This parenting technique and philosophy is one of the most powerful and basic ways to be a parent. It reminds us that being a good parent involves keeping ourselves regulated and recognizing that our children want to be in a relationship if we can give them the love to overcome the fear.
Dare to Love: The Art of Merging Science and Love Into Parenting Children with Difficult Behaviorsby Heather T. Forbes
Emerging science has helped us to understand children better from a neurological and behavioral standpoint. Yet, all the academic research coupled with the best diagnoses for children can still leave parents feeling completely powerless. In her book, Dare to Love, Heather Forbes, LCSW, describes in detail, through a series of questions and answers, how to merge
Emerging science has helped us to understand children better from a neurological and behavioral standpoint. Yet, all the academic research coupled with the best diagnoses for children can still leave parents feeling completely powerless. In her book, Dare to Love, Heather Forbes, LCSW, describes in detail, through a series of questions and answers, how to merge science into everyday parenting. This book gives practical, effective, and loving solutions for any parent struggling with his or her child. It will leave you feeling empowered, hopeful, and excited to be a parent, again.
- Beyond Consequences Institute, LLC
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- 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Read an Excerpt
Asking the Right Question
After reading parenting book after parenting book, I have come to one very important conclusion. We have been asking the wrong question. We have been asking, "How do I get my child to change his behavior?" The focus has been on moving a child from negative behavior to positive behavior.
You know the routine, sticker charts, taking away privileges, responding only to nice talk, rewarding good behavior with a prize or that treasured new toy, and the like. Are these working? Do they create lasting change or do you find yourself constantly digging into your bag of "tricks" to find something new and innovative because the old techniques are not working anymore? Or worse, do you find that all those tricks and techniques you try actually make the situation between you and your child worse?
Ask the wrong question and you will get the wrong answer. This is why those sticker charts are not working. The solution we need is to start asking the right question. Children are emotional beings. They are deeply emotional and spiritual creatures that we have somehow come to view as "little rational and logical thinking adults."
The question needs to stem from the understanding that children operate from an emotional platform, not a behavioral framework. Thus, the question we need to start asking ourselves is,
"What is driving my child's behavior?"
When we begin to ask this question, we switch our focus to that which is at the core of our children's negative behavior. At this core is a state of fear, pain, and/or overwhelm that comes from a child being outside of his window of stress tolerance. Children donot act out from a conscious place. It goes much deeper than this.
As adults, we have shifted into a place of intellect, rationalization, and logical thinking because it is a safer place from which to operate. Logic is much more predictable than emotions, thus more comfortable. As human beings, we have a need for certainty. This certainty is found through intellectual thinking and rational thought. For many of us, our childhood experiences moved us in this realm of thinking because feelings of anger, fear, and sadness became unsafe and people got either emotionally and/or physically hurt.
This is exactly why children are in our lives. They are our examples to return us back to our natural state of emotional living. This is where life asking t h e right question exists at a deeper and more meaningful level. We find our purpose and our passion for who we are and the reason we are on this planet when we operate out of a state of emotional expression and capture the essence of what distinguishes us from all other mammals on this planet.
Our children are in our lives to challenge us to Dare to Love again. In order to connect with who they are, we must shift ourselves back to living from love, not fear; living from emotional expression, not logical thought; and learning the difference between unconditional love and conditional love.
Effective and rewarding parenting takes going beyond the behaviors, beyond dishing out consequences, beyond thinking logically, and beyond trying to control our children. It takes putting love into action in a whole new way and connecting with your child at a deep, intrinsic level-a whole new dimension of parenting.
Switching your thinking from a behavioral framework to a love-based framework, focused on emotional connection, will not be easy. Daring to love your children beyond consequences, logic, and control, will take courage, faith, commitment, and follow through.
When you learn how to put love into action, unconditionally, you have the power to change any family situation. Parenting through power and authority over our children comes from fear and ultimately undermines a child's ability to trust and relate, both themselves and others. Conversely, parenting through unconditional love and relationship equips our children to develop their own internal sense of control and empowers them to enter the world with a strong sense of self, well-developed love for self, and an ability to relate to others through tolerance, patience, and understanding. It simply starts by asking the right question, "What is driving my childs behavior?"
Meet the Author
Heather T. Forbes, LCSW, is co-founder and owner of the Beyond Consequences Institute. Forbes has worked with nationally recognized attachment professionals in the field of trauma and attachment since 1999. She is an internationally published author on the topics of adoptive motherhood, raising children with difficult and severe behaviors, and self-development. Forbes lectures, consults, and coaches parents throughout the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., working to create peaceful, loving families. She is passionate about supporting families by bridging the gap between academic research and "when the rubber hits the road" parenting. Much of her experience and insight on understanding trauma, disruptive behaviors, and adoption-related issues comes from her direct mothering experience of her two adopted children.
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