Happy parents are not a strange alien race descended from the heavens. They’re just ordinary people who’ve got a head start on the antidote for parenting in a media driven, fast paced and increasingly materialistic world. This antidote is called conscious parenting.

As a conscious parent there are some wonderful alternatives to stop children’s irritating behavior that are simple and effective and that you can begin using now.

TIP 1:
PLAN AHEAD

For example, prepare your child for what is to come. If you are going on a road trip, instead of reading the riot act to your kids, help them mentally prepare for what is to come. Explain that the trip is long and plan ideas and activities TOGETHER with your child that will help him get through the trip. ASK your child what the hardest part of a long trip is for him and co-create solutions based on BOTH of your needs. You may have to compromise and make a few extra planned stops – this kind of compromise will give everyone in the car peace of mind. Role play just before the trip so your child is prepared for what is being asked and help him iron out the kinks of how to handle it. In the car remind him of your strategies and of your “special plan”.

TIP 2:
LET IT GO IF IT IS APPROPRIATE TO DO SO

My frequent visits to the swimming pool this summer was an eye opener as I watched on several occasions where some parents would try to force their reluctant children into the pool by consistently nagging and arguing. The parents’ had a hard time just allowing the child to “BE”. These parents clearly wanted what they felt was best for the child. Like any good parent, just wanting the child to try it and experience how much fun it could be. However, I noticed that pushing in this way always leads to power struggles.

Sometimes we allow our agenda and our beliefs to cloud the wisdom of our inner guidance. I would invite you to ask,

“Why is it so important for my child to do this right now? What is bothering me about this? What am I afraid of? Can I let this go and follow my intuition? What would happen if I could just feel my child’s perspective and let go of how something “should” be?

If something is not critical, dangerous or completely inappropriate, can you re-frame it and see it from a fresh perspective as you let go of the idea, “It should be like this”?

TIP 3:
POWER VS FORCE

Authentic power is knowing your child deeply and feeling from her perspective so that you can connect to your inner guidance when you see a frustration arise that triggers a “misbehavior”. You do not need to dive in and rescue. This will not teach skills. Instead of telling, asking questions calmly will help your child stay away from a flight/fight mentality, and your child will start to look for solutions. I say calmly because so often I hear well intentioned parents ask questions with an energy that is full of anxiety, fear or anger and this is the first thing your child senses. This causes stress which pushes her deeper into a fight/flight mechanism.

A child cannot think clearly when s/he is afraid that you are disapproving or angry. A child will immediately and automatically go to a posture of defense. By being really connected to your child, you are more aware of your child’s patterns, abilities and developmental stage. In this awareness you do not need to use force to command what you want to see. Now you can begin to recognize when you and your child are really in tune with each other – when you are in the “zone” with your child. Pay close attention to how that feels, this is authentic power and it is backed by love not force. This connection is the key to navigating through a challenge.

Send me your questions and I will provide some tips and insights as to how you can enjoy more struggle free parenting and feel the deep relief that heart centered respect and connection brings.

Melinda Asztalos is a parent coach, speaker, author and the founder of Life Positive by Design. She assists parents through a conscious parenting process that enables them to achieve and sustain, positive solutions to their specific parenting challenges. For more information, Please visit: http://lifepositivebydesign.com
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