Partnering With Kids
A basic premise in GPS for Kids is that we are equals, and, we want our kids to know that and feel that. Of course we are there to guide them, but not to coerce them into doing what we think is best. That is the basic difference. As parents, we are so powerful. We can get this small entity to do whatever we want but that is just what we don’t want.
Instead, we want a child to learn to wander through the hallways and rooms of our home figuring out just how powerful s/he is! We want them to know their mojo, their spirit, their potential and it all is within boundaries and limits — just like any healthy relationship is.
It’s a shift in thinking and talking. The payoff is incredible so even when as parents we want to revert back to our philosophy of parenting that we learned from how we were parented, we put life skills in place that trigger our kids to watch over us, just as we watch over them.
How do we make this shift in consciousness? I think what I did as a parent was to be a child. Get our of my all-mighty parenting head and remember what it was like when I was little. That gave me the patience to think outside the box. Why did I do so poorly in school? Why was I so shy? What did I need or want to feel more powerful and able to interact in the life as a child?
Confidence! Where did it go? Why didn’t I have it? Does your child have confidence balanced with respect for your boundaries and needs? How do you get there?
It starts with you being vulnerable. Instead of predicting the future, “If you are going to do that then this is going to happen, ” (the odds might be 50-50 so you are right as much as you are wrong) you start with you. ”Hey Jamie, I feel (angry, worried, anxious, frustrated) that you are so full of energy and when I get like that I want you to stop because I think it will end up in someone getting hurt. How can you help me with this?”
What have we done? We have taken the parental role and transformed it into making our child powerful–even over of us! Which is so true! We gain their attention, their empathy for who we are which may not make any sense in the big world, and then we ask for their help. A powerful parent needs our help. We are partners in life and for life with this magnificent being, and we want to give them opportunities to know just what a wonder they are. Each of you are the most powerful influences on your child’s life. Make it a powerful, equal relationship by giving them choices and asking for their help in making your days just a little better, because they will automatically learn that life skill.
There is not a right and a wrong way, there is simply the best way to empower your child with gaining knowledge and security with who he or she is in the world and who they want to be. You are laying the foundation of their future by allowing them to gain confidence each day in how to operate in the world.