Yogi Berra said it perfectly:
“If you don’t know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else.”
It’s true in life, and it’s true in parenting.
Some of you know I’ve been repainting walls in my house recently. As a birthday gift to one of my girls, I repainted her room a beautiful deep blue. What joy to sit in there and enjoy the rich color. She loved it and talked nonstop for days!
Which is why it gutted me to see this in the wall a mere week later.
Exactly 22 2-inch gauges in the perfect new paint. (Because a child with ADHD and sensory issues does that kind of thing when they feel stressed. And after last week’s visits with her sister in the residential center, I have to admit we were all a little stressed.)
At this point, I had a choice. I could keep thinking my initial “HOW COULD YOU DO THIS? WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO MAKE SUCH A MESS?” or I could remember who I ultimately want her to be as an adult, and say “That hurts my feelings! I was excited about the paint, about giving that to you as a gift. I worked hard! I know you must have been upset to do this. What else could you have done to get that stressed (or just plain wiggly) energy out?”
Which I said. (And yes, she did have to make it up to me – exactly 22 chores around the house to pay me back for each hole I had to patch and repaint.)
You know what I’m overhearing now as she plays with her sisters? Her talking herself down from making the wrong (i.e. damaging) kinds of messes. Saying things like “It hurts mom’s feeling when I break stuff. I need to rip paper right now instead!”
That’s the power of knowing where we’re headed with our kids. Of partnering with them to help them become the kind of people we know they can be at their best in life.
I know I’m not alone in these kinds of struggles with intense kids, and that’s why I’m continuing this series on Raising a Tough Nut. This next video gets into the specifics of managing the tendencies and behaviors that most drive you crazy with your child. So grad yourself a cup of coffee or hot cocoa, and get ready for a dose of hope and renewed confidence as you watch this next video in the series!
Manage Tough Behavior by Building on the Good in Your Child
If unable to view in an email or RSS feed, click the post title above to watch on my site.
If you’re short on time, here’s the topic-by-topic video breakdown:
0:49 min – Seeing the connections between good and bad behavior in your child
1:53 min – Using the different perspective in how you approach bad behaviors
2:15 min – Examples of this technique with toddler, preschool and school age kids
4:23 min – Connecting this new perspective to parenting toward your “end game.”
Previous 2 videos in the series:
Getting your confidence back as a parent (Tough Nut Part 1)
Parenting with the “End Game” in mind (Tough Nut Part 2)
You CAN do this!
In joy (no matter what life brings :),
P.S. I’d love to partner with you further as you grow in confidence with a “tough nut.” If you have specific questions, please feel free to email me, or check out how coaching with me can support you in life and parenting.