On my drive home yesterday, I came up with an awesome way to explain Unconditional Parenting to y’all.
Unconditional Parenting is almost exactly like being a good manager.
• You talk to your children like they are adults that can make their own choices, while giving clear guidelines for behavior and setting reasonable expectations.
• You LISTEN intently, repeat what was said so you are sure you understand the question, and help the person come up with a reasonable solution to their problem.
• You listen to their complaints and validate their feelings.
• You consider making adjustments when the team is not working at their full potential.
• You are always changing and growing with your team, working with their strengths and weaknesses.
• You are always available to talk, and you ask what your child needs from you in order for us to be successful.
I find myself dipping into my old bag of management tricks often when I’m working with my kids, and as they grow, they respond really well to these techniques.
It can be so tempting to speak with exasperation, or raise your voice, or be impatient with your kids. Most of the time, I feel like Jekyll and Hyde. I switch from being tolerant, understanding, explaining every detail, and managing their conflicting needs to being the most impatient, demanding and irritable mother on the planet. This usually happens when I am hungry, tired, or solo parenting for the day.
If you also find yourself sassing back at your 4 year old, I really really understand.
What usually helps me is a glass of red wine and a cuddle. Slow breathing, holding my kids tight and ignoring the to do list running through my head makes a world of difference. When we are back on track, I try my hardest to be a good manager; kind, understanding, firm, and guiding my kids through whatever totally ridiculous shit they insist on dragging me into….and sometimes it even works!