Needy Parents, Window Jumpers, ADHD, and Screaming Tantrums—The Work on Parenting Q&A
Susan Stiffelman and Byron Katie appear together in a follow-up session to address any questions people had about the previous three sessions. They also announce the decision to continue the webcasts in response to enthusiastic feedback from viewers.
Louisa from London says, “I’m trapped between my enlightened self and my stressed, angry, guilty self, and I feel this swing is confusing my kids.” “You’re describing the dilemma of every parent,” Katie says. Louisa continues, “How do I let them know that I am doing my best as a parent?” Katie says, “Why do your children have to know you’re doing your best? That’s all about making you feel better. It’s using them to parent you. A Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet on your children will show you exactly how you use them to feel better, and how this disconnects you from them.”
Amita from India: “Although I understand the power of unconditional love, sometimes I feel my daughter thinks she can get away with any behavior because of this. How can I get her to understand that her physical, demanding behaviors are not acceptable? She often threatens to throw herself out of a window.” Amita has written a letter to her daughter, which Katie has her read turned around to herself. "All the wisdom that you had for your daughter," Katie says, "is like the most intimate prayer to yourself.”
Stacey from Los Angeles asks, “What's a healthy way to approach my child so that I’m not filling his head with untrue stories and beliefs about the world?” “Whatever I don’t want my child to hear," Katie says, "or whatever attitudes I don’t want them to mimic, I put them on paper and question them. My child will show me what’s left for me to question. If I can find freedom from those thoughts, then they can do it too.”
A woman writes in to ask how to work with her four-year-old daughter, who has been diagnosed with ADHD. Katie says, “We all experience ADHD, depending on how entrenched we are in our belief system. How hyperactive am I when I am judging my children?" "The way we can really help our children," Susan says, "is by seeing them as they are, rather than from a pathological point of view.”
Dawn from Texas is new to The Work and asks: "How do I deal with my very strong-willed child, who throws tantrums when she doesn’t get what she wants?" She then acts out a typical tantrum of her daughter, and s Katie models a connected parental response by witnessing the child without her own wants and needs getting in the way. “There are two ways to witness the child," she says. "One is in peace, and the other is not.”
It’s one more amazing parenting ride. Don’t miss a moment of it!
"When we’re not needy, it frees us up to be authentic with our children, and they know the difference." —Byron Katie
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