- Ever been in a car and your children start to whine, cry and want to go back home?
- Your child agrees to not taking along the toy, but then in the car they change their mind and throw a tantrum.
- Wish you could change a crying child into a laughing one?
This video clip is taking from the online session on Acknowledging Emotions. Amanda shares how she used the skill of fantasy and changed the whole mood of the car. In her words, she says, "It was really that easy."
This skill is the one most parents laugh at when I first teach them it, but it is the most commonly used one that brings the most success.
- How do you know if you are overprotecting your children?
- How much risk is a good thing?
- Can risking something turn into a good thing?
A great quote says, "many a one has succeeded only because he has failed after repeated efforts. If he had never met defeat, he would never have known any great victory.'
Every time we try to protect our children from possible failure or rejection, we simultaneously deny them the possibility of succeeding, of persevering, and of accomplishing their dreams.
We nearly always regret what we don't do, and are grateful for the learning from what we do.
We were driving home from school when Cailin wanted her lunch box. When she was finished eating she asked me from the back seat to take the box as she had no space in the back. I said to her: “Babes, please keep the box with you or find another space until we get home to put it for now as mommy needs to concentrate whilst driving”.
The next minute this pink lunch box came flying past me as she threw it towards the front of the car. I pulled off to the side of the road, turned to Cailin and said in a firm voice: “Cailin, this is not on. Mommy is now angry with you for not listening to me when I asked you to keep the box with you for now. When we goe home we can discuss this again when Mommy will be ready to talk to you”.
I continued our drive and after a minute Cailin said: “Mommy, I am ready to talk now”.
I said to her: “Cailin, I said that mommy will talk to you when I am ready”.
When we stopped at home about 5 minutes later, I turned to Cailin and said: “Mommy is now ready and would like to talk to you about the lunch box incident”.
Cailin responded: “Ok, mommy I am ready too.” I then said to her: “When we drive in the car we need to be safe and Mommy can’t look to the back as I need to concentrate on the road ahead”.
As I wanted to continue the conversation Cailin amazed me when she passed the lunch box to the front and she put it nicely on the front seat saying: “Mommy, next time I will put the box like this on the seat, ok?”
I said to her: “Thanks babes, Mommy really appreciates it when you come up with good ideas.
About 3 days later we were again driving in the car. Cailin just finished her fruit juice and in a soft voice said to me: “Mommy, see this is how I will put my juice in the front when you are driving”. She then leaned forward and she gently put her juice box in the middle consol of the car.
This is the question we received: My daughter is very clingy when I drop her off at school. She doesn't want me to leave her and when I do, often cries and begs me not to go. I end up sitting in the car crying myself. This has been going on for a long time now and nothing seems to be changing.
When her dad drops her off she doesn't play up. Am I doing something wrong here?
Robin answers in the following video clip:
This incredibly powerful advert really conveys that people often don't see themselves as they really are. And inspite of our attempts to persuade them otherwise, they don't believe us.
In the world of our children, we often praise them for things we see them do, wanting to boost their confidence and self esteem, but they often don't really believe that about themselves. This is the similarity to this video clip shown here. It is essential we learn the intelligent skills of praise that will support our children in seeing themselves as they truely are.
This is the most powerful formula I know to bring flow to your family home
Awareness + Skills + Action = Possibilty (or flow)
- But what is this thing called awarness?
- What role do skills play?
- And what action must you take to bring it all together?
In this interview with Christpoher Nevill (an expert in the field of personal development and accessing your better potential), I explore with him this critical role of awareness in parenting and how my parenting skills build upon his work.
I have done many interviews with him and you can find many of them here
After having attended the session on Supporting Independence, I realised that I was very nervous about my daughter Mishqa choosing her own clothes.
How would she know what colours to fit together and what style to wear? The next day I laid out two tops for her to choose. She went off to school quite proud and happy about herself.
Soon after I gave her a greater choice and on one occasion she chose something that I didn’t think would go well with the pants she would wear. So I asked her why she chose the other top and she replied that the previous one would not go well with her shoes.
I realised she was right and from then on I decided she knew what she was doing. Now I am the proud one as I see she has really good taste of what clothes to wear.
If you keep living your life as you are currently doing so now.... and you get to the age of 90, what will you look back on and regret?
Nearly all of us regret what we don't do. Rarely do with regret what we do as each mistake becomes a learning and every experience holds meaning.
Make sure your regrets of what you didn't do don't end up as weights on the shoulders of your chidlren because you didn't follow your own dreams first.
And if your biggest wish is that your children are happy and follow their dreams, you will need to set that example for them.
This interview was done just before a Nurturing of Self Esteem workshop was to be held in Johannesburg. It covers a wide range of parenting topics.
length: 17:30 minutes
Our before work and school morning routine was not really working for me in that my focus was constantly around getting Jane ready for school at her pace and then having to rush to get myself dressed and looking respectable in the remaining few minutes that were granted to me so that we left on time.
I decided that I would address the issue by first acknowledging Jane’s feelings around not wanting to get dressed as soon as she wakes up and not wanting to eat breakfast until I was dressed and then establishing some sort of a contract with her as a solution to the morning ‘’flow’’ issue.
I acknowledged that I understood that she does not like being rushed out of bed on a cold winter’s morning to immediately get dressed and I acknowledged that she does not like to sit and eat breakfast alone while I play catch up on sorting myself out.
