“All of a sudden I was a parent”, is what I often hear parents say. Even though there are many months of preparation,when a first child is born people seem to be caught by surprise. Everything is new.Their life will never be the same as before the child was born.
1. Understanding the relationship with your child
Our society does not prepare us for being a parent. We are not at all set up to live with children. Our living space is mostly the adult one, our schedules are adult schedules, and mainly, -unless you are a teacher or child care worker- once we are adults, we are not used to interact with children on a daily basis. Mostly, children are put in schools and day cares or in the designated areas such as the private home, a play group or a playground.
In our daily lives we do not meet a baby often, let alone hold a new born. Our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual being hardly gets any training in interacting with any age of children.
So what can we expect of ourselves when we have a baby who becomes a toddler, a young child, and a teenager?
We do have memories of how our parents were with us, or how our older siblings or family members treated us, but that may not match how we choose to be with our children. When the parent has a job, the time is very limited to get to know the new family member, or spend quality time with the toddler.
What can we do to fully comprehend the life of the new Being who came to live with us? How can we expect ourselves to respond from giving, understanding and love when we need time to come to ourselves after work in addition to all the tasks waiting at home to do?
- You would make space
- You would make a schedule
- You would discuss what your likes are
- You would find a way to express to one another the way how you want you to live together.
You would do all this when you both speak the same language.
But what if the person spoke a foreign language and did not understand English? In what other ways would you communicate with them?
- You would use facial expression
- You would try to ‘feel’ what the other expresses
- You would try to ‘read’ the vibrations that come to us
- You would open yourself up to be ‘Empathic Aware’.
- In between you would repeat words in order for the other to understand what you are talking about.
It would be an equal game. You could be very aware of when the other ‘gets it’ or when you get what the other means. What a joy!
Now imagine you have a baby, a toddler….Ah… something else to ponder.
You have to be even more Empathic Aware of communicating equally as you can easily overpower the person so new to this world.
Finding Parenting Classes, that promote equal two-way communication, Parenting Classes where you can practice ‘getting’ each other and feeling the joy you can create together, will help you start this journey.
A huge anger grew in me into rage, and afterward I was pretty upset about that. How did that happen? Where did that come from?
I was over at a friend’s house and was in shock of how I had behaved with yelling, and even having slapped my toddler on the but. I had never done such things before! He was only two. If it was this difficult to communicate at this age, how would I ever manage when he grew into his teens?
After he was asleep I told my friend I could not hang out with her now. In a trance I found myself standing in front of her book case.
Then my hand reached out and grabbed a book. It was ‘Parent Effectiveness Training’, of 3 times Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Thomas Gordon.
I read the book overnight and at day break I was filled with joy. I could learn to communicate with my child in a peaceful way my wants as well as understanding what my child wanted. I had found a way to understand the build up of anger in parenting and how to work with my emotions when I am upset. Never ever would I need to spank or punish! I had discovered a communication method without tricks, without punishments, without bribing rewards for changing behavior, without a moral lecture.
Why did’ nt every parent know about this!
You can get knowledge from a book, but to acquire skills and fully understand how to do, say and feel, you need actual training. Therefore I was so happy that there were indeed P.E.T. classes.
I inscribed for the first available course of 10 weeks. By each class I became more enthusiastic. I experienced the dept and love that a relationship could get from the skills that I learned.
After a year of training I received my certification and became a Gordon Trainer. I taught thousands of parents P.E.T. skills in workshops, lectures, and in the complete course.
However, the PET became a shorter course and I was meanwhile adding more! I realized that we are in the 21st century and that our Empathy was lacking more and more. How could I enhance the exercises and information so that parents could create a more empathic atmosphere in their home and what’s more, parents among each other, the situations at school, at work, with friends and family….. Parenting was not something by itself. Understanding how communication works is for everybody the same, whether this is for a baby, teenager or for a manager. Capturing their needs, reading their non-verbal language, as a parent you get the best training of all. But all the people around a parent should be able to assist the parent. ‘Parenting’ has to have a mindset change that can touch all the people that the parent comes in contact with.
So the answer to the question is:
You do not need especially a Parenting Class, but you need a class in understanding how communication works among humans, from a newborn to the elderly.
So I decided to create one training for all and I embedded the beautiful skills of Thomas Gordon in an empathic training institute:
THE EMPATHIC COMMUNICATION ACADEMY
The Empathic Communication Academy offers all the beautiful skills that I talked about in every chapter of this website. You can learn more, train and research these skills in:
- The Empathic Communication Training : Basics – Comprehensive – Advanced – Practice
- Empathic Listening Groups – online and live composed
- Pretend Drama – ongoing in The Loop, in Norman OK
See the “Work With Me” page for your today’s questions!
Cielja is originally from Amsterdam,
Looking very much forward to having you in the course,