Whenever someone asks me how The Bee is I respond the same: “She’s thirteen.” Most people will laugh and then we will exchange stories about raising our respective children. There are some giggles, lots of exasperated sighs and, on occasion or two, some tears. Thirteen is hard y’all. For all of the struggling that I feel I did when my daughter was an infant an a toddler, it is nothing compared to the challenges I face as she navigates becoming a young lady.
The Bee is totally her own person; she is funny, unique and silly. I feel like I am so lucky to have her in my life. But then there are times when I don’t know WHO this person in my house is and I wonder where I have failed as a parent. When I was asked to be a part of the Raise the Child You’ve Got-Not the One You Want virtual tour I jumped at the chance to ask a parenting expert questions to help me as a parent.
Parent coach Nancy Rose has a (new to me) remarkable approach to parenting: Leading with Acceptance. Her book draws upon real life parent/child relationships, current studies, and groundbreaking methods for understanding and accepting your child’s CoreSelf traits. You can visit Nancy’s site to receive a free copy of “The Key to Understanding Your Child: The Nine Traits of the CoreSelf”
Since I had this amazing opportunity to speak with a parent coach, I honestly asked all of the questions that I had and momentarily forgot that I worry about what others may think and asked for help. Here is our Q&A:
While I LOVE the idea of accepting my child as she is, I feel that acceptance parenting feels more like permissive parenting. What can I do to make acceptance parenting feel more natural?
Leading with acceptance is not permissive parenting. Bad behavior should not be accepted! What must be accepted are the things about your child that aren’t going to change. I hope that it feels natural for parents to want to guide their child to become the best version of who they are at their core, and not make their child wrong for being who they are.
My perception of acceptance parenting was kids running willy nilly while their parents allowed them to cause havoc.Learning that acceptance parenting will encourage The Bee to be the best person that she is allows me to relax a bit with how I think raising my daughter should be and how raising my daughter actually is.
My teen’s approach to life:do what I want when I want. I do understand and appreciate her methodical way of life but she is going to high school soon and needs to be aware that she will not always be able to do what she wants. What is the best way to encourage her to be more active in her own life?
Leadership. Teach your daughter that she is not the center of the universe, that she is part of a family and there are both privileges and responsibilities that come with that. If kids learn this at home, and feel a part of something bigger than themselves, then they naturally apply that to school, and the community, and the world. I used to tell my kids they were “citizens of the family,” and as such they had responsibilities to the family and got benefits back from the family.
I LOVE her “citizens of the family” phrase! I think I have allowed my own guilt for my divorce from The Bee’s father to allow her to have behavior that is not the best for anyone! I have struggled with the words to express this and have found them with this phrase. Also, it is not enough to want The Bee to be a leader, she should also feel like her own champion and want to make her ownchoices.
As an African-American parent, I often find that my relatives disapprove of this method of child raring, often thinking that I am letting M get off too easy. Help! I would prefer to let my daughter ease into her own way but the “chatter” I get from family members can sometimes be discouraging .What can I say to them to, well, get them off of my back?
Once you feel really solid in your parenting choices, it might be easier for you “stand in your own space” with your relatives. If you are insecure about what you’re doing, the “chatter” will get to you, but if you have conviction that what you’re doing is best for your daughter (whether it’s leading with acceptance or some other parenting style), you can be more clear with your family, and able to ignore the chatter more easily. Furthermore, if you don’t engage, family members won’t get the payoff they now get from criticizing you.
I noticed that I *am* insecure about my own parenting style and even though I think I am hiding my insecurities she is aware of them. I have been more confident about my decisions as a mom and acknowledging where I think I can improve. It’s a heady ride! For so long I have depended on what others think of me but ultimately I know that I have to rise my child and be comfortable with whatever route I choose.
I totally get that I should accept who my child is which I do.I do not like and cannot accept that she just seems to not care about school, trying her best, and doing things for herself. What can I do to get over my frustration with some of her choices and focus on what she needs?
It’s important to learn about the Nine Traits of the CoreSelf so you understand the difference between who your daughter is, and what your daughter does. For readers who don’t have the book yet, I recommend downloading the free report on my website, “The Key to Understanding Your Child: The Nine Traits of the CoreSelf.” Go to www.nancyjrose.com and sign up to get instant access to the report.
As for your daughter not doing things for herself, she may have learned this behavior. As a parent leader, you can teach her a different, more empowered way of being by using the leadership toolbox for parents.
This answer made me defensive, feel some embarrassment and then mde me want to take action. I don’t wnt to have a daughter who thinks she should glide through life. I had to take a look at my behavior and what in our relationship would make her think that HER behavior was tolerated. Modifying our thinking has been challengng. Chnge, in any form, is difficult but this small period of difficulty is worth it if it means I raise a viable member of society and become a more substantial person in her life.
There are times when I do not feel accepted as the person I am. How do I let her know that I accept her when I struggle with my own feelings?
I recommend open, age-appropriate dialogue to share your own struggle with your daughter, letting her know that you don’t want her to feel the kind of pain that you feel from not being accepted for who you are. Opening up in this way can go a long way in connecting the two of you, which is important if a parent is to be an effective leader.
I struggle with over sharing and have tried to express my feelings without dumping on my daughter. We are still working on me sharing my feelings and her accepting that I am a person as well as her mother with my own feelings and thoughts. Her reaction to me being Rachee and not just her mother is very enlightening. The Bee is more empathetic towards my decisions and feelings and we are both a bit more patient with each other.
This book has been such a wonder that I wanted to share with my library families so I asked about programming at my library:
As a children’s librarian, I see variations of acceptance parenting. What could I do to facilitate with the parents to better understand the variety of parenting styles? What advice could you give me if I wanted to start an acceptance parenting group at my library?
A study group based on Raise the Child You’ve Got—Not the One You Want would be a terrific resource for parents. I would be happy to work with you on a syllabus for such a course! (I am so excited about this and cannot wait to see how this will go over at my library!)
Visit the other bloggers on the tour and read how Nancy’s book has impacted their families.
Connect with Nancy:
See her appearance on The Today Show.
I encourage all parent to read this book. Parenting is not easy and this is such a great book for families who are also struggling with raising their children to visit. You don’t have to take my word for it. Below is an affiliate link or you to use to grab a copy of your own.
I am participating in the #NancyRoseTour for her book, Raise the Child You’ve Got. As a member of From Left to Write Virtual Book Club, I received this book for review purposes. All thoughts are my own.