Parenting is hard, and our society and common perceptions make it even harder. What if I told you that you could turn your relationship with your children into cooperative, compassionate, and loving with a few tweaks of perception?
Parenting is hard; whether you’ve been parenting for a few months or a few years – you already know parenting is hard. Every day is a struggle. Every task seems impossible. The smallest things are the hardest, right? The good news is that there are 5 things most of us do on a daily basis that make parenting so hard, and that we can change rather easily.
Actually, that’s a little lie. To change it we will need to challenge the perceptions we were parented by, the concepts we grew upon, and what we were taught to believe. It is possible, change starts right here, and I’m here to help.
So without further adieu, here are the 5 things you are probably doing that make parenting so much harder, and their alternatives.
#1: You are Probably Taking Things Personally
We are taught to believe that if our children don’t reply – they ignore. We are taught to believe that children test limits. We are taught to believe that WE are the reason to why our children do certain things.
We aren’t. Our children are trying to meet their own needs. They don’t go against us – they want to serve themselves.
Once we learn to see what kids say and do in this light – we can address their needs and feelings without being hurt by them. Can you imagine the freedom?
#2: You are Probably Focusing on the Content
Words are behaviors, and the behavior is the very last link of this thing I call the experience of human life. Underneath the deeds and the words there are presently living needs. When we try to change a behavior without addressing the underlying need – we will fail miserably. The day we’ll learn to see past the content, past the behavior and into the hearts of our children will be the first day of the rest of our wonderful lives.
#3: You are Probably Trying to Change Your Children’s Behavior
We are taught to believe that fights and struggles are necessary for us to get what we want. When in fact – human beings are programmed to resist control. When we try to actively control how our children behave, defiance is what we can expect in return. Compassion is the alternative. Creating an autonomous life experience where children feel seen and heard will change 95% of their unpleasant behaviors without us having to actively do a thing.
#4: You are Probably in a Constant Fight with Reality
When we believe things should be anything else than they are – we live a life pain. Believing we should, they should, or he should – robs us of the present moment where things are just the way they are. And things are the way they are for a reason. If we learn to accept things for what they are, we will stop blinding ourselves to the reason. Recognizing the reason will allow the desired change to linger into our lives, without fights or struggles.
#5: You are Probably Feeling Guilt and Shame for the Way Things Are
Guilt and shame are inherent in our society; we are taught that we are wrong from the very first moment of our existence. And since this is instilled to us from one generation to another – guilt and shame are our second skin, until we will teach ourselves a new lesson according to which we are the very best we can be in any given moment. If we could do better – we would. Since we didn’t – we couldn’t.
Self compassion will allow us the air, the space, and the serenity that is needed for learning since all learning always takes place in hindsight, and marrying the past didn’t yet make the future better. Did it?
But believing we are to blame, believing we need to change, believing all this weight is on our shoulders and that we are carrying it alone – makes parenting so much harder. Because when we suffer – we pass that suffering on. And then – everyone suffers.
There is a way out of this vicious cycle; there’s a way to take all these burdens off of your shoulders, and allow you to live a life of compassion and acceptance, that will breed compassion and acceptance among the ones you love most.
There’s Light at the End of the Tunnel
And this light has a name: Nonviolent Communication.
Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a communication method that allows individuals to connect to each other’s deepest needs, create mutual understanding, and awaken the inner, most basic need, of cooperation with the ones they love.
This practical approach presupposes that everything that we do, everything that we say and think is a strategy aimed at having our needs met, and that our feelings mirror our needs.
When understanding our own needs, knowing what matters to us most and where our words and actions stem from, we learn to see what matters to our loved ones, what their words and actions stem from. When we treat this information purely, through empathy and self expression, we connect to ourselves, and to our loved ones. This place of contentedness allows us to make positive, empowering choices, far from the field of fear, guilt, and shame most of us are operating within.
This deep level of understanding, of connection to self and to the other, enables all participants to mediate conflicts and create the sense of closeness and empowerment in every interaction.
NVC creates a field of acceptance where we all meet, free from judgment and interpretation. When the connection of hearts is present, we can give the needed space to our needs and feelings, and the same space to the needs and feelings of our loved ones. This deep connection makes cooperation, listening, mutual understanding, and profound empathy possible.
You Are Not Alone
Everything you are going through can be changed. Your life experience can be changed. It can be made better.
I’ve been coaching and mentoring parents for years and I haven’t yet met a child or a parent who remained indifferent to this new approach to communication. Do something for yourself and give it a try; I always offer the first session free of charge, and you can submit yours right here.
Parenting is hard, but it doesn’t have to be so hard. Join my parenting support group on Facebook, I would love to meet you 🙂