Talking with luminaries about the practicalities of parenting in real time always helps. Expect accessible, applicable solutions for your household which you can implement today.
Dr. Nicole Buerkens, bestselling Author of Life Will Get Better, is a Psychologist, Nutritionist, Special Education teacher, and published researcher, with 20 years of experience supporting children, young adults and families to improve their behaviour naturally.
Sparks of wisdom from our talk:
1. When parents come to Dr.Nicole with their child, she first teaches parents how to be aware of and manage their own emotional states in relation to their child.
2. Parenting is tough! Our kids can trigger us in ways we may not expect, and we can end up being very reactive. First step is awareness of your own state. When your child throws a tantrum in the supermarket, what does that bring up in you?
3. When children are behaving in a challenging way, it’s often simply the best way they know how to communicate what they cannot articulate. Remembering that might help you host most compassion. They’re waving a red flag!
4. As parents, we’re not going to get it right every time. It can be good to think of batting averages in baseball; 3 out of 10 is considered very good!
5. If you ask a child to complete a task and it’s still not done, parents may choose to ignore some of
the refusals so as not to give that behaviour any fuel. Instead, follow up with a bit of help, or an explanation as to why something needs to happen. This is a way for the parent to say ‘I value you and I value your search for independence.’
6. It is really good to ackowledge the emotion the child is experiencing e.g: “That’s normal, that’s fine, I understand how you’re feeling but we still have to get this done.” This shows the child the worth in their point of view.
7. Give children two choices. In the case of the kid who won’t put his/her coat on, here are your two choices.
One, I’ll put the coat on for you or two, you can come over and help me. If a child is feeling overwhelmed or frustrated, this can help to narrow the options and help him/her get to the task at hand.