• Am I Parenting Right | Dr Steven Fonso | Episode 110

  • am I parenting rightParents struggle to do what’s best for their kids and often wonder, “Am I parenting right?” There are many different parenting styles and many ways to implement them. Parents may feel varying degrees of success in attempting any of them. Plus, we all have bad days or make a decision that’s hard on our kids and we wonder what that will do to them. Mighty Parenting podcast host Sandy Fowler talks to Dr. Steven Fonso about parenting mistakes and what parents of teens can do to help themselves and their children.



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    A Favorite Parenting Quote from the Show: 

    “Sometimes our teens need to create friction in their relationship with parents in order to create enough energy to create separation, push away from the family nucleus and gain independence.”

    High Points of Our Conversation About Am I Parenting Right:

    my teenager is angry - am I parenting rightEveryday interactions can bog us down, make us feel disconnected, and cause us pain. This can leave us wondering if we’re parenting right.

    A lot of what we experience, we perceive as stress but it’s food for fuel.

    When we learn to stretch the meaning of the little things we can turn challenges and frustrations into learning experiences. This changes our perception of the experience. Additionally, it shifts it from an energy-sucking experience to an energy building one.

    We all need to be resilient, parents as well as teens. This means springing back.

    One technique is to reset yourself at the end of the day. Write down your biggest challenges. Follow that up with the benefits of those situations, how they actually supported you in becoming a better parent.

    We need to find appreciation for our challenges or else they stay stuck in our unconscious mind and bring low energy into the next day.

    Your ability to really be present today is based on your ability to see the value in every experience.

    Dr. Fonso’s example of finding the value in a situation: You are riding home with the kids in the car when they start bickering and arguing. At some point you blow a gasket and start yelling yourself. It would be easy to berate yourself for your behavior but there’s another way to look at this. You did the very best you could in the moment. In that moment your energy was low and you yelled. You can dig into that and find the value in it because every challenge, every experience has value. Maybe the kids learned something about your tone of voice or what boundaries you have. Perhaps you learned you haven’t been doing proper self care and that allowed your energy to get low. 

    You can engage your teen or twenty something in a conversation where you look for value in the situation together. This can strengthen your relationship, help you both learn about yourselves and each other. It can also defuse the negativity around the challenge.

    Everybody is learning in every moment. 

    When our teens show attitude or get mouthy, parents need to remember their own attitude as a teen.

    This attitude is often about creating independence. They are pushing themselves away from their nuclear family and it’s a normal part of development.

    Sometimes our teens have to get angry in order to create enough energy to push themselves away from the family nucleus and out into the community.

    This doesn’t mean they can be rude and belligerent. You can still have family values but be careful about answering anger with anger or setting rules when you’re angry. The communication that happens during an argument is the lowest form of communication. The highest form of communication happens when our frontal lobe is engaged and we’re operating in a heart space. That’s the time to set rules and guidelines.

    You are doing this parenting thing right. Even awkward moments and bad choices allow us to learn. Every situation has a positive and a negative force so even when you feel something went wrong there is a positive at play. Perhaps your child gets a new point of view, learns to do something new, or has different opportunities because of the situation.

    (In our chat after the interview, Dr. Fonso shared a story which illustrates this point. It is shared in the Mighty Parenting Facebook group.)

    Trust that you are doing your best.

    Our Guest Dr. Steven Fonso:

    Dr Steven Fonso - am I parenting rightDR. STEVEN FONSO, BSC., D.C. is the founder and creative director of Veressent Life. Working one-on-one with over 120,000 people, he has built a reputation to deliver results to accelerate health and healing. He hosts seminars, workshops and retreats to provide people with the experience and education needed to further their connection to their core essence and to live an inspired life. His new book, Finding Magic in the Mess, teaches people about living in presence, connection, gratitude, love and unity. He now has further branched out and began to teach parents, educators and team leaders on how to best manage their inner state while working with young children, how to get the most out of children’s potential as well as providing strategies to overcome the challenging stresses of everyday life.

    To learn more or connect with our guest visit https://stevenfonso.com/