Do you ever feel like you’re speaking a foreign language to your children?
Do they reply to your requests with blank stares, deaf ears, rolling eyes or a mystified look implying that you are clearly an alien?!
What do we have to do to get them to them to eat their pea’s, do their homework, or clean up after themselves?!
Speaking to children is both an art & a science
but when you learn their language it’s MAGIC!
Imagine the frustration of trying to understand words that make no sense to you every day. We’d be irritable, emotional, & overwhelmed. Does this sound familiar?
Not only are we feeling these things but so are our kids & then … BOOM! We find ourselves clashing, erupting in anger simply because we didn’t understand what each other was saying. The result, guilt, shame, blame & pain.
When you don’t know how to do something your world feels out of control & when we feel this way it’s natural to try & dominate or manipulate the situation (or our child in this case) in order to regain our sense of safety.
There is no shame in this, in fact, it’s totally natural. Our primal brains are all wired for survival but it's possible to override this instinct by developing a higher functioning part of of our brain, shifting us from reacting to responding.
The only shame is that most of us were never taught how to speak C.H.I.L.D before we had children. It’s like starting a job with absolutely no training! This is why I’m so excited to share with you what I’ve learned, consider it FREE on the job training that you can implement with your kids, at any age!
To speak C.H.I.L.D I use the acronym below, combined with a few other specific tools & techniques, like I said it’s an art AND a science! Once you have learned how to communicate with each other, solving problems will no longer be a problem!
5th ~ C ommunicate & C ollaborate - state your position & come up with solutions together
4th ~ H onour - their perspective, by validating it
3rd ~ I dentify - the difficulty & feeling, repeating it back to clarify
2nd ~ L isten - with full attention, empathizing with sounds
1st ~ D escribe - what you see, in few words
When you master this language, just like assimilating in a foreign country, you will feel empowered, confident & at peace with things that used to be every day annoyances.
If you felt confident in your abilities, can you see how your energy would change when you engage with your kids? When you approach your child in a whole new way & your child responds in a whole new way like … MAGIC!
Don’t be fooled. I have found that each child has their own unique dialect that varies based on personalities, preferences & age but the structure of the language is universal. Give it a try!
One of the reasons I used to have so much anxiety is because I looked outside of myself to solve my problems.
As children we learn to look to our parents to fill our needs & therefore “fix” our problems. Traditional parenting has taught us that the role of a “loving” or “good” parent is to have all the answers & to fill our child’s every need so we, quite naturally, oblige.
The parental ego thrives on ‘being needed’ & ‘knowing what to do’, even when it doesn’t serve the other. Instead of using the opportunity to build a skill & prepare our children for the next level of life, we parents eat up the delicious feelings of superiority & crave the chance to solve “their” problems, filling our insatiable hunger to rescue the child in distress, in order to make us feel better.
I’ve fallen into this trap with my own kids because, of course, I had learned it from my parents, who took my problems on as their own too. We just didn’t know how to “teach” our kids how to problem solve, since we never learned ourselves.
When a child never learn this skill as an adult we will constantly look to others; teachers, family, friends, & finally a spouse or children to solve our problems & fill our needs because we still believe that the answers are outside of our control, or that we are not capable of figuring out things for ourselves. We never learn to trust ourselves& in the end, we give our power away, feel resentment, frustration & out of control of our own life, which leads to anxiety.
Think about this for a minute. If you knew you were totally capable of handling whatever came your way, “good” or “bad”, would you have anxiety about it? Would you worry about something “bad” happening if you knew that, when it did, you would be alright? I doubt it.
When I cultivated the practice of knowing that I’m ok within, no matter the external circumstances, my anxiety lessened. These are skills that we can learn at any age however, kids are so clever & if we teach them the art of problem solving at a young age it will not only develop the brain, regulate emotions, build self-confidence & empower the child, but it will also lessen a child's chance of suffering from anxiety.
In a world that can feel so huge & out of control to our tiny humans, being part of the solution is a wonderful gift!