Effective Parenting? Accept & Appreciate Yourself
You know a lot. You know a lot about yourself. You’ve learned a lot about life and being you. And you can/must use this knowledge (self and otherwise) for effective parenting.
Have you ever had a bad supervisor/employer? You know, the only time she talks to you is in the form of yelling at you when you’ve done something wrong; not only telling you you’ve done something wrong, but telling you you’re bad because you made a mistake. You have no reason to believe she cares about you. Then, when she calls you into her office, your immediate response is, “Gulp!” and you’re not listening very closely because all she has to tell you is how bad you are because of the mistake you made. Yeah, me, too.
Have you ever had a good supervisor/employer? That person talks to you because you work together. She identifies and praises your good work. She identifies and corrects your mistakes. You have reason to believe she cares about you. When she calls you into her office, your immediate response is, “Gulp!” but you listen to what she has to say because yelling at you is not her standard mode of communication, telling you that you are bad is not something she ever says, and she knows a lot and cares for you. Yeah, me, too.
I wish for you to cultivate that good supervisor/supervisee relationship with yourself. Doing so provides you with access to someone who cares about you (that’s you! I know I talk kinda funny some times, but I believe you know what I mean. And it’s much more pleasant hanging out with and easier to listen to someone who you know/feel cares about you than someone who you feel/believe does not. And, no matter where you go, there you are!). Doing so provides you a valuable resource for support, knowledge, and experience.
This positive and rewarding relationship with yourself contributes to effective parenting in two ways:
- It gives you access to your knowledge (self and otherwise) and experience to help you choose how to respond/react to your child as well as to help you figure out what action to take (what words to use) in your moment-to-moment parenting; and,
- As I wrote in my March 18 post, “Self-Care Enhances Effective Parenting,” we are a model for our children. Though they are not privy to those lovely (I’m being sarcastic) and mean (often to the point of self-abuse) “conversations” we often have with ourselves, particularly after we’ve made a mistake or did something “wrong,” our children pick-up on the gist and effects (on ourselves) of these inner “conversations.” How we treat ourselves has a huge influence on how our children treat themselves. Developing such a relationship with yourself as I described above provides a powerful model regarding how you wish your children to treat themselves.
Effective parenting (training children to take good care of themselves and love themselves to enhance their capacity to have things the way they want) may be the most demanding skill set to develop, but the pay-offs provide substantial evidence it is worth the trouble (‘cause it sure can be a lot of trouble). Everything we do is for the pay-offs! Everything!! And the better you get at noticing pay-offs, the more pay-offs you receive.
What you notice you can remember. And the better you get at noticing and remembering your good work, the more deposits (pay-offs) you can make into your Knowing How Good You Are power bank towards having things the way you want. It’s important (and a noble aspiration) to notice everything, your good work and your mistakes, missteps, etc. Yelling at yourself (judging yourself as “bad”) for blowing it (in the fashion of a bad supervisor) interferes with your ability and interest in noticing (and, in turn, remembering) your mistakes, missteps, etc. Nobody can remember anything she does not notice. And not remembering our mistakes removes the most powerful building block of learning.
- This and everything found in Dr. Neal’s Corner are for educational purposes only. Professional advice specific to your situation should only be given in the context of a professional relationship with a licensed health care professional.
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