Somebody just recently asked me what is one secret key you would tell every family about?
Here's my answer: Be an Intentional Parent! More intentional about more of life than you ever have before or ever imagined you would. When we are intentional about understanding how it feels to be our children (their fears, their choices,their beliefs and their wonderings), then we can meet them right where they are at. When we are intentional about meeting them right where they are at, there is less chaos, less hurt and less of a wedge in our relationship. When there is more of a positive connection, everyone is happier.
So, here are some hints to being an Intentional Parent:
-Operate from the understanding that it is most often deficit, NOT defiance - even if it doesn't appear that way on the outside.
-Know that the behavior on the surface is only a smoke screen - look beyond it and deal with the fear or sadness that is there.
-Be clear on what is YOURS and don't let that be part of the problem. We, as parents, add to the spin more often than not.
Being an Intentional Parent can be a very counter-intuitive way of doing things. It takes extra energy at first and even some practice, but it works so much better than just doing it the way you always have or the way everyone else does. Here's the thing, YOU are your child's best chance and choosing to be an Intentional Parent is your secret key in getting the job done!