Shelly Birger Phillips is a wonderful parenting coach and has a beautiful philiosophy on connected parenting. Here’s a snapshot of her top 8 tips, keep in mind these are just my my interpretations. I’ve added Shelly’s website at the end so you can grab her audio program or connect with her for coaching.
1) Care for yourself first – only with full energy can you be the best person and parent you can be. How can you achieve self care? What can you do to improve your personal quality of life? How can you be more engaged and energetic with your kids?
2) Trust and assume your kids have a positive intention – Give them opportunities to fail and try not to halt their enthusiasm. Acting out is a cry for attention, try to see it as a positive intention. When we get to the core of the issue, hitting isn’t the problem, it’s needing to feel loved that will resolve the issue.
3) Encourage emotional awareness – name emotions and talk about them openly. Respect their emotions and ask for their respect in return. Hold space when they have strong emotions and validate how they feel with personal experience. “Sometimes I get really angry too.”
4) Respect kids – they are little people with thoughts and desires, try to give them the respect you would show an adult and listen openly to their needs. If I was engaged in an activity and someone asked me to get up to do something I saw as irrelevant and boring, I’d resist as well!
5) Check in with them – Ask about how their day is, what’s positive, what’s negative, how various things made them feel. Get to know their favorite colours, foods, toys and be interested in their world.
6) Make kids aware of transitions – Give plenty of warning when activities are going to change. 10 minutes, 5 minutes, 2 minutes: OK, time to go. This shows them respect and allows them to shift their expectations and get ready for what’s next.
7) Be creative – Instead of using punitive discipline, or bribes to get the behaviour you want, be playful and inviting, even silly. Building connection is the true key to cooperation. Work with kids in getting things done; try to avoid a ‘doing to’ mentality and try to adopt a ‘doing with’ attitude.
8) Minimise criticism and judgement – praise effort and reward positive behaviour while minimising attention based on negative behaviour. Don’t talk about them negatively particularly not in front of them and work towards developing positive virtues.
For more information on Shelly Birger Phillips and her Parenting program visit www.awakeparent.com
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