As a typically impatient, “get it done” sort of dad, I found myself in our early parenting years using my big voice and strong presence to move my kids into action.
This approach worked great for me! …But my wife Lynne, in my opinion, seemed to spend too much time arguing with the kids or letting them try to talk things out.
Lynne did two things that helped me grow to be more thoughtful, honoring, and wise.
The first thing she did was empower the kids to do their own talking about how they felt with me.
The second thing she did was ask me more curious questions when I acted this way. Questions like, “What do you think the kids are learning about themselves based on how you treat them sometimes?” Or, “How do you think the kids feel when you get big with them? Is that how you want them to feel?”
This sort of question always got to me.
I defaulted to “getting big” because it got things done. But the truth is, beneath my quick need to control for selfish reasons, I could feel the dad’s heart in me that more than anything wants to make sure the kids know they are safe, loved, and valued in my presence – even if they’re struggling.
Try asking yourself:
- What do you think your children are learning about themselves based on how you treat them?
- How do you think your kids feel when you discipline them? Is that how you want them to feel?
- For a deeper dig into how you can transform your parenting to help your kids feel safe, loved, and valued in your presence even when they struggle, check out our Discipline That Connects With Your Child’s Heart online course.