Interest Areas: Positive Parenting Initiative – First Ten Steps
- In order to raise children for today’s world, parents must “mentor” their children for independent and flexible problem solving and decision making. Children need guides, mentors : Yoda of Star Wars, not authoritarian police man.
- Children have natural access to the “intuitive sensing” central to Intuitive Focusing. This inner guide leads to independent decision making, having a “conscience,” and having a satisfying life which fulfills one’s unique “blueprint,” specific talents and aspirations.
- Positive Parenting helps children maintain and develop this “inner guide.” Using Focused Listening, parents learn to help children find their own solutions to problems.
- Physical, sexual, and emotional abuse are the enemy of developing this inner sensing, this conscience and guide for independent decision making. They exactly teach children to dissociate from their bodies, from their “felt experiencing” or “intuitive feel.”
- Educating parents for child rearing is not enough; parents must heal their own “Inner Children” before they can radically alter their behavior toward their children. The PRISMS/S Focusing Process, with Core Skills of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, is needed for change at the level of Paradigms, cognitive/emotional/behavioral “schemata” that determine behavior, emotions, and thinking. The kaleidoscope has to turn….
- Parents can learn to use Focused Listening and Intuitive Focusing in their own relationship. Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid includes applications of PRISMS/S at many levels. Parents can help each other with Inner Child healing through Focusing Partnership turns. They can also use Interpersonal Focusing to resolve conflicts between themselves in terms of parenting styles
- Parenting support groups are absolutely essential. Parents sharing with other parents can help them weather crises in their marriages or single parenthood. The essence of support groups is (a) you are not alone. You are not the only one experiencing these things (b) you are all experts. Using the resources among you, you can solve problems, move mountains. Focusing Groups and Focusing Communities provide self-help, peer counseling models for support groups.
Four Applications of Listening/Focusing to Parenting
The Core Skills of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening can be applied to parenting in four different ways, two primarily for your children, and two primarily for yourselves as parents. I call this Inner/Outer Parenting.
Directly with your children:
- You can teach your child to use Intuitive Focusing for personal growth, creativity, and problem-solving
- You can use Focused Listening skills as a way of responding to your child which avoids argument and leads to deeper communication, understanding, and problem-solving
Directly with yourself and your parenting partner :
- You, and your parenting partner, can use Focusing and Focusing Partnership turns to discover patterns from your own childhoods that are clouding clear seeing of your own children
- You and your parenting partner can use Interpersonal Focusing turns to resolve issues causing conflict between you in terms of parenting styles.
Basic to the Core Creativity Cultura de Creatividad philosophy is the belief that every person has a unique, inborn blueprint ready to unfold, if the proper facilitative environment is provided (Carl Rogers, On Becoming A Person). Parents are needed to be mentors, facilitators, guides to this unfolding, rather than authoritarian policemen.
Building Self-Esteem Avoids Narcissism
Parents are mirrors for their children. Positive attention creates true self-esteem. Lack of attention, or negative attention, creates the wound of narcissism, the emptiness that looks like “self”-involvement. Narcissists want all the attention for themselves now – because they did not receive it in childhood MORE
Setting Limits While Allowing Choices
Children raised by authoritarian parents demanding obedience do not build confidence in their own capacity to make decisions. But children raised without any limits and boundaries also do not develop the capacity to make decisions. Parents must establish clear limits while allowing choices within those limits. MORE
Inner/Outer Parenting: Listening to Your Child, Your Partner, and Yourself
Everyone has a wounded child inside. You are not going to be able to change your behavior toward your children or partner, to do things differently than your own parents did, unless you heal the wounds of your own Inner Child. Using the Focusing , Focusing Partnership, and Interpersonal Focusing methods of the Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid provides self-help measures for understanding your child, your partners, and your own Inner Child MORE
Ten Ways of Bringing Creative Edge Focusing ™ into Parenting
- Sell and recommend Jane Nelson’s book, Positive Discipline (Ballantine, 1984, 1987)– it is “client-centered” in the sense of treating children with dignity, as autonomous people who are learning to make decisions. It emphasizes a democratic form of “family meetings” aimed at empowering everyone to make responsible decisions and stick to them. It has a format of discussion questions at the end of each chapter which can be used in parent support groups, including self-help groups, so also empowers parents.
