Tips for parents in this fast paced world
“DON’T WORRY THAT YOUR CHILDREN DON’T LISTEN TO YOU. WORRY THAT THEY ARE WATCHING EVERYTHING YOU DO.”
Parenting today is very different to the way we adults were raised as children. Michael Carr-Gregg, one of Australia’s leading adolescent psychologists describes parenting to that of a roller coaster. With each generation comes different societal pressures, expectations, rules and responsibilities. What we have today is Generation X (parents and teachers) trying to engage, understand and relate to Generation Y (young people today).
With all the stressors we have of juggling time, paying bills, maintaining order within the family home and meeting others expectations, is it any wonder that we too find it challenging to manage our emotions when communicating with our children. Below are some simple tools for you to use right now. I have also listed some other helpful websites that have great tools for you to use.
Good luck and remember as Elaine M. Ward says,
“The rules of parenting are but three … love, limit and let them be.”
Here are some resources for you;
- Thriving Parenting, a new model for a new age – Michael Grose
- A guide to parenting in the digital age
- 7 Habits of highly effective families – video
Tool 1 – The art of Listening
Often as parents we have so much on our minds with work, finances, home responsibilities, family management etc……. We feel we don’t have time to really listen to our children. We have plenty of time to tell them what to do, by when… and if they don’t, well…….. The key here is for YOU to Stop for a moment and not bolt away from your child but BOLT towards them.
B – reathe Stop and focus on your breath, be present in the NOW.
O – penly Communicate to determine what is happening for your child
L – isten Step out of yourself and feel what they are feeling
T – alk Use ‘I’ statements to empathise and discuss the impact on you and others
Tool 2 – The FAT Principle – Feelings, Action Thinking
Consider the following questions using the “FAT” Principle
F – How are you feeling now? Give a score out of 10
A – What are you doing? (ie with your hands, feet, breathing, etc)
T – What are you thinking?
Now think about the future ………..
F How do you want to feel? Give a score out of 10
A What action could you take to contribute to that?
T What thoughts will help you achieve this?
Tool 3 – “Do-Be-Have” – Setting your intention
- In your eyes, what does a good parent do?
- How does a good parent be?
- What does a good parent have?
Try discussing these questions with your child to see if your agree with your definitions of a ‘good parent’ – what does a good parent mean to them. These questions are not for us to determine right and wrong parenting, for this would be impossible and is not necessary. The objective here is to open the lines of communication on how you want your relationship to be with your child. You will always get what you focus on – if you focus on all their mistakes then they will keep making them. If you focus on what they do right, then you allow them to grow closer to you.
Please feel free to use these tools for yourself yet abiding by any copyright laws.
Should you wish to use any of this material for more than personal use or in your classroom, please contact Adolescent Toolbox for permission.
I invite your feedback and welcome your enquiries
Books and movies to develop EQ in adolescents;
“Hoosiers”, a movie celebrating team work
“Walk two Moons, (Sharon Creech), a girl learns about family ona road trip
“The Bear”, a cub learns to live on its own
“Patch Adams”, a doctor using laughter as therapy
“Fly away home”, a girl uses self motivation to achieve her goal
“Cool runnings”, a Jamaican winter olympics team achieves success
“Free Willy”, kids help a suffering whale
“Rainman”, brothers take responsibility for each other
“Field of dreams”, a man builds a baseball pitch as a dream
“The power of one”, (Bryce Coutney) a boy discovers personal power
“The Lion King”, young cub learns personal responsibility and self forgiveness
“Beauty and the Beast”, the power of love, listening and trusting
“The empire strikes back”, Luke Skywalker must learn to manage his rage, frustration and actions
“Good will Hunting”, learning from the past to move forward in a chosen direction
“The tao of Pooh”, the benefit of staying calm to move forward
For more useful tools and resources click on web resources or further reading