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Where can you find the parenting manual?

Where can I find the parenting manual?

foundations

Every family embarks on the journey of parenthood armed with their own set of challenges and triumphs, crafting a personalized parenting manual in the process.

Your mindset on parenting can either foster power struggles or cultivate a thriving, connected relationship with your child.

Truth bomb: Every family is co-creating their own manual

You have found the right place if you struggle with your child's loud, dramatic, disruptive, over-the-top behavior.

What would it feel like in your home if you knew how to show up in ways that eliminate power struggles, support your child's individuality, and help you grow a healthy relationship together?

Take a moment and cultivate that vision. How does this make you feel?

As we process how to co-create your parenting manual, we will gain clarity on your choices that align you to a power struggle or good relationship.

 

Is there a parenting Manual?

I think that you are writing that manual every day and with every interaction. No one is writing the parenting manual alone, nor is every manual meant to be the same. The authors are the parents of the past, you, and your family in your home.

The truth bomb is that the manual you are writing is the documentation of your relationship. In this relationship, you play a part, and your child plays a role. You are cultivating and co-creating with both elements in harmony and balance, creating a strong and connected relationship.

Take a moment now and think of someone in your life that makes you feel safe, seen, and heard. I want you to think about a person you take your struggles to in challenging times. What does that trust feel like in your body?

I know for me, trust feels just like a sigh of relief. As I cultivate that feeling, I could even start to choke up. With this person, I can just be who I am without judgment, without fear of punishment or criticism. I can allow my messy bits to show, and this someone treats me with dignity.

Those relationships that came to mind are cultivated, nurtured, and cared for over a lifetime. Together, those relationships are grown in connection and not perfection, much like the plants in my home. It took time to understand each plant's needs and how to take care of them. I had to be aware and look for the signs of the plant’s health.  Sometimes, I miss the signs or cues that plants give me. My goal is to grow healthy, thriving plants. That means getting soil or watering them at times. It is not about perfection. It is about being open and aware and working on not letting the plant get too dry or too curled.

Once I become aware of this, I can start to take action to offer the care needed.


What are the 4 types of parenting styles?

Authoritative Parenting: emphasizes warmth, support, and clear boundaries, fostering a balanced approach where rules are enforced with empathy.

Authoritarian Parenting: leans towards strict rules and discipline, often lacking in warmth and responsiveness.

Permissive Parenting: tends to be lenient with few rules, resulting in children lacking in self-discipline. U

Uninvolved Parenting: is characterized by low warmth and low demands, with minimal involvement in a child's life, leading to potential neglect and detachment.

 

These are the 4 parenting styles; below, we will simplify more by thinking of it as a carpenter parent or a gardener. 

Be Kind Coaching offers services to parents who want to improve their tools box and become an authoritative parent with a gardener mindset.  

 

Are you a carpenter parent or a gardener?

“We're so concerned about how these children are going to turn out that we’re unwilling to give them the autonomy that they need to be able to take risks and go out and explore the world”

Allison Gopnik Child Psychologist

How often has the story been sold to us that you must do “these things” to raise a strong, connected, successful child?  This belief is where we miss the chance for attunement and navigate those struggles together.  In other words - parenting with fear.  

How would you answer the question - “I don't want my child to turn out ______?”

Let's just call the fear out. Let's make it safe to look at. Holding onto these fears shapes your decisions and reactions to your child. The fear can block connection rather than tuning into the signs that the child needs care.

The problem to solve…

Take a look at solving a common problem that families face, a child with a failing grade. We will look at it from two different perspectives that Allison Gopnik defined, the carpenter & the gardener parent in her book "The Gardener and the Carpenter"

Carpenter Parent Overview

The carpenter's parent response results in power struggles. The pressure to perform, the high expectations, and the little flexibility are the illusion of a safe, predetermined path. If you just follow this path, you will be safe, successful, and loved. If you step off of this path, it is unsafe, and you will be punished until you get back on to the course provided. 

I know this authoritarian style is how many of us were raised and see across pop culture media.

In Disney’s The Little Mermaid, King Triton comes to mind like a carpenter parent.  King Triton responded to his daughters and his kingdom in authoritarian rule. “I am the king” and “you need to listen to me.” His daughter Ariel showed him an entire treasure cove outside of his predetermined path for Ariel. He destroyed it, and I think he would defend his actions. He would say things like, “I'm doing this for you”, “I'm doing this because I love you”, “I'm doing this to get you back on the path, because this is the path that I know, this is the path that will keep you successful, that will keep you safe, and keep me safe.”  He misses out on forming their relationship, building a bond with her, and understanding her path is different than his path. All of this takes flexibility in the response. Towards the end of the movie, he has this brilliant moment when he sees that she just wanted him to see and understand her.  It took the whole movie to get there. Now, imagine if he had that awareness, if he was tapped into that process sooner, he could join in and co-create a relationship with Ariel rather than struggle against her.

 

Gardener Parent Overview

The Gardener's Parent results in co-creating respect and trust. They provide a protective space to explore. Being a gardener is about creating a richly diverse and dynamic ecosystem. A farmer or anyone who gardens or cultivates plants becomes attuned to each plant's individual needs. 

A gardening parent has put their own air mask on and sends the message, “I'm here for you. This sucks, this is hard, this is not what either of us wants.” They will be able to ask, listen and co-create trust, respect, and autonomy. They can meet the child exactly where they are and see mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow. 

Yoda, from Star Wars, is a gardener. Yoda sits back, watches Luke struggle, and points out Luke's blind spots without taking control, without shame. Yoda shares his wisdom and allows Luke to make his own decisions. Yoda has inner trust, faith, and knowledge, and he invites Luke to come on the journey with him.

You are now in a safe place to explore

I invite you to consider, what is the relationship that you are co-creating.

Maybe you've seen traits of both types of parents. Perhaps this allows you to reflect and ask, “Which times do I show up and feel that I'm co-creating, like a gardener? Which times am I showing up and co-creating like a carpenter?”

Above is information for you to explore what you want to co-create with your child.  Are you cultivating trust, warmth, and connection or cultivating more in that fear-based lens? 

A final question, where would you like to adjust, where would you like to strengthen, or where would you like to deepen the relationship with yourself and with your children?

 

 

This work is deep and sometimes triggering. I am here to guide and support you along your journey. 

My mission in life is to help parents feel supported and empowered doing this work. Start working on your C.L.E.A.R. Parenting Today.

 

 

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