- Contact Jane Nelson herself…visit her website at www.posdis.org She has a training program for Positive Discipline facilitators with parents and teachers and a model for Positive Discipline Schools. Convince her to add Listening/Focusing Skills to that training program, including the concepts above.
- Start parent support groups and teach Focusing Partnership and Interpersonal Focusing Skills to parents.
- Network with organizations like Birth To Three in Eugene, OR who have city-wide or nation-wide models for teaching parenting. Help them incorporate listening/training, for their facilitators and for their facilitators to teach parents.
- Network with federally-funding programs like Parents As Partners ( a school-based initiative realizing that children can’t succeed in school without involved, supportive parents). Get them to incorporate Listening/Focusing Skill training for teachers, who can then turn around and teach the skills to parents in parenting support groups – here you can get double or triple for your effort!
- Google “positive parenting,” “inner/outer parenting,” (I think this is where I found Parents as Partners), “parenting,” “positive discipline,” anything else you can think of, and follow up on these leads.
- Contact national/international organizations of physicians, especially ob/gyn, pediatricians, family practitioners. Enlist their support in a grassroots “Hugging, Not Hitting” (or, perhaps, “Listen To Your Children” – brainstorm the right slogan) campaign – get them to hand out bumper stickers, simple bookmarks or posters which list alternatives to yelling/hitting from our Instant “Ahah!”s Mini Manual. Use these as an opening for talking with parents about Positive Discipline….especially ADHD children, because they don’t “listen” and obey, will be beaten into submission by toddlerhood if not before, so early intervention, before birth, is absolutely essential. This is a small, doable step for physicians
- Network with CHADD, national organization offering support around Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD and ADHD).Get them to incorporate Listening/Focusing into the offerings at the Chapter level – offer to train all the Chapter heads, for instance, and to support them while they train parents.
- See if you can get physicians to go one step further, to learning Listening/Focusing skills themselves in our Experiential Focusing Professional Training Program, to prevent burnout, for personal growth, to improve “intuitive diagnosis,” and to use with patients, including parents, to find out what is going on at home and to offer appropriate support and referral.
- Find other books on Positive Parenting like How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids will Talk(Faber & Mazlish, 1980) and books by Haim Ginott and Thomas Gorden (Parent Effectiveness Training) , go to the authors’ website, find out how to network, get them to include Listening/Focusing Skill training.
Just ideas to stimulate creative thinking Join the Creative Edge Focusing E-Discussion/Support Group so we can support each other in further brainstorming, find “one small step” people are willing to do, create action plans for carrying out our mission. We can use our power as a concerned “group” to approach legislators, foundations, whoever has the power to bring PRISMS/S and Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid, into parenting. This is just a beginning taste of possible directions. We will want to narrow down, perhaps, decide where to concentrate our resources – unless we find enough of us to do everything!
Click on the FREE Complete Focusing Instructions icon to join our Creative Edge e-discussion/support group and find others interested in Creative Edge Focusing and parenting. Join our CE Focusing Consultant Training Program. Also visit Interest Area: Educating, Especially for ADHD, especially for insight into various learning styles.
Related articles: Parents as Mirrors | Setting Limits While Allowing Choices | POSITIVE PARENTING: Listening to Your Child, Your Partner, and Yourself
Want to learn more about Focused Listening and Intuitive Focusing?
- Subscribe to weekly e-course
- Join e-discussion/practice/support groups
- Purchase Self-Help Package
- Purchase Coaching/Consulting
These materials are offered purely as self-help skills. In providing them, Dr. McGuire is not engaged in rendering psychological, financial, legal, or other professional services. If expert assistance or counseling is needed, the services of a competent professional should be sought.