Why reading parents books isn’t enough

Most parents I meet have read about parenting.  They have an understanding of raising boys, or raising girls and come to me for help because after the reading they are finding it difficult to apply what they’ve read.

People read about parenting for different reasons.  Some are trying to navigate the emotions and discipline.  Some are curious to know if there is more that they can do.  Some parents are fearful of not doing the right thing and damaging their child by not knowing enough.

See, the thing about parenting is that it is personal.  There is not a way to raise a child, but instead there is a parent decision to be made around the values in your family and how you would like to relate with each other.

Sounds simple. But then why is it so hard to do?

Because there is a huge gap between what a parent reads and what their emotions and brain are able to apply.  When a parent finds something difficult, we call it being triggered.  The parent might shout, get angry, anxious, give the child whatever they want or on the other extreme be overly boundaried.

If a parent is triggered, reading strategies in a book is often not enough to change what is going on in that relationship with the child and parent.  Parent triggers are related to their own childhood and how they were treated.  And the real work of a parent is to undo their triggers so they aren’t reacting to their child, but instead can move their emotions aside and respond. 

A parent might read in a book to say certain phrases, or use empathy to relate with their child, but if you yourself haven’t learnt these skills and your needs were not met this way growing up, this will be almost impossible to do in a genuine and authentic way.  If your big emotions such as fear, anger, rage and anxiety are lurking in the background then this is what will shine through in your interactions.

I know for myself I was widely read about raising kids, but when I responded to my kids with anger, anxiety or fear then their needs had suddenly turned into my unmet needs.  I had to go and figure out why I felt out of control, why it was so overwhelming and what to do about it.

When a child is born, a mother is also born.  And with this arrives a whole new way of being in the world.  And for me, this was difficult until I had learnt the skills of relating to my children in a way that enhanced their lives and met their needs. 

You can’t teach someone else to drive a car unless you can drive yourself. It’s the same with parenting. You can’t teach a child about emotions until you understand yours.  And you teach by mirroring.

The Calm & Confident Parenting Course does just that.  It is a beautiful blend of practical and emotional.  It takes the parent on an emotional journey where they understand why they do what they do, and put in skills and tools to do something about it.  We look at the whole life of the parent and see where changes can be made so the parent is the parent they’d like to be. And the waitlist for the course is now open. If you’re ready to be the parent you’d like to be, sign up to be the first to hear about when the course sale goes live, course bonuses and special offers for committing. 

I am delighted to be helping parents in this way as so many parents come to me and say they’re finding it so hard to apply what they read.  This is normal. And totally possible to change.

If you’re looking for instant support, then download my free workbook 5 Steps to Calmer Parenting and join the free Calm & Confident Parenting Group on Facebook. I am in there daily, talking with parents about how to be the parent they’d like to be. See you there.

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