I’ll bet that if you are reading this, you have probably read numerous parenting books and articles? You know what you should do but things don’t really change. It is often easier to just go with the flow and hope that the things we are not happy with in our lives and in our parenting will magically and simply change for the better.
How do you make a change?
We all make small changes all the time, change is after all, the only constant in our lives, but taking the steps to implement bigger changes can be difficult.
I believe that the foundation for all meaningful change is self-change and never more so than in our parenting.
Let’s look at shouting. It’s a big one. It’s probably the one thing that I find most overwhelmed and busy Mums wish they could change.
“I want to stop shouting”
Easier said than done! It’s so hard. Trust me, I know.
The key to changing any behavior is to identify your triggers. What is it that makes you shout? A colleague of mine likes to ask her clients to “unpack their thinking” and I love this idea.
With any change, comes uncertainty and uncertainty is scary. When we try something new, we often don’t know what might happen. This fear is what often prevents many of us from taking that first step towards change.
I think that one of the most important pieces in any change process is having a plan as to how you will stop yourself defaulting to the engrained pattern of behavior, the one that you are trying to change.
This is often the missing piece.
You need to notice when things are heading down hill and do something to hault the slide. What we need to do in the heat of the moment will be different for all of us – you might say something to yourself, you might shut your eyes for one deep breath, you might say something out loud, you might remove yourself from the room for a moment, you might move closer to your child and get down to their level.
Whatever it is, you need to be able to return to calm, recharge and actively choose the alternative to shouting.
When you disturb your system, do something different and take that brave step outside your comfort zone, there will be uncertainty. But you need to trust that the dust will re-settle and re-organize.
“All change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and so beautiful at the end” –
When you can see your child as he or she is, as a child needing help managing his/her emotions rather than simply seeing the tantrum, and give the child what he/she really needs, the child you are looking at will change.
As the dust settles, a new pattern of behavior will emerge. In time, you will find a new groove and the chances are it will be a better one.
It will take time, it will take effort but it will be worth it. The books can’t do this for you, only you can do it. Doing it with a coach at your side to guide you and support you can also really help.
When I work with parents, I effectively become the bridge between the parent they are now and the parent they would love to become.
If you need support with making changes, give me a call and we can have a chat about it.