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The Pain of Parenting! Why ‘Change’ Starts with Our Perspective…

My approach to working with parents is often about helping them to just step back and look at the problem from a different perspective, because that’s often all it takes for the situation to feel so much more hopeful.

This is mostly all it that was needed to turn things around this a mum and her adolescent, who were basically existing under a 24/7 cloud of misery, conflict and worry.

We spent a lot of our time simply ‘re-framing’ what she saw as the problem, looking at it from other angles, considering the child’s perspective, and basically being less emotionally entrenched in it because, as we know, when you’re ‘in’ a situation, you seldom get this outside view.

But zooming out, and sometimes zooming in to the perceived problem, we approached it more objectively, which instantly started to banish the destructive decisions and behaviours which were governing the whole family, and sapping all the joy from parenting.

Here are three of the very common (and justified!) objections we worked on;

1) “My child refuses to take any responsibility and is making me do everything for her”.

Re-frame; She’s not making you do anything. Albeit with good reason, and with a lot of discomfort involved, you’re choosing to. 

How we solved the problem; 
Mum and daughter ultimately saw each other as an opponent. I showed mum how she could change her responses to the situation, which ultimately helped her re-claim her own power. 

RESULT;  A parent who no longer feels duty-bound to solve her child’s problems, but is teaching her child to solve them on her own…

2) “She loses it and behaves however she likes. She doesn’t care how it affects us”.

Re-frame; Your child isn’t choosing dysregulation, any more than you do. 
But in a dysregulated state, the part of her brain that deals with decision-making, empathy and self-control are offline; i.e. she’s not capable of working out how she feels, let alone how you feel. It’s not personal!

How we solved the problem;
We explored the parent’s awareness of her own reactions, which were massively influencing how the situation played out, and not in a good way.
Through this process, she learned strategies to strengthen her own self-control, and with those, take specific actions to develop her child’s self-awareness, as well.

RESULT;
 Mum and daughter are both taking more responsibility for their own behaviours, with a lot less blame involved.
(Blame can be satisfying at the time, but actually just keeps everybody stuck!) 

3) “She causes havoc, and doesn’t care that I then have to pick up the pieces”.

Re-frame; While it’s 100% valid, this is your reality. But every perception is filtered through our own experiences, judgement and expectations, and your child’s are completely different from yours. Her story may be at odds with yours, but it’s no less valid for it.

How we solved the problem;
We worked on taking the adult-ego out of the situation, because it gets in the way of progress SO easily, for any of us.
While her child wasn’t capable of much empathy for her mum, mum was, and with that, learned to accept and respond to her daughter’s version of reality, even if it didn’t align with hers.

RESULT;
A mum being empathetic and compassionate to her child without feeling defeated, or that her own experience doesn’t matter.
They’re are no longer locking horns over ‘whose truth matters more‘, but moving forward in a co-operative relationship.

Too many mums and dads live with exhausting struggles like these, daily, forgetting that they’re meant to enjoy more that endure being a parent!

If this describes you, and this kind of support might help you too, let me know 👇 and I’ll send the info.

And make sure you sign up to get gems like this land in your inbox-you get my FREE pdf “5 Daily Actions For Emotionally Healthy Brains” as well!