Although acceptance is a fundamental human need, many parents struggle to accept their children as they are. In Raise the Child You’ve Got—Not the One You Want, I offer the parents’ path to acceptance:
- Start with the child you’ve got.
- Accept who your child is.
- Separate who your child is from what your child does, and
- Understand your CoreSelf and your behavior.
Step 4 is where parents need to turn the focus inward and look inside themselves to understand how they are contributing to the hotspots between them and their child. This is often where parents get stuck, because for many, the idea of looking inside themselves for answers is foreign and overwhelming.
Although I give general suggestions in the book about getting the needed help, I recently found a wonderful resource to recommend. Bonnie Harris, of Connective Parenting has an approach that gets to the heart of the matter efficiently and in a non-threatening way. I first came across Bonnie’s work on her Facebook page, drawn to it because everything she posts sounds so wise, so practical, and just plain helpful. So I was curious about her book, When Your Kids Push Your Buttons: And What You Can Do About It. Sure enough, it is the perfect next step for parents who want to lead with acceptance, and realize that they have some work to do on their own stuff.
As a family counselor and parent educator, Bonnie has been in the trenches helping parents defuse their hotspots so they can parent with patience and understanding instead of anger and old agendas. She lays out her proven, easy-to-follow approach that helps parents tune into their reactions and get to the root of the problem. The fill-in-the-blank exercises in each chapter are a godsend for parents who are too overwhelmed to start journaling or searching on their own for methods to become more mindful (basically, all parents!). By filling in the guided, Mad Libs-style paragraphs, you stay focused as you systematically move towards your truth…and understanding your truth is what helps you make changes!
Here is an excerpt from her exercise for understanding what your underlying agenda might be in a conflict situation with your child:
With this wonderful book that lays it out so clearly and guides your every step, you’ll be well on your way to leading with acceptance and creating a thriving family.
Bonnie and I believe in each other’s work so much that we are making a dual offer. You can win a copy of Bonnie’s book, When Your Kids Push Your Buttons, by simply commenting below. Tell us what kind of support you need to help look inside yourself for answers. Sunday night, June 15th, I will choose a comment using a random tool.
At the same time and in the same way, Bonnie will be giving away a copy of my book, Raise the Child You’ve Got—Not the One You Want, so you can comment here for a chance to win it. Raise the Child You’ve Got helps parents understand the importance of acceptance…and Buttons delves into the layers in the parent where unacceptance may have its roots. We both agree that the combination of our work offers a parent a full in-depth path to unconditional acceptance of our children.