INVISIBLE CHILD BEHAVIOR LEADERSHIP
A positive alternative to stressful (traditional) child behavior management
"When leadership is done correctly, the people believe they are leading themselves." Lao Tze, ancient Chinese sage.
If you are struggling with stressful, traditional child behavior management your relief just might be here!
It begins with understanding the ALL-important difference between traditional child behavior management and invisible child behavior LEADERSHIP.
Some degree of management is obviously necessary, to help the child stay on track. But we need to know when and how to step in, and when and how to step back. If we follow the traditional model, we simply react emotionally to what we observe, or we pay too much or too little attention to what the child is up to.
The traditional model of child behavior management is based on the belief that you have to mold the child into performing appropriately, and you need to do that in the emotionally reactive way that it was done to you.
After decades of working with parents and teachers around the globe, it has become clear to me that the traditional mode of child management actually hinders the individual growth process of both the parent and the child.
Life is all about learning what works and what doesn’t work. By paying close attention to our experiences we discover our path to freedom and joy. But if we are locked into the “old” or traditional or conventional ways of doing things we shut our eyes to the lessons and feel like a victim of how others are behaving.
This being said, once your way of working with your child turns into tears, frustration, squabbles, power-struggles and withdrawing life is presenting us with a clear lesson: there is too much control being imposed, and it is time to shift into LEADERSHP.
The foundation of LEADERSHIP is maintaining your peace, poise and power, feeling a genuine sense of confidence and security, replacing reactivity with pro-activity, and trusting deep down inside that everything is really working out fine, despite any appearances to the contrary.
Leadership is based on principles, not control. The basic principle underlying the universe is that we are always being led to higher ground. Every experience is designed to lead us into more wisdom and understanding, unconditional love, faith, trust and joy. For it is from the expansion of these internal states of harmony that our circumstances are formed to match them. What this means, from a quantum physics perspective, is that we get what we expect on a consistent, unconditional basis.
Your child is a conscious being, being led by life to discover the truth of wisdom’s way. You lead best by your example of relying on love and joy, feelings of inner security and confidence, and stress-free ways of going about things methodically. When inharmony grows between the two of you, something is interfering with that process. Your child is learning, from your modeling, to rely on stressful states of unhappiness, conflict, struggle, frustration and anxiety to make it in life. That path leads away from life’s blessings.
When you try to make your child see that you are the one in charge you are demonstrating a toxic form of leadership that would make you want to run if you were on the receiving end of it in your job, in your marriage, in your relationship with your neighbor. It has the same impact on your child, and it teaches the child to mislead others.
So what is the key to Invisible Leadership. Lead from the feeling of deep inner joy, contentment and unconditional love in the present moment. It is from that foundational inner state that you will find the inner, intuitive guidance you need to lead your child without your child feeling led. Instead, your child will be experiencing the self-empowering and liberating sense of responsible self-leadership.
Practice choosing this relaxed inner state of wise self-leadership when you find yourself about to slip into:
> the feeling of overwhelm
> a painful emotional reaction pattern
> repeating your parents’ patterns that you promised you would not repeat
> beginning to seek control over your child or your circumstances through intense, rushed, frenetic activity
> in those situations when it feels or seems like nothing you are trying is working.
The traditional form of child discipline is to impose “consequences” to rule the child. This mode, however, always backfires, because all the child has to do is release from his attachment to whatever it is you are taking away, and that disempowers your manipulative control tactic. If you try to coerce your child through tearing down her self-esteem with harsh words or icy silence, or by physically assaulting and making the child fear you, the child learns to disengage from really caring about what happens to him or her, producing a kind of numbing that often leads to drug and alcohol abuse later in life, as well as self-destructive and reckless behavior.
Don’t use your child to derive a sense of power and significance, because that teaches the child to resent authority figures and means that deep down inside you lack belief in your power and significance.
Practice Invisible Leadership of your child’s behavior. It’s not about you being treated as the one in charge; it is about supporting your child’s belief in herself and release of her own higher ability to be in charge of herself.
If you would like support in freeing yourself from the stressful child management patterns that are taking the fun out of parenting and producing strife in your home-life, consider my parenting coaching done over the phone and via Skype, as well as my in-person sessions for those living in the Atlanta, GA area. Click here to learn about my upcoming parenting seminar in Atlanta. I'd be delighted to come to your area to present a seminar live for you. I also present seminars around the world via Skype.