When the parenting tools don’t work

· As a well-read parent you know many of the strategies offered by parenting experts, you've bought the books and know the theory. But there is a sense that despite the best will in the world, the tools are not enough. This is a familiar but less talked about block to parenting more consciously ·

Jul, 23, 2022

These days it is pretty easy to know a lot about many things. On social media the squares are filled with sage advice, memes and expert opinion neatly presented and easy to agree with in theory. Yet, one thing is to be able to wrap our intellectual mind around a concept – it is quite a different thing to stand face to face with your own child, triggered and overwhelmed. Because, the hard thing about parenting is unlearning and getting more conscious of what we bring to the meeting with our child.

As a parent, you come to the job already moulded, influenced, scarred and enriched by your own upbringing. You arrive with a backpack bursting with past experiences, hurt, and feelings about things that will get activated and serve as well as trip you up in your parenting.
This is both the blessing and the curse of parenting.

What is next level parenting?

There are two different levels of growth when it comes to parenting. Usually we arrive at the first level once we realise that parenting is far more complicated than we had imagined and that our parents or friends don’t always have the answers for our own children.

This first disillusionment propels many to begin to seek answers to their questions – signing up to parenting blogs, following parenting experts on Instagram or buying a parenting book. This growing interest often inspires new thoughts and might resonate deeply. But you might find that the knowledge isn’t enough when, once again, your child is having a tantrum, exercises their strong will, is rude or attention seeking and your buttons have been pushed.

This is where next level parenting comes in.
This is, the realisation that my child is just being a child. And has no interest in pushing your buttons and would rather you didn’t have any buttons. This is when you begin, instead of asking for tools and strategies to control or fix your child you begin to ask yourself:

  • What does my child’s behaviour bring up in me?
  • Where does my trigger stem from?
  • What might help me to calm down when I’m triggered?
  • What needs to be healed in me?

Next level parenting is powerful, because it can take you so much further without needing your child to be onboard or be any different. But because children follow when we change direction, your child will cooperate in new ways when you take steps to dealing with your trigger, as opposed to only applying the tool that will get your child to comply.

We all have wounds and upsets that need healing. And while healing is not about becoming perfect or robotic in our relationships it is about enjoying a greater freedom from not needing the world, our partner or child to be in a certain way for us to feel a certain way. Healing means that the trigger would need to much greater for us to blow our lid.

Parenting coaching is a powerful way to help you in this journey. Not only will you be equipped with strategies and tools that help you meet your child at your child’s maturity and developmental stage, but you will come to know your own triggers and get the tools to support yourself so that you can be the mum or dad that you yearn to be.

Louise Brooks

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