Before you had kids, you probably didn’t understand that parenting is the hardest thing you’ll ever do.
It’s hard because you love your children like no one else, so they have the ability to push your buttons like no one else can.
Our kids can be pure joy, but they can sometimes be irrational puddles of emotion.
If you weren’t staying on top of them every single minute, you may wonder if they’d ever eat anything healthy, go to bed on time, or get themselves to school. You may imagine that without your constant pushing and nagging they’d spend the day eating candy and playing video games, their toys and socks strewn about the floor, without an inkling that maybe they should tidy up…ever.
That’s not the picture of parenthood you imagined.
You aren’t expecting perfection. All you want is some basic cooperation and a little bit of consideration. But what you get so often is whining, yelling, meltdowns and tantrums.
It can be exhausting being a parent.
You HATE that you yell at your kids sometimes. You don’t like losing your temper.
When you lose control of your emotions with your kids, it makes you feel like a bad parent.
You think you’re trying everything and nothing is working. You feel stuck and out of options.
But HOW do you do things differently? You aren’t sure.
There’s no required course on effective parenting in high school.
When it comes to knowing how to raise happy children, all we have to go on is how we were raised. For many of us, that means growing up with parents who did the best they could, but weren’t exactly awesome. They may have come from a generation that didn’t believe kids should have a say in anything. Or they were disengaged and lax, letting you do whatever you wanted.
When you became a parent, you may have decided you were going to be nothing like your parents. Or perhaps you didn’t think much about how you’d raise your children, believing it would all come naturally.
That means that you probably turn to knee-jerk parenting modes, which are often ineffective and may do nothing to create calm and connection.
The first common mode of parenting is Lawyer mode. This is when you’re hoping to use logic and reasoning to talk your child into doing or not doing something.
They want to eat ice cream before dinner, so you explain how that will spoil their appetite.
They’re 13 and want to go to the mall with their friends, and you warn them that it’s not a good idea because they might get lured by a stranger.
They want to stay up to watch a movie and you reason that they’ll be too tired to get up for school at 6 am.
The Lawyer is always negotiating, debating or reasoning with the child.
And the child doesn’t get it.
That’s because children, especially very young children, aren’t moved by logic and reasoning. They’re swayed by how they feel and what they want in the moment. They don’t “get” that their appetite will be spoiled or that five hours of sleep isn’t healthy for a six-year-old.
The Lawyer mode only serves to aggravate you and confuse the child. They don’t “get it” and you’re not getting through to him or her.
Next, to gain control of the situation, you might try the Dictator mode.
You’re done trying to rationalize with your child. Now you just want them to stop whining and do what they’re told.
You may give them a time-out or you just order them to their room.
Stop crying, or I’ll give you something to cry about. You might say.
Or you tell them no, and to stop pestering you or no screen time for a week!
Dictator mode can upset your child even further because you’re parenting by intimidation and threats. You’re no longer willing to listen and explain things to them. You’ve shut down and now you’re angry. Your child isn’t sure what you’ll do next and it scares them. They start to cry, scream, or stomp their feet.
You see your child doing this and that’s when you lose it.
Maybe you imagine they’re being stubborn or you sense that you’ve lost the ability to control your child. So what do you do? Maybe you yell. You scream back at them. You throw things. You spank them.
Which may end the battle, but makes you feel completely crappy about yourself later.
The parenting mode that has the power to make you feel calm and centered, and inspires your children to relax and cooperate, is the mode I call being the Captain of the Ship.
The Captain has the ability and temperament to sail through the stormy waters of childhood. The Captain doesn’t get influenced by whining or stonewalling. They are sturdy, alpha-energy leaders who know what’s best for the passengers of the boat (household) and don’t resort to bribes or punishments to get everyone on board.
Captain mode works because your child senses that you are confidently in charge and willing to calmly listen to them without being affected by their emotions. They can have their say and feel what they feel without fearing your reaction or bracing for your anger. They are more at ease, knowing you won’t lose control of YOUR emotions and because you’ll set proper boundaries and limitations (which is something all children subconsciously crave, believe it or not).
As Captain, you help your child MOVE THROUGH her emotion, anger, and disappointment. You’re not leading your child on that you’re open to their demands. You’re not steering the ship’s course according to the whim of the passenger (child).
The Captain is a mode of parenting that works to inspire respect and attention from your children, without being overbearing or indulgent.
When you learn how to be the Captain for your children, it’s a game-changer. Suddenly, they want to please you. They are more relaxed because they know a grown-up is in charge.
I know, because as a marriage and family therapist, I’ve been teaching parents how to improve their relationships with their children for decades.
My clients come to me asking how they can change their child’s behavior, and I tell them that focusing on what’s wrong with their child’s behavior doesn’t work. It doesn’t work to get the child to want to cooperate (it coerces) and it doesn’t foster a better relationship with your child long-term.
There’s one key to consistently positive results—and that is knowing how to be the Captain with your children.
In my video program, Parenting Without Bargains, Battles or Bribes, you’ll learn the principles and techniques behind becoming the calm, sturdy leader that your children need.
Additionally, you’ll learn a non-traditional, counterintuitive approach to parenting that allows you to forge a much closer and stronger relationship with your child, especially if you’ve been out of control with yelling and punishments lately.
You’ll also learn:
And much more!
This is a 6-hour video program where you’ll see me demonstrating these techniques with real parents.
I answer questions that are very common among parents. Question such as: “What if my child is addicted to their electronic devices?” and, “What do I do or say if my child disrespects me with name-calling and insults?”
It is my hope that after you watch Parenting Without Bargains, Battles or Bribes you’ll come away feeling hopeful and optimistic that the vision you had about parenting long before you had children can actually become a reality.
I can tell you that it’s possible, and it all starts with you.
P.S. If you’re not sure whether my methods and techniques will work for you, no problem! Watch the entire program, try the exercises and evaluate for yourself if my principles strike a chord with you. If they don’t, you can let me know within 7 days of your purchase and I’ll refund your money in full. Start watching now.