During a conflict with your child try this thought on for size:
”What my child wants right now is just as important as what I want right now. “
How much resistance do you feel to this idea? What kinds of thoughts does it bring up for you?
As the adult in the relationship your wants and goals are important. You’re keeping your child fed, clean, sheltered, safe, and educated.
As the child in the relationship your kid has some pretty big wants and goals, too. They’re constantly learning and exploring, and figuring out big things like autonomy and the mores of their culture.
Of course sometimes your child’s wants seem very small, like which order to put their shoes on or exactly what brand their new backpack should be.
But let’s face it, sometimes your wants are kind of small, too, like whether to leave the house now or ten minutes from now or what to have for dinner.
I want to help you cultivate cooperative, connected, joyful relationships with your kids. Since mainstream parenting is based on a controlling, hierarchical relationship, we will have to try extra hard together to make this shift towards cooperation.
Cooperation starts with acknowledging that the other person’s needs and wants are just as important as yours.
Adults have an incredible amount of personal power. You have the ability to anticipate events, plan your time, and adjust your expectations. You have resources to draw on: friends, money, communication skills, and a wealth of emotional skills. All this personal power gives you the ability and the responsibility to be the bigger person in the relationship.
Once you acknowledge that your child’s desires are just as important as yours, a whole new world of solutions will open up. You will find yourselves on the same team instead of adversaries who push and pull to get what you need.
Try it and watch the magic happen!
What kinds of situations arise for you and your child where you find it hard to honor their needs and wants?
If you need some extra help, I have a whole course to help you connect with your child, with their wants and needs, and with the unique person that they are.