Easy Tiger Parent System™

Hello, and welcome to my blog on Liberating Parents and Giving Children Back Their Parents.

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Thank You

Jennifer McLeod

How Do You Stop Or Deal With Manipulative Parents?

Born To Win!: Success Strategies for Young Businesses and New Entrepreneurs

6 December 2007

Good Parent - Bad Parent: The Myths

Good Parent - Bad Parent: The Myths

Often when I tell people that I work with parents, they automatically assume that it is single or lone parents or ‘troubled’ parents that I work with who have ‘troubled’ children. They are the ones with the problems! The answer is that I work with all parents. Parent couples, married or not, can bring about their own range of parenting challenges for themselves and their children as much as single parents can.

There is a lot more unhealthy parenting taking place amongst parenting couples than couples (or society) would want to admit to for a range of reasons; whether guilt, shame, lack of awareness of what is really happening, not wanting to be seen as a bad parent or the misconception that couples are not supposed to be the ones who have problems with parenting (?). Parent couples can knowingly or otherwise create situations within the home environment that affects their children. For instance, a child may become jealous with the arrival of a new baby or jealous because they don’t understand why their younger siblings get more attention than they do. These examples might be the obvious ones that many people can easily relate and admit to. In a lot of respects, the child’s behaviour gets worse because they then begin to question their own self worth and wonder if it is because they have done something wrong why mummy and daddy decided to have a new baby or is it because the younger siblings are favourites why they get more attention. Because they haven’t got the answers, they frequently ‘act up’, ‘play up’, ‘misbehave’ or exhibit ‘inappropriate behaviour’ in attempt to find the answer to their challenge and see if what they believe really is true, i.e. that they were bad or did something wrong why mummy and daddy don’t like them, or had a new baby or pay more attention to the younger children.

This belief then gets reinforced by parents, teachers and others in the child’s world because the child is then perceived as bad or doing something wrong because of their behaviour. There is always a root cause to children’s behaviour (and to adults’ behaviour for that matter!). Most often than not the child doesn’t understand why they are feeling so bad inside and therefore are not able to verbalise it so they behave physically (act up) in an attempt tell adults that something is wrong. So then we get into a cycle and self fulfilling prophecy.

What needs to happen is for adults to really understand the root cause of the child’s behaviour and treat them and reassure them accordingly. For instance, the child may appear as an attention seeker at school because they perceive that they are not getting that attention at home. Attention seeking is a form of the child needing to get close to someone, anyone and that is the only way they know how to get that message across to adults. Once the parents and teacher understands the reason for the attention seeking or behaviour, then simple positive things can be done to support and reassure the child that they are ok. For instance, the teacher could give them more responsibilities in the classroom or allow them to sit nearer the front of the classroom. Parents cuould give them more reassurance or and/or age-related rewards and treats including going to bed a little later.

The trick about children’s behaviour is that their behaviour isn’t necessarily obvious about the real cause of their behaviour and their behaviour might be seen as the real problem instead and masks the underlying problem. That is the symptom or behaviour gets treated but not the root cause of the problem.

In respect of single parents, amongst the other challenges that they experience, one of the major challenge that they and their children face is the very insecure, tit for tat behaviour amongst the adults and/or using the children to get back at each other. All of this is harmful for the children and hence the behavioural issues that ensues for the children. For instance, if an absent parent doesn’t visit the child or doesn’t turn up for a visit, the child blames themselves and wonders what they did for that to happen. They then ‘act up’. And then the single parent gets labelled as not being able to bring their children up in a healthy environment, or that they are not able to control their children.

At Step Up! International Ltd we don’t tell people that they are good or bad parents as that would be setting us up as ‘judges’ with superior parenting abilities than anyone else. What we do, however, is allow parents to find their own solutions from a solutions focused perspective.

We acknowledge that people perform so many other different roles as well as their parenting role, and as such allow the parent to look at the whole of their lives and to take a forward looking approach to creating goals and visions that they want for themselves and the whole family. Ultimately, we work with parents to enable them to get rid of Emotional Roadblocks that may be preventing them from living life to the full.

With Inspirational Blessings
Jennifer McLeod