Three amazing teenagers. How did that happen?!? Parenting tips from the pleasantly surprised.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Think - Feel - Do

Are you a Thinker, Feeler or Doer? When you make decisions, you lead with one of the three. We all do. The other two areas are involved as well, but our preference leads the way. 

The best decision-making starts with knowing yourself. Understanding why your kids do what they do, comes from knowing how they make decisions. 

Thinkers love time to consider the options. 

Feelers thrive when given space to express themselves. 

Doers need to be active to relate the best to others. 

Which are you? Which is each one of your children?

Imagine a Doer dragging a Feeler to an activity to motivate them; or a Thinker using words to explain something to a Doer; or a Feeler asking a Thinker to ‘just listen’… You’re smiling. I know why! We all Think – Feel – Do right past each other nearly every day. Imagine if the Doers learned to slow down, the Feelers learned to analyse options, and the Thinkers learned to get their hands dirty.

It can happen. As we parents model the ability of stepping out of our comfort zone - to relate to our spouses, extended family, friends and children – our kids will see and copy us. Kids learn how to deal with things outside of their normal processing patterns when they see it done by significant adults.

For some “just do it” works great. For others “Take time to care” motivates. And for others “Think it through” rings true. Learning to relate to each kind of thinker will help us be the best parents possible.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

A Respect Full Home

We all want our children to show respect to others. The best place to learn this is at home from the people they spend the most time with – you!

Here are some strategies for building your home into a place of respect.

Respect yourself. You are a marvellous person! Me believing this about you will not get you nearly as far as you believing it of yourself. Each of us is uniquely beautiful in many ways. Value yourself and your kids will feel this self-respect and emulate it.

Respect them. Display awards and trophies the kids have earned. Have a display wall where the children’s achievements are presented for all to see. Showing you are proud of them helps them to be proud of themselves and others.

Respect space. Have established space that ‘belongs’ to each person. Have shared space. When in shared space, respect the needs and wishes of others in that space. When entering private space, ask permission. Respect the space you are in. Children will feel and follow your lead. Talk about the various kinds of space in your home and how our interaction in that space shows respect.

Speak well. Speak well of your kids to them and to others in front of them. Say kind things about them in private and in public. In short, be truly proud of your kids and it will come out in your language. Talk them up!

Listen well. When a child speaks positively about themselves, notice and affirm them. When they speak negatively about themselves, notice and help with kind words. Ask clarifying questions: “What happened?” “Who was involved?” “Where were you in this?” Listen. Ask healing questions: “What are some positives?” “What will you do next?”

Start over. Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes. Always talk about moments of disrespect and agree to start over – respecting each person by respecting ourselves.