“Thank you so much, Susan. Your advice was very helpful. It felt as if you knew my child personally and talked about him.” ~ Ruta Reckart
Susan Stiffelman is dedicated to helping parents raise kids who are joyful, resilient and authentically themselves — without power struggles, negotiations, meltdowns and the various other thieves of joy that can interfere with a parent’s ability to enjoy the journey of parenthood.
A child has a profound need to have someone be in charge. Parents need to accept the role of being “captain of the ship” in their child’s life. If a parent is reacting to a child with their emotions, that is a signal that the child has the upper hand in the situation.
Susan talks about two stages of parenting, Act 1 and Act 2. Act 1 parenting is when parents appeal to the child’s right brain (emotions). They use the phrase “What was that like for you?” This gives the child a chance to vent so he feels heard and understood. Act 2 parenting is when parents appeal to the child’s left brain (rational, logical side).
Children are looking for someone to comfort and reassure them when they are going through a hard time. When a child is frustrated Susan recommends doing the following:
1. Imagine that they are on a road. There are two possible outcomes: the child will accept the situation or the child will resist and act out.
2. You want to get 3 nods from the child (which shows that you are acknowledging the feelings that the child has).
3. Recognize that the child is going through the Kübler-Ross five stages of grief when they don’t get their way.
- Denial — “This can’t be happening to me.”
- Anger — “Why me? It’s not fair!”
- Bargaining — “I’ll do anything you want”
- Depression — “I’m so sad”
- Acceptance — “It’s going to be okay.”
All parents want to have a close relationship with their children. But sometimes they don’t know how to achieve that goal. To strengthen your attachment with your child you can:
1. Do something unexpected with your child. Initiate personal one-on-one time.
2. Make sure you are using Act 1 parenting so the child feels you are on his side.
3. Smile and make your child feel special when you are together.
4. Show your child that you find him fascinating.
5. Celebrate the child you’ve got, as he/she is.
To find more specific, powerful strategies for reconnecting to your children go to: www.GreatParentingShow.com/susan
Here’s what some other listeners thought of the interview:
Dori A. Klass – I KNOW this works and what’s really cool is when our kids start to remind themselves of what’s fascinating about themselves. I love the idea of the snapshot child vs the real child.
Autumn Frisco – I would love to convince any parent or grandparent out there to read Parenting Without Power Struggles by Susan Stiffelman. You do not have to have a problem with power struggles in any of your relationships with children in your life: it just helps us reframe our words to come from a place of love.
Golnaz Fatemi – I loved the quote: “Acknowledge what you suspect is going on with your child (the red flag) until the storm is passed.”
Teresa J. Williams Hooker – Just wanted to thank you for your work and your encouraging words today…this teleseminar and your positive words for your listeners were very much what I needed to hear today.
Cristina Salcedo – Something very important and wonderful that I have learned is to acknowledge our kids feelings, something so simple, but not instilled in us at all. Doing so has changed and improved my relationship with my kids sooo much!