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What Is Your Most Powerful Parenting Tool

Family reading.

Have you ever thought about what the most powerful parenting tool that you have in your parenting tool box? Let me assure you it is more powerful than you can ever imagine. I know you say, “It’s love.” Love is the driving force behind this powerful tool; think again. “The belt! or “The strap!” and still others might say it’s “My voice, I can yell and scream so loud that you can hear me on the other side of the world. That really gets things moving in my home.”

Here’s another hint: using this tool helps both you and your child to feel loved and a sense of belonging and connection. Well I gave away a lot of information with that hint so I will just tell you. It’s your bond with your child. The connection and relationship that you have with your child. It is the most important and valuable tool that you have. It is the foundation of your relationship with your child. Everything else depends on the quality of the relationship that you have with your child.

PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP

Just like all other relationships, the parent-child relationship requires certain elements to be successful and yield positive results. I was talking about this parent-child relationship with some parents at a workshop I was holding. One parent stood up and said ” What do you mean by relationship? I’m the parent. I’m the boss. End of discussion.” Inside my head I was thinking you have chaos and war in your house. Of course I didn’t say that, what I did ask was what brought him to the workshop.

He proceeded to tell me how he wanted to find out how to get his 3 year old to cooperate and listen. He is constantly having to yell, scream and threaten. When I dug deeper I found that he had a very busy work schedule working in New York City. He would leave at 7 am and come home after 7 pm. On the weekends he just wanted to unwind after a very busy work week. I explained to him that children need to feel like they are connected and belong. This is a very important thing for them. You communicate that sense of belonging and connection by spending time with them, quality time. So that means being totally present, no texting, phone or computer or other things that divide your attention.

FREQUENT SMALL AMOUNTS OF QUALITY TIME

Boys have a lot of the hormone testosterone, so it’s very helpful for them to do a lot of physical activity.  So I suggested that maybe when he came home he could spend 10-15 minutes playing around with him, wrestling with him,  picking him up and just talking to him. I explained that I understand that he is probably very tired after his long work day and commute. Somehow, somewhere in his schedule he has to make time to be with his son in a fun way, or relaxing way and not just in a way where he is just giving his son orders.

I told him it has to work for everyone, so maybe he can find pockets of time during his day where he just takes time for him and just take a break. A couple of 10-15 minutes breaks through his day where he did something relaxing for him or even if he did absolutely nothing. But something that would help him manage his energy so that he could be emotionally available for his son and family. This is only one out of many things that he could do, but he needed to start somewhere. I gave other suggestions too, like setting limits, more family time activities and ignoring unwanted behavior and acknowledging and getting excited about the behavior he wanted.

YOU ARE YOUR CHILD’S BEST AND FIRST TEACHER

I acknowledged him for his courage and his willingness to be open and explore other options. Inside myself I apologized to this man for judging him and his household. I had to remind myself that I was there not to judge anyone but to offer suggestions and guidance.

Lastly, I reminded the entire group that at the end of the day, they are there to get the tools and skills that they need to raise happy, healthy and confident kids with life skills that will help them to have a happy and fulfilling life. They are ultimately their children’s  first and best teachers. They can feel confident in relying on their own innate wisdom and  are capable of finding solutions that will work for their family.

What has worked for you. How have you met the challenging demands of being a parent. What tools and techniques have worked for you. Please feel free to share them with us in the form of a comment below. Please also share this information with your family and friends. Have a great day! :-)

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