Balance is crucial in every relationship; it often goes unnoticed, especially in parenting, but we start developing unpleasant feelings when we feel taken from.
How Can you Balance Your Parenting?
You’re right – parenting is meant to be a one-sided relationship, and it remains such for many years. Lowering our expectations is vital, but we are human beings with needs and feelings, too, right?
The first thing to aim for is not to demand love, compliance, or respect; these come from the heart and cannot be forced. Instead, make connection and trust your priority and use these feelings to grow mutual respect and understanding. All human beings become amazing listeners when they feel listened to.
Parents Naturally Give, Children Naturally Receive
This is the way it’s meant to be. However, it might get to us as well, and then we won’t feel the inner desire to give. Most parents I know tend to dismiss this inner voice and to continue giving, and giving, and giving until the moment they explode.
If you’re reading this, don’t do – you don’t deserve an empty cup, and unlike what many think – parenting doesn’t have to leave you empty.
So how can you explain it to a child?
Easily – using CANDY!
Full Cup, Empty Cup
I used candy because a cup of candy is enough to get a child’s attention without needing to do anything for it. Then I gave examples of everything I do that eventually leaves my cup empty, and how these same actions work to fill his cup.
Then I asked him what he could do differently to help me fill my cup. All his answers came from him, his ideas from his knowledge of me and what I might want.
This conversation made perfect sense to him, and since then, when he takes mindful action, he asks me, “did this help fill your cup”?
No lectures, no force, just mutual understanding 🙂
The only way to foster longlisting and unbreakable bonds with our children is by mindful and deliberate communication. Define your goals and your values, and think before you talk (nothing will happen if it’ll take you a minute to respond, I promise). Weigh your words and ask yourself – which result would these words bring?
More great news!
Fearless, Guiltless, Shameless: Parenting Beyond Coercion is now available in ALL formats – and is always free with your KU account. Get your copy however you like it: