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    4 weeks ago · · 0 comments

    Four Keys to Successful Parenting

    Four keys to successful parenting. I believe in the four keys so much, I think this is the best tool in my parenting toolbox.

    Want to talk about the best parenting skill you can absorb and take on board and live by? It’s the four keys to successful parenting!

    As a parent you are likely to be focusing on so many things that are not relevant. These things often lead you to feeling more stressed, more anxious and to develop unrealistic expectations for your children. In turn, these feelings lead to stressful parenting, rather than more successful parenting.

    A Happier Child

    In order to parent more calmly, we really only need to focus on four key parenting outcomes. These four outcomes end up resulting in a:

    • happier child
    • happier home life
    • more successful child
    calm parenting and successful parenting

    So what are these 4 key outcomes that lead to successful parenting?

    1. HEALTH – Is is my child healthy?
    2. SAFETY – Is my child healthy?
    3. HAPPINESS – Is my child happy?
    4. SECURITY – Is my child feeling secure?

    How you manage to achieve these four outcomes is up to you!

    Where is your parenting focused?

    We shouldn’t be focusing on what other people think about our children.

    We should be focusing on what our child needs in order to feel healthy, safe, happy and secure.

    YOU know your child best. You can take advice, read books, watch shows and seek professional help. BUT…. at the end of the day, as long as your goal is to end up with a happier, safe, healthy and secure child. You can know in your heart you are achieving successful parenting!

    As I’m sure that you’ve discovered, people are quick to tell you their opinions on how best to parent. However, every child is unique and what works for one, is not guaranteed to work for another!

    The Development of the Four Keys to Successful Parenting

    I developed the four keys to successful parenting as a system to achieving Calm Parenting. I realized very early on as a parent that most parenting books focus on the steps to achieving particular outcomes, like getting a baby to sleep. But what happens when your child does not follow the steps to achieve the desired outcome. For example, your child won’t sleep in a cot alone!

    Parenting books are good at proving guides to achieving an outcome – like safely swaddling a baby to sleep. However, there is a gap when the steps do not lead to the desired outcome. Such books just focus on a behaviour – SLEEP. So, the result is many parents, like myself, end up feeling stressed focusing on the sleep outcome without dealing with issues controlling sleep, like mood, temperaments etc.

    What we should be focusing on how to help our child feel happy, safe, secure and healthy – so that sleep will be much easier to achieve?

    Successful parenting and Calm Parenting
    successful parenting

    The 4 Keys: Detailed in the Book Perfect Mum: How to Survive The Emotional Rollercoaster of Motherhood

    I wrote in detail about the 4 keys to successful parenting in my book – Perfect Mum: How To Survive The Emotional Rollercoaster of Motherhood. At the time of writing that book I detailed a range of experiences I had in motherhood.

    One time my daughter and I went to the library. There was a little girl there. In the middle of looking at the books, my daughter decided to hit this little girl who was playing beside her. The girl began to cry. I apologized profusely of course to the mother and child and left wondering what was going on with my child.

    We returned to that same library a few weeks later. The same mother and child happened to be at the library again. My daughter spent no time repeating the same behaviour with the same girl. The girl began to cry. I apologized again, however, this time the mother berated me, saying I must be a terrible parent and that this child has a problem.

    The interesting part was, I went back to the library and I saw the same mother and the same girl and guess what? This time, the little girl hit another child and left her crying. I laughed a little bit to myself because by then I had research that little kids often hit other children to get attention because they don’t know how to express that they actually want to be friends.

    Coming back to the four key outcomes for successful parenting

    As a parent, I could have started to question myself, my child and my parenting by simply focussing on the outcome – the hit! However, once I started to evaluate my child’s behaviour based on the 4 key outcomes to successful parenting, I calmed down and was able to deal with things in a much calmer and proactive state of mind.

    Evaluating Events Based On The 4 Keys To Successful Parenting

    1. HEALTH: I researched childhood behaviour and realized this was normal. Yes it was something to address and change, but it did not reflect that my child had anything ‘wrong’ with her as the mother had originally suggested.
    2. SAFETY: The hit was not hard and did not cause any physical damage. It was definitely a shock for all of us and not nice for the poor little girl. However, no-one was hurt.
    3. HAPPY: I realized my child needed some teaching in how to make new friends. Being an only child at the time, we organized many more play dates after this. Needless to say, this hitting behaviour never happened again.
    4. SECURE: I made sure I separated the behaviour from her as a person. The behaviour was not acceptable, but she was still a good person at heart. This made it easier for her to listen, absorb and learn.

    Above I have analysed the 4 keys with simple questions

    Is My Child:

    • Health
    • Safe
    • Happy
    • Secure?

    These four simple parenting questions, led me down a much calmer and proactive parenting path. The outcome was a success and I learnt something very valuable about my child’s behaviour in the process.

    Becoming a More Rational and Calm Parent

    successful parenting

    When you look at the four keys to successful parenting, you can start to be more rational about how you respond. You can be more rational about your views on your child’s behavior and look at them in better perspective too.

    Hitting can mean a range of things. In this instance, my child was trying to get attention. In another instance, it might be that the child’s observing aggressive behavior and role modeling. It might be that the child’s feeling neglected and is acting out to get any attention. The key is looking deeper than on the surface.

    Regularly ask yourself these four key parenting questions

    The most important thing about these four keys to successful parenting is to assess and then only address when these 4 keys are not being met. For example, if your child is eating too much junk food which is causing tooth decay, it’s time to change eating patterns. If your child is often anxious, it’s important to address this and so on. However, if someone tells you off for giving your child the phone in public. Ask yourself, “is my child healthy, happy, safe and secure”? If yes, dismiss the comment!

    Your child is not going to be happy all the time. That’s not normal. Your child is going to have emotional reactions. But generally speaking, happy kids are talkative, they’re affectionate, they’re smiley, they’re playful, they get excited about things, and they generally engage with you. If a child is disengaged, then it’s time to adjust your parenting in order to support higher happiness.

    successful parenting

    Wrapping up the Four Keys to Successful Parenting

    So these four key outcomes to successful parenting are where you want to focus on in order to be a consistently calm and confident parent. It’s really simple. Regularly ask yourself … Is my child healthy, happy, safe, and secure? If something’s not working, just try something else until you get back on track.

    3 years ago · · 0 comments

    Raising Children: Positive Parenting

    Child Development

    Are we expecting too much from our children?

    It’s interesting to note that we have moved from the period of children should be seen and not heard, to a period of constant worry if we are not paying our child/ren 100% attention all the time, in order to create highly intelligent, high achieving and super healthy children. Yet parenting has never been more confusing and there are a million different theroies and new research released every day on the ‘best’ way to raise a child. In one culture, children should be carried on their mothers backs until the age of one; in another culture children should be encouraged to be independent from as young as possible. So who is right?

     

    Child behavior problems

    As a parent you want the best for your child. But today there has never been more expectations on how a child should behave and on the best way to parent. Parents judge themselves too harshly, judge other parents too harshly and judge their children too harshly, based on the latest research and on their own values, culture and person experiences of child raising. A good example of this is when a child misbehaves in public. Parents are usually mortified because they are:

    a) worried about what other people might think of their child or their parenting skills

    b) worried there must be something seriously wrong with their child who has behaved like this repeatedly in this environment, or

    c) worried about the outcome of the tantrum.

    However, often we as parents often don’t stop to think about why our child is acting out, because we are all just doing our best to ‘get it right’. Parents look around and see others children behaving well and we make assumptions that our child is being naughty, but we are only seeing these other children in a very minute moment – in fact all children have tantrums from time to time.

    Raising kids – the learning curve

    I have 2 children. My eldest daughter is generally pretty well behaved, now that she is 8 years of age. However, whilst generally delightful, my youngest child (a toddler) has developed a habit of running away in public and throwing huge tantrums in public when exhausted. Until recently I tried my usual tactic of remaining calm during the incident, removing my child away from the environment and then calmly addressing what just happemsd. Of course this did nothing to stop the behaviour happening again. So I’ve been thinking and thinking a lot lately about what’s going on.

    Being the second child, she is often forced to do things that are not suitable or fun (such as collecting her sister from school open waking from an afternoon nap). So this is always going to be a ‘danger zone’ as we navigate other school children, passing by the playground and paying attention to when her sister exists class.  Being with our friends is another ‘danger zone’ because we need to share our attention. Shopping is also a ‘hot spot’ as we are distracted by shop assistants, and so on.

    One thing research tells us is that children are attention junkies. They do not have an off switch. They have a thirst for knowledge and play and want to always be the centre of attention. So I thought back to all ‘danger zone’ episodes to see if I could find the pattern and it was very clear – REDUCED ATTENTION or STIMULATION…

    So what is the answer?

    The answer is not to work out ways to change her behaviour, but rather what I can do to involve her so she feels her ‘attention junkie’ is being fulfilled? So I decided to trail a different approach during our weekly market shop. Normally, I am chasing after her from a stall – at least once during our shopping trip. So first I needed to tire her out and then I needed to get her involved. The first thing we did was visit the animals at the market. This satisfied her energy levels enough to get started on the shop. Next we found her very own cane basket and spoke about all the veggies we were collecting. Then she was in charge of the money and the shop was completed without a glitch.

    This experience taught me that the pressures placed on parents to be perfect leads us to assume we must be doing something wrong if our child misbehaves, or that our child is just really naughty. But I don’t believe this is true. I believe children are sponges and love to be the centre of attention. We can’t always give it to them and there are times we need a break, but if we take charge and involve them in as many activities as possible, portentially unstimulating activities can become engaging for you and save you running after your child or dealing with a tantrum in public in the future. Then you and your child will  feel much more relaxed and be happier too.

    “Research shows when a mother’s parenting style matches up well with her child’s temperament, the child experiences half as many symptoms of anxiety”

    If you would like to know about how your child’s temperament may affect his/her behaviour, download a copy of my free ebook here on How To Become An Empowered Mum here

     

    Lizzie O’Halloran, BBSc, MASR, NLP Prac

    Personal Development Coach & Author

    4 years ago · · 37 comments

    Why We All Need Parental Unconditional Love – Regardless of Our Age

    unconditional loveEvery Child and Adult Craves Unconditional Love

    Regardless of age, every individual desires (and benefits immensely from) having consistent support and unconditional love from parents. The role of a good parent is to guide, support and nurture each child into being a confident, strong, independent and motivated adult. However, one never loses the desire to be nurtured and to feel as though there is a bond and guide there when needed.

    Over the years in my Marriage Counselling practice, I have heard parents say they believe their children are too old for hugs. I have also heard parents say that once a child reaches a certain age they no longer need parental support. However, this could not be further from the truth. Affection is a basic human and animal need. This need was shown experimentally in the 1960s via the Harlow psychological studies into the effects of love and deprivation on development. In these (often cruel) experiments, Harlow found that when young rhesus monkeys were provided with a choice of a ‘dummy’ mother made of wire (who provided food) and a ‘dummy’ warm/cuddly mother who provided warmth (& thus emulated the feelings of being with their real mother), they chose the warm mother more often. Hence these studies showed the monkeys would choose feelings of love and affection over the basic need – to eat.

    Studies like these altered the way many babies were treated in hospitals. They also helped to shape new adoption policies (e.g. trying to pair parents with babies as young as possible to enhance this bond). These studies also helped in the deinstitutionalisation of orphans and the mentally impaired. Nowadays babies are held by mothers immediately after birth and rarely taken into the nursery, unless necessary. Thus, these basic human needs are well recognised (but sometimes forgotten once a child grows up) today.

    Impact of Unconditional Love

    As a parent of a child, or an animal, you can see the influence affection and unconditional love has on those you care for. If you neglect an animal, for instance, it will most likely cause emotional harm to the animal. I can remember in high school a friend’s brother kept his dog in a large cage at the back of their house, while he trained it to become a ferocious guard dog. Apparently, the dog was nice to the brother. However, strangers were never allowed near the dog, for fear it would attack. Thus, keeping this animal caged significantly impaired the dogs natural instincts. It was no longer loving, affectionate and playful with other members of the family, let alone strangers.

    Whilst as an adult it is important to be your own person and live an independent life, it is always nice to know there are others you can rely on when you need it most. These people do not have to be your parents. They can be close friends, a partner, a mentor, or other family members. The key to this special relationship is feeling secure. A close friend that thinks of your needs, is supportive, loving and affectionate, can provide the same needs of the supportive, loving and affectionate parent. These relationships are very important and deserve your time and dedication to ensure they remain healthy and ongoing throughout your lifetime.

    Providing Unconditional Love At Any Age

    If you are a parent, don’t assume your role is no longer as important once your children ‘grow up’. It is just as important to provide unconditional love, only different. The desire for unconditional and consistent love, support and affection is innate. Therefore, it should not be provided based on age. If you are a carer of an animal, make sure you take time to treat it with regular, unconditional love and affection. Not just when you’re in the mood. Animals are sensitive and intelligent creatures and will also give you the same love and affection in return. Regardless of whether, or not you have children or animals in your life, take the time to be affectionate, loving and supporting to those you care about most. Ask for this unconditional love in return when you feel it is lacking.

    Finally, think about who you are asking this of . Assess whether or not they are capable of providing you with your basic needs. If not, you may need to re-think where you are placing your energy and desires. If a parent, friend or partner is unable to provide you with these basic needs, it doesn’t mean you have to stop loving them. Rather it may require you to put your energy into seeking it from those most willing and capable to provide it to you consistently.

    Never forget that everyone needs and deserves affection, love and support – especially YOU!

    If You Are A Parent & Would Like To Find Out More About Boosting Your Self Esteem visit: https://www.helpformums.com/home/how-to-build-self-confidence-and-self-esteem-online-course/

    unconditional love - lizzie o'halloran

     

     

     

     

    unconditional love - lizzie o'halloran