Guest Post: 10 Ways to Add Peace to Your Home
I love these tips by Dr. Ilene Val-Essen, author of Bring Out the Best in Your Child and Your Self: Creating a Family Based on Mutual Respect. I really think they hit the mark, as well as point out one of the biggest parenting challenges that no one wants to talk about. The truth is that parents often don’t, won’t or can’t take the necessary time it takes to deal with their child’s struggles. We often overreact in the moment (me included) rather than taking a deep breath and trying to get to the bottom of what is really happening with our child. These 10 tips for adding peace are great reminders that our kids just want to please us and do the right thing and sometimes we all get overwhelmed. I loved her book, too, and if PEACE is what your need more of in your family, check it out.
10 Most Effective Ways to Add Peace to Your Home
#1: Believe in your children’s yearning to be their best.
#2: Interpret their difficult behavior as a cry for help. When your children “lose it,” they want you to help them cool down.
#3: Remember: Beneath children’s challenging behavior, there’s always a legitimate need.
#4: Rather than assume you know your children’s motives, use a door opener: I’m curious, Help me understand, Tell me your side.
#5: Take care of yourself; your mood affects the “weather” in the house.
#6: Solicit your children’s opinions when decisions affect their lives.
#7: Set appropriate boundaries; children need them.
#8: Facilitate your children to solve their own problems; don’t play referee.
#9: Have age-appropriate expectations; they’ll respect you for respecting them.
#10: Water the flowers, not the weeds; acknowledge what you want to grow.
Here is more information about the author:
Struggling to bring out the best in your family?
Learn hard and fast skills to decrease the outbursts and stress in your household
Los Angeles, CA – Parents: does this sound familiar? You wake up in a great mood, ready to have a fabulous day and walk into the kitchen with kids yelling at each other, one talking back to you and your resolve crumbles. You begin to raise your voice, your blood pressure rises and –BAM!– there goes your great day.
When you are feeling overwhelmed, repeating yourself, raising your voice, caving in because you’re exhausted, and playing referee—there are some skills you can learn and use to feel more calm and centered.
“In my efforts to be a better parent, I discovered that I was not alone. All parents ‘lose it’ at times and we can learn to be centered more often. But I also discovered that children want to express their best selves—to develop their highest potential–and they depend on us to help them. We’re actually on the same side. And that makes all the difference” says Dr. Ilene Val-Essen, author of Bring Out the Best in Your Child and Your Self: Creating a Family Based on Mutual Respect (February 2010).
Rather than “managing” children (as if they were our employees) or “modifying behavior” (as if training animals) Dr. Val-Essen’s message is about encouraging growth. Her teaching sheds light on the reasons we lose it at times and go out of control, and provides step-by-step guidance to help parents be at their best more often.
Rather than offering ready-made advice for situations such as chores or homework, Bring Out the Best in Your Child and Your Self provides sound principles that parents can apply in their own personal style: building healthy relationships, creating an atmosphere of mutual respect, encouraging the best within their children and themselves. Parents will learn to use those principles to resolve conflict, to solve problems and often to prevent them before they occur.
“Through my work with families, I’m watching family members listen to each other, siblings solving their own problems, parents working with their children to create morning and bedtime routines that really work,” says Val-Essen. “But most important, it’s the love in their eyes, the kindness in their voices and the smiles on their faces that touch my heart. They’re learning to enjoy life together again.”
When reading Bring Out the Best…, parents encounter lightbulb moments regarding: how their word choice affects their child’s self-esteem; how we must understand each other’s perspective before we can set the stage for productive conversation; learning it’s alright to change your mind and why; and, opportunities to help kids practice independence that will pay off big in the long-run.
ILENE VAL-ESSEN earned her doctorate in Education and began to develop the ideas for her Quality Parenting program. She has trained instructors in the U.S. and abroad. Her program has been translated into Spanish, Dutch and Swedish. Dr. Val-Essen has taught this program at UCLA, Education Extension. Since 1975, Val-Essen has been in private practice as a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA. For more information, visit www.BringOutTheBest.com.