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Listening and Acting Sooner

You can choose not to feel overwhelmed with what you are learning.  Just take the next step.

Blog referred to: Be the Kipukas


00:00 Why adults feel overwhelmed when faced with difficult multifaceted tasks.

01:29 What the real truth is about what you are feeling.

03:05 The two choices you have when facing a big task like parenting. 04:31 An example of how to listen to your children.

05:35 No technique will work if you are afraid or angry.

06:22 How to remain calm.

08:34 An example of applying parenting principles to a situation.

15:17 Act immediately in applying a consequence when a child acts inappropriately. 

17:52 Negotiating with a child is playing THEIR manipulative game.

19:12 Require that the child state what they did.


What Feeling Overwhelmed Really Means

Through Skype and email I had a dialogue with a woman experienced in Real Love. She’d been watching the Parenting Training and the weekly support materials, and she said, “I'm not feeling great right now.”  

“You say that fairly often,” I responded. “It's a very old habit, formed before you even recall it. When faced with some difficult or multi-faceted tasks, you tend to feel ‘overwhelmed’ or "not great." Why?

"Because when you were a child, and you were confronted with multiple demands, your parents were pushy, controlling, critical and angry. You felt assaulted and overwhelmed. 

"It always turned out badly, and now you still form the immediate and reflexive association between the phrase “There’s a lot to do” and the feelings of “overwhelmed” or “feeling bad.”

“But you’re not a child now. That was then, and this is now. Different. But you still FEEL like a child, because your beliefs about who you are and how to respond to stress were formed so early in life, and they were never corrected.

"So what is the truth, which is the only thing that will change how you feel? The TRUTH is that you simply have a lot to learn—about parenting, about being responsible but not feeling burdened, and more. That's all—learning the truth. It's not overwhelming. It's not a mountain. It's one step at a time.

“Remember the video I did recently about preparing for any possible flood in my backyard? (Concrete wall, dirt, plumbing, wiring, sand bags, etc.) What I didn't put in the video was that the anticipated flood DID HAPPEN only weeks after I completed all that work, and everything worked beautifully. But that "smooth" day of "flooding" (not the house) happened only after thousands of individual steps beforehand.

Feeling Overwhelmed with Parenting 

"My preparation for a physical flood is just like your preparation to be a parent for your son (Jared). How? You have a choice. There IS a flood coming—in minutes or hours or years, kids are only too willing to provide that—but right now you have a choice: You could—as you say—(1) feel bad or overwhelmed, or (2) you could just lay the next concrete block or fill the next sandbag. You throw the next shovel full of fill dirt. You lift and move the next single thing. For now, though, you ALLOW—mostly unconsciously—the old habits of being overwhelmed to continue."

Her: “My guess is that I feel out of control because I'm seeing how much I don't know about how to handle many of my interactions with Jared at the moment. I'm listening to the training course and the conference calls and there's so much in there, but I don't know where to start.”

“Good insight into some of the lies you believe. So let’s change that. You believe that right now you have to know how to handle many interactions. Then you feel overwhelmed, and then you stop everything in order to feel bad.

(What am I doing here? LISTENING. Acknowledging that she has a lot to learn. Accepting and loving her. And now we add teaching)

Listen, Be Calm, Don't Do Everything At Once

“Let’s just talk about ONE interaction where you felt lost and stupid. One situation is so much easier to address than solving a whole pile of interactions that make you feel stupid and confused.” 

“But FIRST let’s mention a principle, before we try to solve a specific situation. No technique will work if you feel afraid or angry. You have to be calm and stay calm. Utter calm. Island in storm. (See Be the Kipukas)

"As you interact with your child, you are  NEVER frazzled or upset, which you can do if you remember the people who love you, and that God loves you (she has that belief).  

"Now back to you and feeling overwhelmed. Even though the training highlights so many things you could do better, you don’t have to do them all at once. You CAN’T. 

