Welcome to my website. Are you wondering about bolstering your tool kit for coping with those moments when you or a child is mad, sad or glad. Maybe your are here because you are looking for a different approach to parenting or you have reached your limit and are not enjoying your time with you children in the way you would wish. The children in our lives might have found buttons to press that you didn’t even know were there.
As a parent, teacher or carer you may be looking for insight, advice and empathy. How to perhaps motivate the children in your care: to learn, share your values or get on with the other people they encounter.
My philosophy follows the humanistic approaches of Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow, Marshall Rosenburg and Thomas Gordon. This psychological approach considers all humans as trying to reach fulfilment even if they go about it in confusing ways. For our children and ourselves it is often when we are not being heard, don’t have someone’s full attention, have little autonomy about our time, or feel that we don’t matter, when those strong feelings arise and we fall into strategies that are not enjoyable for those around us. How do we change from shouting, hitting, walking away to respecting another’s point of view, build connection and see each upset as a problem that we can all solve together with perhaps a little humour?
The Parent Effectiveness Training is by no means easy. Letting go of our desire to influence and control the decision of our children is difficult. Perhaps seeing an ease in dictatorship, the ability to give clear instructions and determine what is wrong and what is right. However, when we wield absolute power we are disconnected from the other person, any relationship becomes authoritarian, distant and compassion is lost.
The child becomes limited in finding workable solutions to grow in independence and resentful of being controlled according to someone else’s needs and agenda. Eventually this leads to either rebellion, dependency or the parent becomes a figure associated with discipline. When difficulties arise, children may be less likely to approach their parents for advice or support for fear of judgment.
The humanist approach is not about allowing children the freedom to do as they like. If you just give up, provide no boundaries or support their needs at your own expense, then the child may feel that they are not important and when you do want them to contribute you resent that they don’t comply when you have been so supportive of their desires. The child may also feel unsafe and unimportant.
We live in family units and children will join up with other children and adults. Hence, it’s vital that neither the child or the adults needs are seen as more important than the other. Children need lots of time to play, have attention, love, exploration and experimentation. Parents need time to themselves, space, sleep, time for work or chores, as well as time for fun! If either person does not get their needs met then resentment can grow.