Are your kids driving you nuts?
Are you and your partner arguing over how to parent?
Do you feel like you’re failing at parenting?
Some people just instinctively know how to handle kids, but that’s rare. Most parents have challenges. The most common complaints I hear from parents are:
- My kids don’t listen to me.
- I yell at my kids out of frustration.
- How do I punish without being mean?
- I’ve tried everything but my kids still don’t respect me.
- My husband thinks I’m too tough/easy on the kids.
- My wife thinks I’m too tough/easy on the kids.
- How do we transition into the teen years?
- Why does my teenager hate me?
- All I want is a peaceful, happy family life, but we’re all miserable.
- How do I protect my child from bullies?
You’d be amazed how many parents are struggling. They may seem okay on the outside because putting up appearances is the norm. No one wants to admit they’re struggling with parenting as they feel like they’re failing.
The fact is that if you’d just learn some simple leadership skills and how to mix them with fun, everything falls into place really quickly. I’ve seen complete turnarounds in as little as 5 days whereas others can take months. It depends not on the kids, but on you. On how consistent and predictable you are.
Your kids need to trust you to respect you. If you’re constantly changing your parenting style then your children will get confused and lose respect for you. Therefore, you need to be 100% predictable.
A great example of this is bedtime. Let’s say you tell the children that bedtime on school nights is 8:00, 9:00 on weekends. Then they argue that bedtime and you give in and let them stay up until 8:30 on a weeknight. You are sending the message that you don’t mean what you say. They’re going to push back with every rule and things get worse and worse.
I have very few memories of punishing my children. I set up the rules and expectations when they were really little and followed through. They learned that when Mom said something, it goes. They became self-disciplined children and teens. I just got to relax and enjoy their company.
I learned this technique when volunteering with kids long before having my own. I figured out that if I was fun and consistent with the rules I could easily get respect. Kids learned that Lisa was fun so long as they were polite and got their chores/homework done first. I honestly couldn’t believe how well it worked.
It was tweeked a bit when working with troubled teens, but was the same principles.
I used to brag about what a tough Mom I was (like to think I’m tough) but when my son grew up he said, “Why on earth we were so afraid of you? You never did anything but goof around and laugh with us.” The fact is they weren’t afraid of me, they were afraid of disappointing me because they respected me.
You only get that level of respect by respecting them.
It’s easy once you learn how to
meet their needs and manage their wants.
A good way to get started is by checking out my free “3 Step Parenting Plan” which is included in my Newsletter. There’s a green button at the top to sign up. It’s a behaviour chart but differs from all others I’ve seen as you are on it also. If a rule for you is to not yell and the kids catch you yelling, you have to have a consequence. It’s usually something that fits the crime. Let’s say you yelled at your son. The punishment would be you have to take him out for ice cream. You can imagine how much kids love being able to punish their parents.
There should be consequences for us, not just our children. That’s part of the mutual respect I referred to above. If I messed up with my kids they were thrilled as that meant a trip to the park or something else fun for them. Once they tried to get me to not talk all day after I messed up and was late picking them up. I negotiated my way out of that one as silence is agony for a motor mouth like me. So I stopped by at the store for treats on our way home from school.
Starting to make sense?
If you need help with this, I do one-on-one coaching via phone/Skype/Facetime.
What type of people hire a Parenting Coach?
My clients are doctors, lawyers, stay-at-home moms/dads, school staff (about 40% of my clients are teachers), psychologists, anyone really. Some clients are sailing through parenting and just want a pat on the back to ensure they’re doing the right things. Others are dealing with life and death issues with teenagers. The majority are floating somewhere inbetween.
Does hiring a Parenting Coach mean I’m a bad parent?
That’s like saying, “Does hiring a personal trainer mean I’m lazy?” Just the opposite. My clients are great parents who just need guidance and encouragement.
Most of my clients are highly educated, successful people who just aren’t getting respect from their children. I often hear things like:
“I run a successful business handling employees, customers and partners with ease. Then I go home and my 3 year old kicks me and tells me he hates me. What on earth is going on?!”
“I’ve been a school teacher for 10 years. My students love and respect me yet I go home to a surly teenager who treats me like crap. Why can I handle 30 kids but not 1 teenager?”
“I thought parenting was going to be a joy. I sailed through pregnancy and was so excited when my beautiful baby was born. Three months later I’m tired, fat, depressed and not enjoying motherhood at all. What’s wrong with me?”
It’s my job to build up parenting skills and confidence. We just laugh off past mistakes and move forward with solutions.
If you would like to know more, contact me.
Lisa Bunnage, Parenting Coach