Do you ever struggle to be the kind of parent you want to be? Do your emotions sometimes get in the way of loving your kids exactly as they are? Do you feel a strain on your relationship with your kids? Today my friend Sara Payne is here to teach three tools that can help us deepen our connection with our kids in a powerful way!
Today I’m so happy to introduce you to my friend Sara Payne. She and I met a few months ago when our daughters became friends at school. She was such an easy person to love right away. She is kind and personable and wise, and a great person to share a good laugh with. She also happens to be a life coach and podcaster. So a few weeks ago she taught me some great tools for strengthening my relationship with my kids. I have been so impressed with the results that I had to ask her to come on and share her insights with all of you.
Her perspective fits right in line with a study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology in 2015 that “indicates that relationships with fathers and mothers which are supportive, affectionate and allow the child appropriate autonomy may promote good psychological functioning across life up to and including the seventh decade. The findings support the view that the foundations for lifelong well-being begin in the early years, or before.”
(Mai Stafford, Diana L. Kuh, Catharine R. Gale, Gita Mishra & Marcus Richards (2016) Parent–child relationships and offspring’s positive mental wellbeing from adolescence to early older age, The Journal of Positive Psychology, 11:3, 326-337, DOI: 10.1080/17439760.2015.1081971)
The study compared different types of parenting and reinforced the idea that affectionate, warm, responsive parenting, combined with appropriate boundaries is ideal, over parenting that is controlling and more distant. So today let’s learn a little more how to be that kind of parent.
So here we go, 3 Tools to Help you Strengthen Your Relationship with Your Kids - or Anyone, with Sara Payne.
Conversation with Sara
Thank you Sara! Isn’t she wonderful? I feel so grateful to be her friend! I sure hope you learned something that will help you in your relationships with your kids, or with anyone!
So just to summarize - the three steps to stronger relationships are:
1 - Write a helpful story, which basically means to choose your perspective. Just like if I’m working on my laptop and the sun moves a little to create a big glare, I will adjust to be able to really see what I’m looking at. We can do the same thing with our kids, adjust the angle that we’re viewing them from to really see them. Or for another example...this morning my husband looked out at the rainy gray sky and said, “Isn’t it amazing that we look out at the sky and see nothing but gray, but there is a blue sky and a sun shining above all those clouds? And it is always there. Every single day there is a blue sky and a bright sun. We just can’t always see it because of the clouds.” And I believe that is true of our kids. Sometimes they may seem so difficult, but they are each children of God with incredible potential. We just need to write a story that helps us see that.
2 - Take 100% responsibility for how you feel. Your thoughts cause your feelings, not your circumstances. Two people can have the same experience but have totally different feelings about it, depending on what they think of it. So choose the thoughts that will lead to the results you want.
3 - Love them exactly as they are. I really believe that when our kids feel loved and accepted, that gives them the fertile soil to rise to their potential. That doesn’t mean we don’t have boundaries and expectations. Remember the study I mentioned at the beginning of this episode? Parental warmth and affection, combined with appropriate boundaries, led to the best mental health outcomes.
My favorite thing about Sara’s insights today is the idea that it can help us LOVE OUR KIDS unconditionally, and LOVE OURSELVES.
If someone you love, came to mind as you listened to this episode, think about sharing it with them. It might be just what they need to hear.
If you’re interested in learning more about the model that Sara taught today, go to my website, raisingtodayskids.com and click on the link for Episode 20.
Thanks for listening and have an awesome day!!