting is about taking responsibility to expect our kids to be capable of learning and to encourage them with words and actions that say, “I know you can do this. I know you can learn and I’m here to teach you.”
For many kids, it is not until we expect them to practice piano, respond respectfully and/or do homework that it will happen. Then, we need to work with our kids to develop a plan for that to happen. If your child knows that all she has to do is create a big fuss about doing homework, or ignore it and put up with your ranting or your own ignoring of the behaviour in order to get out of it, you have taught her well. NOW you need to take the time to teach the right way for homework to happen (or clean up, or piano, or dishes or whatever it is in your house.)
How does it happen? How did you get that kid? Well, we all get the kids we get. What happens next is up to us. We need to practise awareness and see what is happening – what we like and what we don’t like. Then, we need to figure out how to change what we don’t like.
We can choose to play the role of victim and claim that we just got the kid who won’t clean up. OR we can take responsibility for the situation and make a plan to teach our child how to clean up: What are the expectations, the consequences? How will we teach this task? What amount of time do we need to work on this with our child? How do we schedule that?
This is real life parenting – communicating clearly, acknowledging feelings and using language that encourages our kids to do what needs to happen in real life. They don’t have to like loading and unloading the dishwasher. They need to know that complaining about it won’t make the task go away. Doing the task is what makes it go away…until tomorrow.
That’s how it happens! Need some help? We’re here.