My biggest discovery so far
When I speak with my client and hear that he or she would love a manual for their child, I share the following.
What I discovered when working with parents is that the only expert in the world for their child IS the parent themself.
Every girl and boy born onto this planet comes with a handbook that is found inside the parent who guides their little one through the early part of life.
What I mean is that I can sense the treasure chest within every mother and father that carries the valuable, sought-after and hidden knowledge.
Nobody needs and wants to be told what the “right and wrong ways” of parenting are, we know.
"Most of the time", my clients say "there is no problem with my child and I manage to remain calm”.
It is the rare occasion that they flip their lid.
In those moments we sometimes reach out for help.
My own upbringing was full of punishment like being sent to my room.
In child-care & schools I was sent to the corner and told to “look at the wall and think about what you did".
This may sound very extreme but for me it felt deeply humiliating.
"It is not what happens to the child but the belief the child forms about what happens to them"
- is what the Adlerian parenting approach taught me.
How this played out in my adult life was that I had an unconscious fear of sitting in restaurants facing the wall.
So much so that the company I was with, started getting annoyed by my constant seat changing requests after we had already sat down.
Byron Katie (another mentor of mine) says:
When during a pregnancy yoga session, I became aware that walls can serve us as support during contractions: my perspective changed. In this moment my fear was allowed to surface and I suddenly realised that the power lies in my own perception of everything. This happened a decade ago and to my surprise, I now unconsciously choose to sit facing the wall. Is it positive thinking? My answer to this is ‘no’. Positive thinking has never worked for me. I always saw it as a lid you put on a boiling pot. Unless you turn to the root cause and lower the heat, the pot eventually boils over. So how does this all relate to the goldmine within you? What I find and often leaves me speechless in awe (while consulting and reflecting with a client), is that the toolbox just needs to be opened. I offer over 50 skills and tools to unlock it and the 1 tool that resonates the most is to deeply connect with the child. When we find the key to unbolt the potential within us and solve 1 parenting challenge, it encourages us to keep going. When a solution is found and a new perspective gained, life is so much more enjoyable. My most revelatory solution I share with fellow parents is that the absence of reward and punishment is not a free for all, but a style of parenting where everyone is being respected. In traditional parenting respect is often unbalanced. It can lead to either the parent’s rights being trampled on or the child’s. The incredible secret to balancing our society, in my opinion, is that we can bring the ability of respect out of a child: It is the combination of respecting all 3 at the same time, that brings a change in dynamic:
When I found this practical and simple approach, I couldn’t keep it to myself anymore and have been helping many parents rewriting their story ever since. Life is very challenging for a lot of people I currently come across. Showing a child how the parent overcomes their struggle is a gift of guidance, I believe it has no money value yet. What struggles have you already overcome in your life and received so much strength from to keep on living? Making a list was an activity that got me through all of 2022.