Decrease Misbehavior and Increase Closeness When You PHIL ‘em Up
By Vickie Falcone, M.A.
Our connection to our children colors our parenting experience more than anything else. So, it’s essential that we make connecting our number one priority.
Few other parenting practices:
- Dramatically increase your child’s level of cooperation
- Help decrease misbehavior
- Motivate your child to listen better
- Bring you profound peace of mind
Who would you rather help: someone you feel connected to, like a close friend or someone who only calls when he needs something? Children feel the same way. When they’re experiencing strong connection and harmony with us, they naturally want to maintain it by listening and cooperating.
Establishing this connection starts when we meet children’s four emotional needs. The acronym that I use is P.H.I.L.: Children need to feel Powerful, Heard, Important, and Loved.
Children, like adults, want to feel the authentic Power that comes from having influence and input about their environment. We help children feel powerful when we offer choices (without rushing them), ask their opinion or allow them to lead us in an activity.
Children also want to be Heard and understood. We help children feel heard when we make eye contact when they are speaking and when we get down on their level to communicate.
They want to feel Important, that what they have to say matters and that they’re valuable enough to warrant your attention. Children feel important when you take the time to ask and consider their opinion and when you spend time joyfully connecting with them.
They also need to feel unconditionally Loved. Loved no matter how they are behaving.
Misbehavior happens when children inappropriately seek to fill the hunger for their four core needs.
Here’s how to become a master at identifying your child’s needs: In your next interaction with your child, instead of asking yourself, how can I get my child to ________(fill in the blank)? change the question to, what is my child trying to tell me? Jump at the chance to discover your child’s need then help PHIL it.
If you take the time to meet your child’s needs, shopping goes more easily, power struggles decrease, communication lines open, and you’ll feel better about how you parent. When your child knows a fulfilling connection with you is readily available, they are less needy, feel better about themselves and are less demanding. They feel PHILed; and you feel the peace of mind that comes with practicing peaceful, connected parenting.
To learn more about how to get your Kids to Listen and Cooperate, check out this 78 minute CD: