Sow the Seed, Spark the Change in Your Child’s Life
As a Trainer and Family Life Educator with Morning Star Community Services, I counsel many parents who face difficulties with their children’s behaviour in school and at home. Some parents become disgruntled with their child’s disobedience, frustrated because they don’t understand why their child acts in the way that he or she does. Do you ever feel like giving up?
I hope that in time you will discover this little secret in life: A parent can be the spark for change in a child’s life.
It all starts with a seed
A parent once told me, “Shaun, you’re the trainer. Are you going to talk to my son and get him to change?”
His son was throwing tantrums, refusing to attend school and throwing objects at his parents. One time, he started a fire because he was upset and did not know how to express it.
The parents wanted solutions to change their son’s misbehaviour, but they were hoping that someone else could parent their son on their behalf. They could not accept that they were the ones who had the answers to their issues.
I remember looking at the parents and thinking, “I really want to help this family, but who this boy really needs isn’t me. He needs his parents.”
Over time, the parents began to realise that while 360-degree change doesn’t happen overnight, it does start with putting one foot in front of the other, and that they could do. They set aside time in their busy schedules, and sat down with their son to talk about his behaviour. After discussing expectations, they came up with a list of rewards and consequences to help motivate him in following the expected behaviours.
The parents had become more aware of their role as parents and that it was still not too late to use the tips and strategies we had discussed to guide them in parenting their child.
When you become more aware of your strengths and see the little improvements in your situation, things start looking up and positive change becomes possible in your relationships.
Be the spark for change
A mother took me aside after a Triple P® session. She said, “You know, Shaun, you’ve made me become more aware of my own behaviour and how changing it can affect the way people around me respond. I think I’m learning to look at situations more objectively.”
I smiled. Many sessions of coaching and working out a parenting plan together had paid off.
The mother had started out thinking that her child might have a mental health disorder and was caning her for misbehaving. She was not aware of alternative methods to discipline her child. What she didn’t realise was that caning her child was only pushing her child further away from her.
By the end of the programme, the mother had become more self-aware of the triggers that caused her to lose her temper and had learned to better regulate her emotions. She stopped caning her child and learned to use more effective consequences, such as taking away privileges and doing household chores, when her child repeatedly misbehaved. She even asked her child to come up with a list of rewards to help motivate positive change.
The mother’s relationship with her child has since improved and become an encouragement to other parents.
A flower takes time to blossom
My greatest joy is when clients become aware that even without me, they will be able to make positive change in their family relationships.
We can be the ones to plant the seeds of change, even if it is one seed at a time. You might not see the changes instantly, but chances are the effort that you put in now will blossom in the future.
Family Life Educator, Training, Family Wellness Division
Shaun is a trainer equipped with Common Sense Parenting®, Triple P® (Positive Parenting Programme), Signposts, Counselling & Mental Health Wellness. He enjoys using his past experience in social work with persons with mental health issues and counselling children, youths and community in coaching parents to strengthen their family relationships.
Morning Star Community Services’ Trainers equip & empower parents, volunteers and staff with knowledge and skills to enhance and strengthen family relationships through different approaches. Register for a parenting programme or enquire to learn how you can make a difference in strengthening your family’s relationship.
Interested to organise a programme for your school or organisation? Learn more here