What if you were fearless?
I had a busy work day last Thursday, with 3 client sessions in the same morning, which means I got to peek inside 3 different mommy minds.
I talked to a mom freaking out about her 15 year old having sex for the first time. She's too young! What if she gets her heart broken? She's not ready for this! What if it scars her? She doesn't know what she's getting herself into! What if she gets pregnant or an STD? She doesn't really know what she wants! What if people shame her?
Later, I talked to a client beside herself about her 11 year old getting terrible grades last semester. He's too smart for this! What if he never gets a job or can't get into college? He's squandering his potential! What if he can only find unfulfilling work and spends his life unsatisfied? He would be getting straight A's if he just tried. What if he can't support himself? He might have to drop all his GT classes.
In my last session of the day, my client shared her worries about her toddler getting in trouble for hitting at preschool. That teacher was so unfair! What if no one invites him to playdates after this? He has no impulse control! What if he becomes a bully? He is out of control at home too! What if he never grows out of this?
In parenting, it's natural for us to be really worried. We're biologically wired to be afraid for our kids and their safety; it's what has kept our species around for so long. And kids often make choices that trigger our fear response.
The crappy thing is that fear traps us in a place of FIGHT or FLIGHT. Which one of those are good parenting strategies? Um...they're both pretty terrible.
Fight or flight parenting looks like:
Anger and hopelessness
Repeating strategies we know don't work because we don't know what to do instead
Feeling guilty and responsible for our kids' suffering or mistakes
Getting stuck with no new ideas or solutions
Chaos and pandemonium
Behavior that doesn't improve and often gets worse
Knee-jerk reactions to our kids' behavior
It's easy to get scared; risks are real and there are no guarantees. But anticipating and parenting from the belief that disaster is just around the corner only hurts us and our kids. Getting ourselves out of fear is the ONLY way to stop this fight or flight parenting.
Getting ourselves out of fear is the ONLY way to stop this fight or flight parenting.
Imagine you knew it was going to be OK, nothing bad would happen to your child, your relationship with them would always be healthy and strong, that whatever you're going through with them is just a phase and not damaging them? Imaging parenting from belief in yourself and your kid.
I am leading a FREE online training next week that will lift you out of fight or flight parenting. You will finish your training with hope and belief in yourself and your family, because you will have a clear direction forward instead of the confusion and guilt we find ourselves trapped in.
I focus my trainings on 2 big things:
1. Teaching parenting techniques that WORK to improve behavior
2. Giving you tools to stay calm and FEARLESS in your parenting.
My favorite part in all my trainings is the live coaching - I get to work with a few students right there in class to help them with whatever they feel stuck on.
If what I'm saying here makes sense to you, register and learn how to opt out of fight or flight parenting: Breaking The Cycle of Frustrated Parenting