Guest Expert

Your Powerful Role in Parenting Difficult Kids

Every parent knows that children surprise us from the very beginning. We have pre-conceived notions of what raising a child is going to entail, and then life kicks those notions to the curb. When parenting difficult kids -- those with ADHD or other complex issues -- it quickly becomes clear that surprises and (sometimes) road blocks lay ahead. It’s up to us to as parents to get a handle on the situation so that we can help our kids learn to manage these difficulties with grace.

As your child grows, that may mean that you as a parent have to change your approach to their behavior. If we don’t adapt or adjust, we’re going to make things miserable. Jane Massengill, the director of the Gremlin Taming Institute since 2002, shares her insights on this issue. She refers to our rigid beliefs as “gremlins,” a term coined by Jane’s friend and mentor, Rick Carson, author of “Taming Your Gremlin,” one of the most influential books in the coaching industry.

If conflict occurs at home and you’re thinking, “It’s not supposed to be this way,” or “It shouldn’t be like this,” chances are you may have some gremlins to tame.

“Your gremlins’ job or intention is to keep you mired in these old beliefs... and as a result of that you don’t grow; you don’t get in touch with your own inner voice, which is vital to making decisions,” says Jane.

“You can’t put a sixteen year-old in timeout,” she jokes. When you tame your gremlin, when you respond to conflict differently, that’s what’s going to help your child grow and learn from an experience.

Later in the podcast, Jane and Elaine engage in a roleplaying exercise that really exemplifies and brings home how a parent can shift his or her beliefs.

From “letting things visit” to keeping a parent journal, Jane offers valuable insights into tackling your own gremlins and changing the dynamic between you and your child. Tune in now for an insightful and thoughtful conversation about the power of your role in parenting difficult kids.

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