“How do I get my son with ADHD to sit still and do his homework”? If I had five cents for every time I have been asked this question, I’d be independently wealthy.
I am frequently asked by parents what they should do regarding very specific situations. I hear questions like:
“My kid is eight years old and still having tantrums. What do I do”?
“Nothing I am doing is working. She still doesn’t do anything I ask her to do. How do I get her to do what I say”?
“This is so hard. He makes me so angry. All I do is yell. Can you help me”?
The questions go on and on. I could fill a book with all the questions I have received from parents – whether it is on the phone, in the office, during a speaking engagement, or sometimes at the supermarket when they find out what I do.
I could give them an answer, or I could ask them a question…“Why do you think he is doing that?”, “How do you respond when he does that?”, “Is that working?”, “How do you think he feels when you respond that way?”, “What do you think would help?”
Asking these questions is more powerful because it allows the parent to begin to find the answer from within themselves, one that was in them the whole time. I simply help them dig down and look beneath their societal expectations and self-limiting beliefs. These influences have led them to believe that someone outside of them knows more about how to parent their child than they do.
For those of you who have more than one child, I am sure you would agree that each of your children is different, right? Same environment, same parents…vastly different human beings!
So, why do we think we can parent them the same in every situation?
It is my belief, based on my personal experience with my own children and years of working with children and their families, that a return to parenting from love and compassion is the key.
When we become conscious of who we are and who are children are, we seem to have the answer to ‘what-do-I-do?’ at our fingertips.
This means, it is more about connecting with self so that I can connect with my child. It is more about, “what part of me am I responding from?” “Am I looking at this situation from my child’s perspective and personality?” ”Am I responding instead of reacting?”
There are not enough hours in the day for an ‘expert’ to tell you what to do in every situation.
But, you can begin to trust yourself and your children…
Starting today, simply decide that you will:
- Respond instead of react (think about and ‘feel’ your response).
- Empathize with your children (see things from their perspective).
- Remember that YOU know your children best.
- Realize that your children are not YOUR children (they are individual human beings here for their own experiences, not to fulfill your dreams but their own) – ouch! Sorry.
- If all you can see is your child’s faults, you need to have your eyes checked.
Don’t complicate things. Keep life simple. Parent from LOVE and COMPASSION not from a book that tells you precisely what to do in every situation.
Become conscious of yourself. Then of your family. Then of your life.
I love you all.
Until next time…keep it simple.