The #1 Parenting Skill to DevelopOct 07, 2021
Do you wish there was a golden key to make parenting easier?
I have to admit, I worked on trying to be a better parent for years. In my search for the golden key, I read books, I observed and talked to other parents and some experts and although I would see some changes in some areas, I would still struggle in others.
At the time, I was also running and growing a company. Being a mom, wife and working full-time managing a growing business really stretched me to the max — Stress and overwhelm were my best friends.
I hired a coach to help me be a better leader at work, and I learned a number of new skills. I didn’t realize the full impact of what I had learned and the work I was doing on my parenting until my daughter commented that things were different at home. When I asked her what had changed, she responded “You did Mom”.
As I coach parents now, I help them with all sorts of strategies including how to stop overreacting and second guessing so they can parent more confidently and intentionally. Of all of these strategies, I find that there is one skill that is key to the ability to implement all of them. The skill that changed my life when I learned it — so much so that I became certified to teach it. Developing this one skill can change how you parent, and can improve your other relationships too. When I work on this skill with parents, I tell them I’m giving them the keys to the kingdom.
So, what is this skill? What one thing can change everything?
It’s the ability to understand and manage your own emotions.
Now, I can already hear your wheels spinning so let me make my case.
Why is the ability to manage your own emotions so important and how can this change everything? Because your feelings drive ALL of your actions.
I learned all those years ago that I was not an effective leader when I was feeling stressed and overwhelmed, and that for me to lead effectively I had to better manage my emotions. The same goes for parenting! Think about how you parent when you are feeling frustrated, stressed, overwhelmed, anxious, or even guilty. When you are parenting from these emotions you are typically reactive, short-tempered, demanding, and can end up yelling.
Alternatively, if we looked at what feelings might make you most effective as a parent, the list might include calm, loving, compassionate, empathetic, confident, and curious. To read about why it’s helpful to feel curious check out my blog: https://www.melpeirce.com/blog/Top_Emotion_For_Parents.
It’s easy to feel calm, loving and empathetic feelings when our kids are behaving well and listening — and it’s easy to think that if our kids would only behave, we could stay calm and feel loving.
The problem is that our kids' unwanted behavior usually triggers frustration, stress, or anger in us, but this is when we need to stay calm and non-reactive the most. When kids act most unlovable, is when they actually need the most love.
So many parents want solutions to help their kids listen and behave — because they believe that this would help them feel better and get rid of their frustration, stress, and maybe even anger. But the truth is your kids don’t have to listen and behave for you to feel a certain way. No one else is responsible for your feelings, only you: How you feel is an “inside job”, and you don’t want to put the pressure and responsibility for your feelings on your kids. It’s not their job.
This is the skill that I teach — I teach parents how to manage their emotions and create the feelings that will help them parent calmly and effectively, even when their child is at their worst. Because when your child is at their worst, is when you want to be parenting at your best.
I hope you can see why learning to manage your emotions is such an important skill to have as a parent! When you master this skill, you are much more empowered and confident. When you’re not wrapped up in your emotions, you are able to stay focused on your child and what’s behind the unwanted behavior so you can support them, stay connected, and guide them better. Parents find that when they stop reacting, things stop escalating and parenting gets easier.
Plus, when you manage your emotions you are also teaching your kids by example that nothing outside of you is responsible for how you feel, including them. You are setting them up to be powerful creators in their own lives, and this is role modeling at it’s best.
Now, trust me, I get it — l’ve read all the books and tried all the things, but I have to admit that I needed a coach to help me learn the skill of managing my own emotions. That was when everything changed for me. If you want to experience this for yourself, and see what a difference this skill can make for you and your family, then we should talk.
Hop on a free call to figure out what your current emotional set-point is (what feelings you have most often), and discuss the process of developing the skill of emotional management so you are intentionally choosing and generating the feelings for parenting most effectively. Go to melpeirce.com/consult to get on my schedule to find out what is possible for you and your family. I want to give YOU the keys to the kingdom too!
And if you struggle with your emotions and just want to take a first step, check out my 5 Steps to Stop Yelling, the Parent’s Guide to Gain Control and Lower the Volume.
If you have tried to change in the past and nothing has worked yet, my guess is that you have been trying to change based on your actions. The problem is that for lasting change, you have to change your beliefs at a subconscious level, and that’s where my process is different. We work on change at that level, and I show you how.
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