Some parents worry their skills can never be as good as professional counselors or psychologists. Some of my clients are quick to say, “I wish I could call every time I make a decision. I always wonder if I’m going to hurt my child psychologically and not know it.”
Psychology is the study of human behavior. Psychologists can’t put human behavior in a test tube and create formulas for specific results. All any professional can do is study the “probability” that certain reactions will happen during specific situations. Psychologist study the “statistics” connected with certain behaviors and turn those probabilities into instructions that may help you have happier relationships. You can do the same thing.
(1) If you want to be a great parent – reacting with the skill of the best psychologist….BE A GREAT OBSERVER!
Watch your children, husband, friends – as much as possible. Pay attention to when, how and why they react like they do. Watch how your children play. Watch their mannerisms, their facial expressions and their reactions to others. Observe how your children, your husband or your friends use their individual personalities to react to circumstances. Spend time analyzing those traits and how they fit in your unique family.
Once you observe “why” and “how” people react to situations and you couple that information with their personality – you can design a workable plan to soothe confrontations or solve future problems.
While you are observing your own family, be sure and observe what does and does not work in other families. If a friends child is reacting negatively to constant yelling – make a mental note that yelling may not work with your own children. If imposing a lot of rules hasn’t worked for the pastor’s wife, it may not work in your family.
(2) Ask why as much as possible. For example, when the pastor’s children don’t turn out like expected – ask yourself why? Was it the restrictive home atmosphere or was it the lack of love and understanding? Is there something you can change their parenting style that will keep your rules in place yet help your child respond positively?
Being Observant and asking why are two of the best tools we can use to create successful homes!