Negative Thinking, Positive Thinking and Parenting
Your Internal Tape Deck
Do you remember tape players (perhaps even the 8-track tape variety)...those magical, wonderful contraptions that allowed us to listen to music on tape before the advent of walkman radios, compact discs, MP3 players, digital downloads and the like?
These outdated devices allowed us to stop, rewind...and play certain parts of the tape over and over, at will. Now, imagine that you have a tape deck in your head. This particular tape deck provides a running commentary on your life. What we're telling ourselves in our own heads leads to feelings. If we are thinking negative thoughts, those feelings are often bothersome:
What Are You Telling Yourself About Your Child's Behavior?
Is the tape you play most often mostly positive or mostly negative? What about when it comes to stresses and strains of behavioral issues that continue to play out in your home...does the tape go something like this:
"I can't take this anymore."
"This is driving me crazy."
"Can't I catch a break?"
"This kid is getting on my last nerve."
"I give up. There's nothing that really works!"
"I've tried everything...and still...this behavior continues."
If you've found yourself caught in a stream of thoughts that sound like those above, you are not alone. When faced with a challenging child, the techniques that work with most garden-variety behavioral issues will not stand up to the test. The same techniques that yield awesome results with many kids may not even begin to touch the behavioral issues of an intense, demanding, persistent child.
Turn It All Around
If you want change in your household...start with your own thoughts. Turn those above thoughts on their head. They may morph into something much more bearable and uplifting like:
"This is tough, but I can take it."
"This could put almost anyone over the edge, but I can muddle through."
"I'll breathe through this tough time and help my child calm down, too."
"My child's feelings don't have to trigger the same feelings in me. I have skills I can teach her to calm down."
"I'll never give up on my child. I'll keep looking until I find a solution."
"I'm going to try everything I possibly can with my child, until I find what helps."
This is just scratching the surface folks...it's a minor tweak we can make to help ourselves get through rough patches with our kids. And...I know it works...for a FACT.
More Help is On Its Way!
We'll dive much deeper into all of this in The Joyful Parent!
Following The Joyful Parenting (TJP) approach to raising children offers parents, educators, clinicians and children hope. It does not promise that every day will be perfect, nor even that it will be great. TJP recognizes the complexities of human relationships, it allows for mistakes and keeps its internal compass pointed towards all that is good, noble and possible. TJP allows you to create better days and to manage difficult moments with more compassion and poise.
Our next course begins this Wednesday. We'd love to help you, too! Go HERE to sign-up!
Until next time,
Wendy Young, LMSW, BCD, is the founder of Kidlutions and co-author of BLOOM: 50 Things to Say, Think and Do with Anxious, Angry and Over-the-Top Kids, co-creator of BLOOM Brainsmarts, and creator of The Joyful Parent. She is the author of numerous workbooks and resources to help from the preschool through the teen years.
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