Have you ever wondered why the missing secret to parenting is "missing"?
No, this isn’t a riddle and it is not a trick question. It is however a very interesting question I received not too long ago from an inquisitive 7 yr old that happened to be visiting my family. I was involved in a conversation with his parents when he overheard me telling them about my latest e-Book, The Missing Secret to Parenting. He quite innocently and very seriously interrupted and asked “Why is the missing secret to parenting missing?” And as I began to formulate an answer to his question, I realized just what an eye-opener the answer really is.
If you have been following me and my work for any length of time you know that it is my belief that the “secret” to successful and effective parenting involves the perceptions, ideas, thoughts and beliefs parents have concerning their role and subsequent impact in their children’s lives, in other words, the health of their “parenting mindset”.
Being raised the oldest of five, the mother of a 34 yr old and the grandmother of two teenagers (both of whom I am raising), having spent the bulk of my adult career working for the well-being of all children, I can tell you that in every situation, conflict or crisis, the solution begins within the parent’s perception. No exceptions.
Keeping that in mind, let’s go back to the question…So, just why is this something that has remained a “secret” for so many?
My answer to the 7 yr. old was short… "Mostly because parents are looking in the wrong place!” I said. He giggled a bit and seemed satisfied with that. But the long answer is much more serious.
When challenges and struggles surface because a child does something or doesn’t do something that isn’t in line with what the parent wants, likes or agrees with, they are looked upon as uncooperative, inappropriate or unwanted behaviors.
The behavior of the child becomes the focal point; therefore, in the mind of the parent the solution must be within the child.
All of the parent’s energies are directed toward the child. Their goal is to find a way to “change” or “correct” the child’s choices or actions. Attempts to solve the problem can be anything from strongly communicating their wishes to all forms of discipline.
When the focus remains on the behavior of the child, one of two things will occur. The first is that the child will rebel and the situation escalates. The other is that the child is forced out of fear of punishment to adjust his behavior. Neither being a very positive solution, however, in the parent’s mind, once the behavior changes, the problem is solved!
The critical aspect to note is that the change is only occurring on the outside. This is not reflective of what is happening inside the child’s mind. And because his thoughts and feelings are being ignored they will be suppressed, they will linger and fester and one day surface in a much more negative way. Sometimes this can take years. These negative feelings will become buried in their subconscious mind and seep out in an even greater degree of negativity down the road. For some it can be during the teen years while others they could remain hidden until their adult years.
Understanding the common knowledge fact that children get 90% of their information about themselves and the world around them from their parents leads us to the logical conclusion that what children do and think and act out of is largely based on what they see, hear and interpret from what their parents model.
The “secret” is “missing” from the mindset of parents because they are looking outward (toward the child’s behavior) for solutions and answers when the truth is that the seeds to the solution will be found when they look inward (toward themselves).
This mindset is most always a result of the way they were raised by their parents. It is a cycle that is passed down without any conscious effort or choice. It is a "way of being" that is modeled by parents and automatically absorbed by their children.
Please know however, there is no room for guilt or blame. What is passed on to our children is very seldom done with specific intent. Parents certainly don’t intentionally pass on negativity to their children. It has only been in recent years that parents have understood the need to be aware and alert to what they are passing on.
Which brings to minds the amazing quote that Oprah shared many times on her show…
"When you know better, you do better”
When looking for solutions to the challenges you face with your children always take a moment and look within.
- Ask yourself if there is anything in their choice or behavior that resonates within you.
- Take a moment to communicate with your child to explore his thoughts and ideas in order to understand his reasoning.
- Offer him your guidance to find a positive way to convey his feelings other than by acting out and work as a team to create a positive situation.
The Missing Secret to Parenting
Skills, tools, insights and strategies to
BE the Best Parent YOU Can Be
Denny Hagel is a child advocate and parenting coach, devoting over 25 years to the success and well being of all children. She is the published author of over 125 articles on parenting, many of which have attracted international attention in over 24 countries.
Denny was blessed with forward thinking parents who raised her with an understanding of her value as an individual, her innate power to choose by way of her thoughts, ideas, opinions and beliefs, thus, instilling in her a strong sense of personal responsibility for what happens in our lives
She is the founder of Awakened Parenting LLC, a company dedicated to helping parents release parenting paradigms of the past and consciously choose to raise their children to approach life with a positive mindset and strong sense of self. It is Denny’s passion to combine what she learned through her formal education in early childhood education and psychology and what her parents instilled in her and pass this on to all parents.
Denny has created the discussion group "Awakened Parenting Discussion Forum" on Face Book which now has nearly 600 members. She does on line coaching with parents and teachers who consult her on a regular basis. Denny collaborates with counselors, authors, coaches and others working in the parent coaching field. Denny Hagel is the author of the newly published "The Missing Secret to Parenting", "The C.P.R. Program for Parents & Teens: Conflict Prevention/Resolution Formula", "Mini-Me Syndrome" and two free e-booklets “Parenting Using the Law of Attraction” and “Becoming an Awakened Parent".