Parent with empathy
This. It was a wake up call for me when I read it. Sometimes I’m more worried about what others think about my child’s behavior than I am about my child... How’s that for a vulnerable confession for ya?
When we do the inner work on ourselves and realize we cannot control their behavior, only our response to it, it is freeing. When we become more concerned about our child and their needs than the outward behavior, life changes. When we can be confident enough in our parenting to not worry about what others think (I’m still not there yet 100% btw), and have our concern all about our child’s welfare is when our relationship and parenting can change for the better.
It’s hard work to free yourself. When you finally realize that what your neighbors, family members, teachers, coaches think about you as a parent is none of your business and you can simply focus on your child it’s freeing. Finding empathy for the child who is struggling is key. When I parent from empathy for their struggle it is so different than when I parent to stop the behavior. Remember behavior is communication and defiance and rule breaking have deeper roots than just disobedience. Frustration, anxiety, OCD, impossible or unmet expectations, sensory issues, developmental delays among a myriad of other things or even just as simple as being tired and hangry.
So next time your child has a tantrum, or is defiant or gets angry. Practice the pause. Are you parenting to stop the behavior? Take a minute and tap into empathy for their struggle and see how that changes things.