Loving the “Stop Yelling” course – unlike any other parenting course I have done. Deeper – more reflective and recognises the individual difference and need for unique solutions for each.
“Stop the Yelling” is an easy to follow course, with simple tools before you head down the yelling spiral. Val also understands that kids push your buttons and gives great ways to prevent this from building up. I highly recommend this parenting course for Mums and Dads.
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Did you see Pixar’s movie ‘Inside Out’?
Every parent can find a treasure trove of Parenting incidents in this film that can challenge you to think about how to be the mindful parent you’d love to be – or the ‘parent -from-hell’ you never want to be, especially if you’re facing a transition. Parenting is always more challenging at a time of relocation – whether you’re moving house, moving country, or facing a change like your child starting a new school.
When family stresses overwhelm us, even the ‘dream child’ can become a serious parenting headache, as we see with Disney Pixar’s character Riley. If you haven’t seen the film, even watching the ‘Inside Out’ trailer gives a taste of what can lie in store for the unsuspecting parent when regular family life is thrown off balance.
Perhaps you’ve already experienced a moment when your precious, well-behaved child suddenly becomes the disdainful pre-teen – who answers you back, rolls her eyes or storms out the room.
‘What happened to my sweet co-operative child?’ you ask yourself. ‘How do I get my child to behave?’ The thing is, you can’t. You can’t make any child behave. But, even when you are under stress, you can figure out how to respond in a way that’s more likely to create co-operation. Here’s how:
Eight Tips to Turn Your Family Upset into an Opportunity for Connection
1. Don’t let your Anger have the driving seat.
Like Riley’s home, a little incident can easily escalate. Riley’s dad let his Anger take command, and within seconds, the incident down-spiralled into out-of-control conflict. Riley’s Dad didn’t have to let Anger dictate – it was his choice.
2. Keep control of your emotions.
The thing is, either you are in charge of your emotions or your emotions are in charge of you. Riley needed her dad to remain the parent, to stay in a calm place, especially when her emotions were getting out of control. Your children need you to remain the adult.
3. Mind the gap!
There’s a momentary ‘pause’ in every incident where you can let your emotions take control, or where you can focus on your breathing, and centre yourself, so that you can figure out what’s needed.
4. Ask yourself, “What really matters here?”
The outcome of a parent letting Anger take command can be disastrous. Riley’s family crisis could have ended up being a parent’s worse nightmare. For every action there is a reaction. I’m not saying that Riley’s eye-rolling behaviour was acceptable – but it’s when, where and how a parent deals with reactive behaviour that makes the difference.
5. HALT – what’s going on for your child!
Stop – for just a second and ask yourself ‘Is she Hungry/ Angry / Anxious / Lonely / iLL or Tired?’ Responding to your child’s ‘HALT’ needs will often defuse a potential crisis.
Take a moment to think about the situation from Riley’s perspective, she was ‘Hungry’ for her old home and probably also hungry for her parents’ attention (they were both worried and stressed about the house move, the furniture not arriving and the new job).In fact, if you think about all that’s been going on for Riley, you will probably also figure she was Angry, Anxious, Lonely and Tired. This child needs support!
6. Ask yourself, “What might my child’s behaviour be telling me?”
Using HALT as a guide, when you listen to your child’s behaviour, you’ll figure out what’s needed. When you are in a situation like Riley’s parents, you might not be able to provide an easy or immediate solution, but with the ‘HALT’ signpost to guide you, you will be able to see your child’s perspective. You’ll be able figure out together what is possible, when you work together as a team.
7. HALT – what’s going on for you!
Remember you are not “super-mum” or “super-dad”. You won’t always respond in an ideal way. There are times when Anger (or Fear, Disgust or Sadness) might grab control. Go for a walk. Regain your calm. HALT – and ask yourself, ˜Am I Hungry/ Angry / Anxious / Lonely / iLL or Tired? Riley’s dad had been so busy trying to sort out the stresses the family were facing he hadn’t taken time to recharge his own batteries. If he’d taken time to relax with Riley (or with himself!) he’d have been in a better place to respond helpfully to her.
You can’t be the parent you’d love to be if you’re not minding your own needs too.
