Is "Wishful Thinking" Your Parenting StyleDec 20, 2022
The Wishful Thinking Parenting Style
A client was sick of being interrupted by her son while she was in work meetings. Her solution? Put a note on her office door:
“In a work meeting. Please do not interrupt.”
Problem solved, right? Of course not! We know this won’t work, but let’s be honest; we all try the Wishful Thinking Parenting Style sometimes, right? We have the idea that if we set the stage right while things are going well, we can preempt misbehavior, our kids will make the right choice, and we won't have to discipline them.
So, of course, her son didn’t respect the note. Why would he? Mom’s note didn’t matter to him. Caring about that note didn’t equate to a real outcome in his mind. All of Mom’s wishful thinking went exactly nowhere.
Our kids’ behavior can’t only matter to us; it has to matter to them!
Not only do our kids need to care, but they also need to care more than we do. When we care the most, we end up doing the heavy lifting, and the behavior never changes.
When this mom began working with me, Wishful Thinking was her only parenting strategy. She would lay the best plans, but they would never come through, and she had no idea what to do when that happened. But after a few months of working together, this mama was able to catch herself and decide to make her wishes come true with a plan, not just for while things were going well, but for when they went sideways. So, when her son ignored her note and interrupted her, she calmly excused herself for a minute and walked him to his room, where he remained until her meeting ended.
By taking action, she set the stage for her future notes to work with her son, and she knows what to do when they don’t. She achieves all this not by relying on hope but by creating meaningful experiences for him.
Beyond Wishful Thinking
If you are ready to make your wishes come true by going beyond the Wishful Thinking Parenting Style, it might be time for us to meet. Set up a Discovery Call, and let’s talk about what you wish for, why you might not have it yet, and how to make your wish come true.