“You will be brought to your knees in the act of parenting.” — Dr. Vanessa Lapointe
Parenting boys is not an easy gig!
So often, we are confronted with situations that we simply don’t know how to handle. What does one do when your two-year-old insists on pooping in the corner? How should you respond when your tween calls you a “bitch?” What’s an appropriate consequence for a boy who’s failing all his classes because he refuses to do any of the work?
Vanessa Lapointe, a child psychologist and parent of two boys, says those are the wrong questions. Instead of worrying over, “What do I DO when X happens?” she encourages parents to consider “How do I need to BE when X happens?”
Her books, Parenting Right From the Start: Laying a Healthy Foundation in the Baby and Toddler Years and Discipline Without Damage: How to Get Your Kids to Behave Without Messing Them Up, urge parents to take a step back. Despite our best intentions, many of us parent as we were parented. That can be a good thing, but it’s also frustrating for many of us who find ourselves yelling more often than connecting.
To truly move forward, we need to wrestle with the ways our growing-up experiences affected us — and that’s not easy.
“Everyone wants the magic steps. We all want tips and techniques, but that just isn’t the way humans go,” Dr. Vanessa says. “The truth is, you will be brought to your knees in the act of parenting. As you tumble to your knees and realize that there’s this massive shift occurring inside of you, you have a choice: You can choose to stay in the status quo and carry on as-is and come what may, and that may seem like the easier route, but I promise you: down the road, that’s not going to be the easier route.”
Alternately, she says, “you can choose to accept this as what it actually is: an invitation for you to step into your own growth.”
In this episode, Janet, Jen & Dr. Vanessa discuss:
- The 2 most powerful influences on how we parent
- Why you should never accept parenting advice from someone who’s not been in the trenches
- How to effectively parent with a partner when you’re on different pages (Spoiler: Your partner’s job is to “trigger the beejeebies out of you!” Dr. Vanessa says)
- Dealing with toddler biting
- How your emotions affect your parenting
- Letting go of guilt
- Dandelion & orchid children
- What raising 2 boys taught Dr. Vanessa about parenting
- Why one-size-fits-all parenting will never work
Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:
drvanessalapointe.com — Dr. Vanessa’s online home
Discipline Without Damage: How to Get Your Kids to Behave Without Messing Them Up, by Vanessa Lapointe
The Work of Byron Katie –– mentioned by Dr. Vanessa at 16:50. Includes tools you can use to question and reframe stressful thoughts
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