What I mean by Focus and Control is that you can become a better parent by focusing on controlling your own behavior.
Informative media tells us that unacceptable behavior in babies and children is the direct and irrefutable consequence of a lack of awareness on the part of parents, as well as an inability to cope with their own problems, barring of course, specific unresolved physical problems and/or genetic issues that result in behavioral problems.
I strongly argue against the cliché of quality time versus quantity time, which is a gimmick used by way too many educators, magazines, websites, and authors to sell a new gimmick to parents. For babies and young children, there is only time, not this flash of so-called quality time!
They just want your time and attention without you being distracted by your tablet, phone, PC, and so on!
Furthermore, parenting requires listening and taking time instead of criticizing and correcting. The two former aspects require lots of time, and the latter are often the result of being rushed or unclear about rules and boundaries. We will go into this later on.
It is either that lack of awareness and self-knowledge or the stress of negative parenting practices that is the root cause of so many so called problem families. Many educational psychologists and several case studies vouch for this fact.
Family dynamics is a complex issue, and it would take a whole book to explain the intricacies. Suffice it to say that when becoming a parent, you subconsciously dredge up all your own negative and positive parenting experiences, as well as all your previous interactions with authority figures.
Root Cause of Focus and Control Issues?
As soon as you become a parent, issues of power and control (and the lack of them) come up. These are often reinforced if you have a partner and/or are raising your children with others. All kinds of murky feelings related to lack of control, fear, and powerlessness pop up.
Babies and young children sense this, and they do not like it! Before you know it you, your baby or child, and your partner are involved in subconscious and unconscious power struggles, fears, and games, all of which limit your effectiveness as a parent.
Now, please understand, there is no judgment in this statement. I certainly do not judge you as a parent. This stuff just happens to many parents! You love your baby/ child, and you read all you could before they were born and then suddenly you feel helpless and lost because nothing prepared you for all these feelings and issues. I totally understand that and empathize with you!
This is why I place enormous emphasis on building awareness, self-knowledge, and love! This counteracts the above-mentioned negativity.
To paraphrase Mr Miyagi from the movie The Karate Kid, “No bad children, only “bad” parents.” I put the word bad in quotation marks because I do not believe there is such a thing as bad parents (exceptions to the rule being parents who abuse their children in any manner). Parents have problems because of a lack of awareness, which is mostly due to a lack of information or knowledge because no one tells us how to prepare for this most important life event.
For more about Focus and Control you can go to my chapter 3, in Oops, The Parenting Handbook
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