"So, just keep viewing the parenting training day by day, 15-30 mins at a time. Even if you’re ready beyond your ability to implement what you’ve already read. Why?  

"Because it's all integrated. Each piece fits into a puzzle that day by day clears up your perspective and eliminates past lies. It's almost impossible to parent by just picking out problems and solving them with just one piece of the puzzle.

"Now, let's do a specific example." (To illustrate what I've just said)

An Example of Listening and Acting Sooner

Her: "Jared spotted a container of chocolate brownies we'd made the day before and asked if he could have some." 

Her: She said "of course you can have a brownie, after you've eaten dinner" He ignored me, carried the container into the dining room, and said, "I'm having it now." 

Her: She said, "You can't have them now, but you can after dinner". He started to get upset and whine. I said, light-heartedly "Well, looks like you want to go to your room. That's an odd choice when you could be out here with me, and we could be having fun." 

(Greg): That's brilliant and important. He can't EVER be allowed to whine or he'll keep trying it, in various ways, all his life. And you immediately described a consequence for his whining, possibly giving him chance to choose wisely BEFORE getting the consequence. 

Two Choices

"I'll give you two things you could do. You could do either one or a combination of them. 


**(I'll be you.) "Jared, you have a choice, and you have to make it right now. You can (1) talk about this with me until you see why you can't have the brownie now (and you can put it in your words), or (2) you can keep whining, but you'll have to do it in your room because it's an unpleasant sound that we just don't make out here where other people are happy." 

SECOND (always multiple approaches) 

**Still you. (This approach works quickly) 

"Jared, you have a choice, and you have to make it right now. You can (1) keep whining for the brownie, and then I will choose not to let you have any of these brownies at all-not ever. I will eat them. Or (2) you can stop whining, and have a brownie after dinner." 

**NEVER give a child something they whine to get. It trains them to whine. 

Her: He quickly started to run away and said, "I don't want to go to my room!" But he also stopped whining immediately. 

Mom: "Ok, cool" 

**Notice she didn't praise him. Just noted his decision and desire to avoid a consequence that would be unpleasant, and informed him that it was a cool or wise decision. 

Listening and Acting Sooner When Child Defies You

Mom: "Then I looked surprised and pointed out his huge foam sword he likes. First, he started poking me with the sword and I said "Jared, there is no hitting unless we both agree, or I'll have to take the sword away". So then he started putting the sword in my face while I was obviously reading something. I said, "Jared, I don't like that," and he started arguing.

**Now to her: BOOM!! RIGHT THERE when he used the sword inappropriately the second time is where you need to act. He directly defied you. That means that loving and teaching with WORDS did not work.

"So now you teach with consequences. He goes to his room. Now (no anger). He has to learn that unacceptable behavior is exactly that. If you don't teach this, he will learn that the world is chaos. 

Mom: I pointed out what he was doing, "I said you're frustrated and now you're being unloving. You can stop being unloving and stay or continue and go to your room, what's your choice?"

**(Good words, to be sure, but) Too many words and too late. 

Mom: When it was time for him to come down I asked him, "what happened?" 

Why Children Make You Repeat Lessons

To all: If you find yourself repeating lessons over and over, you're the fool. The child is smarter than you think and manipulates you to have to repeat it. Why? 1. They control you 2. They get to act like it's the first time, paving the way for the next repetition.

He replied, "I was frustrated because I couldn't have chocolate brownies so I hit you with my sword."  

I asked, "What could you do differently?" and he said, "Ask for some love?" 

AND she said, "Look at what you DO have to be happy about. "I can't have brownie now, but I get to have brownie later!" I realize this isn't about the brownie — I'm assuming it's about feeling controlled and entitled?


How could I have handled it differently? I feel like I could be teaching him so much better, not just sending him to his room. 

**It's not just sending him to his room. It's about addressing unproductive behavior faster and more consistently.

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