She then suggested that she watch BBC while I get dressed and ready for work. Initially I thought ‘’not a good idea, T.V. will just create distraction and delays and I do not particularly want the T.V. on in the morning’’ but after some thought I suggested the following:
First, I would wake her up before I make coffee so that she can lie in bed for 15 minutes before having to get dressed, then I would help her get dressed while having coffee and a conversation with her about the day and then finally once she was fully dressed with brushed hair and washed face we would make her breakfast and she could eat while watching 20 mins of BBC and I could get dressed and ready in a less manic state!
I communicated to her that the T.V. idea would only work if after 20 minutes when I asked her to come and brush her teeth she would do so willingly and she replied by saying that she could do it so long as I gave her a 5 minute warning before teeth time.
We have now tried the above routine for the last 4 mornings and every morning has been a success, we are actually arriving at school earlier than before and I am feeling in one piece when I walk out the door!
I am sure every parent that struggles with sibling rivalry wishes their children could have a relationship like this one. And it's possible. There are some amazing skills to learn to create these deep relationships. Conflict resolution, problem solving, listening with intent, engaging cooperation etc are just a few. Check out the Siblings with Success workshop session to learn them.
Niki and her friend Ammie were making a cake, but both wanted to be first at pouring the milk in the bowl.
Niki: you're always first
Ammie: no you're always first, I want to be first
Mom, using the skills of describing the problem. Hey guys, I see two children who both want to pour milk in and there is only one bowl. How can we find a way to make this work?
Ammie: I've got a brilliant idea! At my house you can be first and at you're house, I can be first, ok?
Even though it’s not quite the answer that I would have wanted, it was still creative and seemed to work for them. No fighting.
In my pre-school class I constantly get children coming to ask me to do things for them. I have found the skill of respecting their struggle really helpful and it seems to give them courage to continue finding an alternate way. Take for example….
Megan: “Robin, I can’t make this heart.”
Robin: “Mmm, it can be quite tricky cutting out along those lines. It looks like those lines are really small. Maybe we can make a plan. What can we do to make those lines easier to see?”
Megan: “Maybe we can draw them again, with a big crayon.”
After having completed the heart and having regained self-confidence and pride, Ryan comes to complain about the same problem.
Robin: “It looks like these hearts are difficult to cut out. Megan came up with a good plan. Perhaps you can ask her to show you her plan.”
With that Ryan asks Megan for her idea and Megan beams with pride as she shows Ryan her idea and how it worked. Through this situation Megan has learnt that she has good ideas and that the children can help each other in solving problems. As the teacher I shifted the responsibility back to the children and they grow from the experience.
Yesterday, we were on about Day 7 of both girls being sick. We were all feeling quite irritable and cabin feverish. As something interesting to do that would get us out of the house and not involve them going out in the cold or coughing and spluttering on anyone else, we decided to go for a drive ‘to see the sea’.
Of course going for drives often means that both girls fall asleep which provides some much needed peace, quiet and space for mom! To make it just little more fun and interesting I decided we could stop at the drive –thru for some chippies for the girls and a coffee for me.
I have a bit of a thing about hearing people chew. It annoys me immensely, even more so when my levels of irritation are already raised. So I said to the girls, ‘Girls, remember that we chew with our mouths closed’ and a bit later: ‘I don’t want to hear you chewing those chips.’
They responded to this with various protests about how they were chewing with their mouths closed and that you couldn’t chew without making a noise etc etc.
The conversation changed and we carried on with our drive with the older one chatting away and the younger one in a mood telling us both to be quiet! In the meantime I still had coffee to drink. As I picked up my coffee my three year old daughter pipes up from the back: ‘Mom, I don’t want to hear you drinking that coffee!!’. And with that promptly fell asleep.
That little comment instantly snapped me out of my mood and I couldn’t stop laughing. It changed my day. Isn’t it amazing how kids have the ability to hold up a mirror and let us laugh at ourselves!
I said to Emily “this room is a mess” “toys and things everywhere”. She looked around her and agreed readily. I gently asked her what she thinks can be done about it.
She suggested tidying up the toys and crafts cupboard first. I asked her, as we were going to school and work when she thought she would get it done by. She said by the next afternoon. This was done beautifully without a reminder.
I was very proud of her and congratulated her on the fine effort. I did not get the whole room tidied but, also learnt that perhaps it is better to tackle a BIG mess in small parts.
This week has been particularly encouraging for me. It's almost as if a shift has taken place in my cognitive process. I have managed consistently the whole week to apply some of the skills I have learnt regarding engaging co-operation with my children.
The most significant change has been that I have shifted my language. By exploring alternatives, be it, through using description, fantasy or shifting accusation from them by using more general words like 'we' instead of 'you' has been quite a break-through for me.
It has helped me to remain much calmer in most situations and brought about a greater flow of communication in our home. For example, the one day when I got home with Maria, both Maria and Samuel proceeded to have one melt-down after the other and were constantly at each other's throats.
The entire afternoon and evening were extremely taxing for me. But by consistently diffusing each situation through engaging with different language and engaging tactics, by the time Noah (my husband) got home (round 7:30), he walked into a home that appeared to have had a normal, wonderful afternoon and evening.
The atmosphere, which usually would have been on a razor's edge given the emotions that had erupted throughout the period, was quite relaxed and settled! It was quite incredible to realise how much can be managed simply through these skills.