We need to provide direction for our children and teach them the things they need to know in life. Our task is to keep them safe and help them develop into happy successful adults. I heard the term "non-parenting", recently while I was listening to a talk by Br Phop Dung. Quite a name, and I have no idea how to pronounce it. There are times when we need to "back off", and give our children space to make mistakes. Regarding children, mothers in particular are often very protective and have a difficult time "letting go", and giving their child or children space to explore life, make their own decisions, and to learn from their mistakes and choices. Fathers can also be overprotective. Sometimes this may depend on the age and sex of their child. Of course the "letting go", needs to be age appropriate.. When parents are overly anxious, their decisions to become involved in certain aspects of their child's life and decision making my be unhelpful, and interfere with their child's competence and learning. We need to ask ourselves if our behavior is having a negative impact on our child's ability to develop self confidence and independence, and does it negatively influence their ability to learn and solve problems more effectively. As Br. Phap Dung talked about non-parenting he was not only referring to parent-child relationships, but he also referred to couples communication. There are times when one adult in the couples relationship talks to the other adult as if they were a child. I am reminded of what is called a "cross transaction", in transaction analysis. Transactional Analysis is a model of communication (and actually a therapeutic system}. It has not been talked about much recently. In Transactional Analysis, when an adult talks to another adult as if they were a child this would be described as a cross transaction. Whether we are talking about communication between a parent and child, or an adult to adult, the concept of non-parenting can be valuable to help us gain insight into our behavior. If we take on a parental position with our partner, are we really helping them? Is it just a way of relieving our own anxiety, and are we really nurturing our relationship? Talking to another adult as if they are a child is much different than sharing our experience, and letting them know how we feel. We might have more influence if we talk about our own anxieties, disappointments and concerns regarding the other. Just a reminder about something that is so easy to forget. We primarily have influence with others as we listen more and help them get unstuck. For some reason most of us believe that we influence others more by talking and lecturing. The truth is that we have more influence with children and adults, when we listen. As Dale Carnage stated in his classic book, "How to Win Friends and Influence People", "We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen twice as much as we speak"
Non Parenting and Improving Parenting Style
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