Recently I spoke to a mom who was reading The Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. This particular mom has a spirited young child that is adored by everyone who knows her. However, this same little girl’s behavior can, at times, be a challenge even with her parents’ best efforts.
One of the main parenting techniques presented in Kurcinka’s book is to change the way we think about and how we describe our child’s behaviors – from a totally negative, fearful label to a completely positive, hopeful potential.
Instead of describing our child as so whiny, uncooperative, wild, demanding, pesky, why not reframe and be happy about our child who is assertive, persistent, passionate, determined, committed, focused, sensitive, enthusiastic, vigorous, funny?
Don’t these positive words just lift your spirits, give you hope and appreciation of your child? Wouldn’t you just love having a child like that?
This is the happy frame of mind I found this mom to be in after recognizing and relabeling her daughter’s sometimes frustrating behaviors into gifts.
As parents, it is often difficult to go beyond the labels we’ve given our children out of frustration and fear that they’re true, and sense the beauty and encourage the growth of their true strengths.
Try it. Reframe the words you use to describe your child’s most frustrating behavior.
Focusing on the positive fills us with energy, optimism, pride and hope. Approaching our children in this state of mind and heart will keep us on a joyful path in bringing out the power and appreciating the potential that lies within.
For more information, check out The Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka at Family Resources Resource Library. Also look for Your Spirited Child Workshops based on this book presented frequently at Family Resources.