"As we work to improve ourselves as parents, we often find that many of our children’s problem behaviours disappear."
Often we know what not to do, but we find ourselves stuck as to what to do instead. This was most certainly true for me. When I became a mum I was very clear about what I didn’t want to do. And the list was long. No punishing, guilting, bribing, nagging, coercing, rewarding, exclusion, time out, ignoring or praising. Phew!
(And that was because these all rely on motivation from outside the child, rather than from within. They are comprised from Dr. William Glasser’s list of disconnecting habits. You can read more about the disconnecting habits here.)
With my first child, these were fairly simple things to avoid because he was an amenable and fairly compliant kid. So the things that I believed to be the right way to parent, worked. I freely admit now, that because I was blessed with a gorgeous child who was easy going and fitted into my ideal view of parenting, I was at risk of becoming a smug mum. Hmmm...
Ha! Well, doesn’t the universe have a knack for putting us back in our place. Three years after our son was born along came our beautiful daughter. What a fire-cracker! I’m sure she was sent to me because, in fact, I had so much to learn!
Nothing that had worked with our son, worked with our daughter. Not even in the slightest. I found myself resorting to some of the things I swore I would never do. I raised my voice. I praised her. I tried rewards. I was desperate! I am proud to say that I have never hit her. And I’m proud of that because there were so many times when I felt like it! She could push my buttons so much that I regularly felt like I was at breaking point. Yet, I was so determined not to hit her that I was at risk of becoming permissive and doing nothing, rather than punish her.
It was as a result of my searching for ways that I could parent more effectively that I eventually began running programs to support parents. I’m by no means a perfect parent. I'm actually greatly imperfect! However that is why I am able to compassionately appreciate the struggles parents are facing. I would love to share with you some of the things that I have found in my quest to become the best, albeit imperfect, parent I can be.
My desire is to help you become the best parent you can be and to discover what works best for your family, your children and especially for you because...
happier parents lead to happier children!
Children’s relationships with their parents are one of, if not the most significant relationship a child will ever have. The quality of parenting children receive and how they are raised has an impact on them for the rest of their lives. That’s a huge responsibility for parents. No pressure!
Parenting is hard work; emotionally, physically and mentally and something for which most parents receive little, if any training or support. For many parents, the first real contact they have with children is when they are handed their own gorgeous bundle at the hospital.
In addition, there is so much criticism and judgement surrounding parenting, not to mention the multitude of approaches on offer, that it can feel difficult to admit when we are struggling.
Enjoy Parenting focuses on building strong relationships based on connection and empathy with your children so that they are more likely to cooperate, rather than having to resort to yelling, rewarding, punishing, bribing or threatening to get them to behave as you would like. This does not mean giving in to your child’s every whim either. Parenting also requires setting limits and guiding your children. This can be done firmly whilst remaining loving and respectful.
If you would like to parent more calmly and experience more peaceful and connected relationships with your children then you have come to the right place!
"There are two primary choices in life; to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them."
Melissa draws on over 25 years of experience from a broad range of fields. She is a registered teacher and Art Therapist, an authorised Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) instructor from Gordon Training International and is Reality Therapy certified from the William Glasser Institute Australia. Melissa has two children and is still learning every day how to become a better parent!