I am writing this article as a response to a challenge I received last year from Alina regarding parenting. I guess it all started when we were talking about our jobs, then kinds, then our ways in coping with various challenges which occur during this work, family, your private self,community fusion kitchen.
A while ago, parenting was a fancy term, an intimidating big puzzle I am now putting together after taking parenting seminars, reading lots of books, corporate training and observation. Yes, I am applying not only the modern psychology and researches in raising children, I am experimenting with all tools I have available.
Conflict: I always loved sweets, actually I still do:) Chocolate, cakes, M&Ms, ice cream…….I was aware of the unhealthy side of the sugar, fat and all modern synthetic ingredients of my delicious inoffensive delights, just that my metabolism is on my side, i have no health issues and I was choosing the joy of taste…….until I had to explain to my children WHY sweets are not good. Every day I am eating a dessert, at work I happily shared with my colleagues this happy treats and at home, because I don’t want to be a bad example, I was hiding the chocolates on the highest shelves and ate them “behind closed doors” with my husband. There were couple of times, when children saw us chewing something and when we were asked: What are you eating? – Bread. Aha, bread with a smell of chocolate.
My solution: Yes, I did this. Luckily, I stopped in due time and asked: Are the sweets good or bad? How long the children are supposed to be deprived from sweets by using authority? In medio veritas, I choose to be balanced and to use all my principles of healthy diet on me first.
- Healthy habits for all my family. I am eating 2- 3 sweets a week willingly, I am not anymore attracted to sweets, I can smile to the sweet’s department when I go shopping and I can so No to a gorgeous cake because I now believe what I am teaching to my children: the combined sugar, fat, and chemicals are not the best option for our bodies on a long term. And you will be surprised one day by your 4 year old child saying to you in the store: – Mom,I choose mango today because it makes me grow strong and healthy (we have a rule of buying only one item – their own choice, usually it was some chocolate, kinder, candies etc)
- Power of persuasion and trust: By integrating my core values into all domains of my life, and not separating Me from others, I have more chances to inspire and to be a true model in terms of building healthy habits.
Conflict: The starting point were the battles between my children.
My solution: I went to a seminar on how to manage conflicts between brothers, then I had some corporate training on the same subject but from a business perspective, I honed my negotiation skills and so I began to perceive things differently. And when you apply the same tactics with your manager as you are applying with your children,mother, colleagues, friends. Then magic happens. You start to respect other opinions, personality, emotions and you receive back the same treatment. Only it takes time to rebuilt the trust and confidence, and most important is to rewire your brain patterns.
- I switch to a “mediator” mode when I hear someone crying, I am trying to ask more questions to find out hat happened, not jumping into conclusion. I am offering specific tools I learned so that they are able to manage by them selves the issues they encounter.
- Power of discovering common interests: before I was just describing the problem (done so many times at work), and now I am practicing the solution oriented approach both with my family and successfully in my career.
- Expressing openly my emotions and taking responsibility instead of embracing the “authority” or “victim” positions , thus I gain control over the situation and find creative solutions faster.
These are just small examples of experiments I am doing daily with my self in every area and concerning all kind of skills, competencies. Time management, stress management, organization, change management, perseverance,ambition, courage, sincerity ……… I am opened to receive information from all people around me: my children, mentors, leaderships,Gandhi, Michael Jordan, Bill Gates, all the trainers I am interacting with, my friends, colleagues, strangers on the subway, my readers. All you need is:
Stop and Observe – detach from your own and other beliefs and patterns
Rethink failure as a feedback and you will find opportunities instead of closed doors
Have a positive attitude
I would be very happy to hear about your experiences regarding the integration of the core principles in different areas of your life, with different people.