8. Build in time for fun as a family.
When we are under stress taking time for fun is the first thing to go out the window. But fun, ˜feel good” experiences release endorphins into your system, which counteract the stress chemicals, which reduces your likelihood of reacting unhelpfully. Fun as a family matters most when you think you can least afford it, because it will be easier to deal effectively with the upsets when you and your family are more relaxed.
And a final thought:
At the start of this incident in “Inside Out”, Riley’s mum is trying to be kind and understanding – but they still have a family meltdown. The secret is – it’s all about timing. The more your child moves towards her teen years, the more will be her need for autonomy, for doing things HER way. She’ll tell you what she wants you to know in her way and in her time. If you try to force the connection, rather than let it unfold naturally when she’s ready to talk, you could be heading for meltdown. If she resists connection, give her space, remain approachable, create opportunities for fun and relax together. Build the sense of connection so she’ll want to want to share with you whats going on for her. For the three key strategies every parent needs to gain insights into how to deal with discipline issues in the home, particularly if you are coping with moving house, moving country or facing some other family transition like your child starting school, see “BEHAVE: What To Do When Your Child Won’t”.
If you have serious concerns about your child’s behaviour, it’s important to seek professional help.
What insights did your family gain from “Inside Out”? Please share in the comments box below.
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What people are saying about the course:
Val’s course is so simple but so effective. I literally started acting differently towards my children immediately. It really made me look at them in a different light – as little beings who are a reflection of how I am feeling in myself. When I changed my own thinking and behaviour, they changed in front of my eyes. I really liked how Val helped me to see that I need to take care if myself so that I can take care of my children better – to put on my own oxygen mask before putting on theirs. I would highly recommend this course. You will gain so much from it, it’s simple to use and follow and you can do the course at home when the kids are in bed.
Maeve Murray, Co. Cork.
You look at the numbers on the weighing scale and groan,
‘How will I ever lose weight!’ You know, and I know, the festive season is hardly good for losing centimetres around your waist, or your rear end, but you are determined to get off to a good start with healthy eating in the New Year.
You may be wondering why I’m writing about weight loss when my work is as a Parenting expert. (I see myself as an expert on helping you to be the expert in what your family needs to thrive). Last January I was asked to postpone a Parenting workshop.
‘It seems people aren’t ready to get going till February’, the lady from the hosting organisation explained.
But the strange thing I noticed was that from the first week of January the car park was full when the evening slimming programme began. It seems everybody makes it a priority to get down to ideal weight when it’s the first of January. I was discussing this with a friend who responded,
‘But the best way to ensure that weight loss stays off could be to do something a Parenting course.’ I raised my eyebrow questioningly. ‘Think about it,’ she said. ‘If things aren’t going well at home, we get stressed. And when we get stressed we comfort eat. And, bang, we’re back where we started, with the kilos piling on.’
Her response makes a lot of sense to me. If you are worried that your child is not coping at school, if you’re worried about bullying issues, if you’re stressed about your child’s behaviour, if you and your child aren’t communicating and are going through a stormy patch – it makes sense these things are stressing you. And there’s an old saying,
‘If Mum be happy we all be happy.’
If you as parent are stressed it tends to increase every family member’s stress, and so we all get caught in a downward spiral that easily skids out of control (weight included!) And if you think about it, our stress is largely related to anxiety; wondering how we’ll cope. And Anxiety is something we can do something about, if we know how. ‘Anxiety = Powerlessness x Uncertainty’ according to Chip Conley in ‘Emotional Equations’. So imagine if you knew how to increase your sense of Power to create a calmer home. Imagine if you could increase your sense of Certainty of what your children need to thrive. A greater sense of personal Power and a Certainty of what matters and what to do about it = Less Anxiety = Less Stress. And less stress is likely to result is becoming the calmer, happier, slimmer, fitter parent you really want to be.
This is only theory, but if it makes sense to you, why not discover the Koemba coaching approach to Parenting? This is a combination of my experience working with children and parents as a teacher and school principal, what I learnt though having children of my own, combined with Life Coaching skills and practical communication tools and key insights from Relationship theory. Following on from the success of my ‘BEHAVE!’ Parenting course, my new ‘LISTEN!’ Parenting programme starts in Cork and also in Kilkenny this February. Want to know more? Take two minutes to watch our video clip, on the side panel.
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If you’re not lucky enough to be in those geographical regions, keep watching our posts because we have exciting developments to launch new Parenting resources.