This week I reviewed a webinar presented by Rebecca Doolittle McFalls in parenting without power struggles and RDI principles. In this webinar series Rebecca comments on Susan Stiffelman in her book Parenting Without Power Struggles.
For parents, the excitement of having a child begins before birth. We have so many wonderful ideas of who that child will turn out to be. What is so magnificent about having children is no matter what your expectations are for them, they always exceed them. No matter what set of skills your child has, discovering who he or she is turns out to be the greatest adventure.
Sometimes as parents, we don’t realize how important it is to accept our children. And sometimes, the more we struggle to make them who we want them to be, the more they fight back. We miss the amazing life in our children when we waste time fighting for the person we want them to be.
What can I do to work on accepting my child?
One exercise is writing down every little thing that you find frustrating or difficult in your child. Then ask yourself four questions
- Is it true?
- Is it absolutely true?
- How do you feel when you think this thought?
- Who would you be without this thought?
Allow yourself to grieve, open yourself up to reality, discover the greatness that is your child and push yourself to grow.
Try to put yourselves in their shoes, do you remember a time when your parents really understood and empathized with you? Or a time when you maybe thought your parents didn’t like you that much.
When we don’t like something about our children, or wish they were different, children often pick up on that.
One road to acceptance is to be mindful of ourselves.
Rebecca brings up a great point when she talks about reality TV. We watch it and think to ourselves, how can they do that on TV, with all those video cameras on them? The answer is that the cameras are always there, so they forget that they are being filmed. Live like your children are watching, because they are.
“The way you live in front of your children can either dampen or spark their thirst for exploring their interest and expressing their unique brand of genius.”-Susan Stiffelman
What are your hobbies or interests? How can you get excited about them? How can you include your children in those activities?
Be mindful of your own happiness.Doing meaningful things with yourself is a great way to teach children self acceptance and individual enjoyment.
An activity you can do right now with your child is to take a walk around the block.
Be aware of every step. Stop for one minute and try to name all the noises you hear. Try to whistle and talk to birds, sometimes they talk back!
Being “there” with your children will give them encouragement to seek out their own selves. when we are genuinely enjoying life, appreciating the ups and downs for the adventure they are,children tend to follow example to discover their own brand of happiness. As Gandhi once said”“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”
This information was taken from a highlight of a webinar for members of the RDI Learning Community. Please contact us for more information about membership.