3 Ways To Practice Collaborative Parenting At Home, According To A Parenting Expert“Children need to feel heard and respected in order to feel good about themselves,” she said.CREATED WITH LADY'S CHOICE
Have you heard about “collaborative parenting”?
As its name implies, it is a parenting style that gives room for parents to truly collaborate and communicate with their children. It includes letting kids make certain decisions or choices and co-creating things with their parents.
Michelle Linchauco-Tambunting, a special needs mom and parenting coach, elaborates: “Instead of control, [parents] make room for collaboration; instead of using fear as a tool, collaborative parents encourage children to regulate their emotions, problem-solve, and work toward a common goal together.”
By adopting this parenting style, Michelle said moms and dads can ultimately make their children feel more in control of their lives while giving them the impression that what they have to say actually matters.
“Especially during these times when we are all at home together most of the time, children need to feel more [in] control and [feel] less fear in order to increase their well-being. Children need to feel heard and respected in order to feel good about themselves,” she explained.
And when kids feel empowered and in control of their lives, they can grow into confident, successful adults.
But for collaborative parenting to work, Michelle noted that limits will have to be set.
“[It] requires a lot of being in the present moment and really ‘seeing’ your child. Without [the parent’s] presence, the [kids’] idea of choice can be taken too far,” she explained.
Michelle shared these simple ways on how parents can integrate mindful collaborative parenting practices into their daily habits:
1. Always give your kids options.
More often than not, parents tell their children what to do. But according to Michelle, it’s important to provide them with choices instead of simply ordering them around.
According to experts, giving children choices is a step in growing up, and “helps them feel like they have some control over their lives.”
The key is to make these choices reasonable. For example, instead of telling them to make their bed, try asking them if they would rather fix their bed first or tidy up their desk. Doing so helps you address their innate need for power and control, among others.
To make this work further, stick to a limited number of choices so as to not overwhelm them, practice consistency in giving them choices, and ensure that the choices you provide are things that you are okay with — no matter what they may end up choosing.
2. Reword ‘house rules’ into ‘house agreements.’
House rules are usually set by the parents, which the kids are expected to follow at once. But according to Michelle, why not try replacing “house rules” with “house agreements” instead?
It might seem like a simple shift in wording, but by making agreements with your children instead of setting rules, you’ll not only have the opportunity to collaborate with them when it comes to making decisions at home — you can also relieve them of the pressure that comes with abiding house rules.
3. Involve kids in doing chores and making decisions at home.
What better way to promote collaboration than by doing house chores and other things together? Right, moms?
For example: You can turn boring or tedious chores into fun games to encourage children to help around the house. Play “hoops” when sorting out laundry or picking up toys, or make sweeping and mopping floors or wiping surfaces like tables and countertops a race between the siblings. Winners get to decide that afternoon’s snack! No matter what you choose to do, make sure to do it together.
You can also ask your children to plan the family’s meals with you — and even get them to cook with you!
According to Michelle, you can even turn these things into regular family activities. But remember: “Give them choices while doing so and be flexible. You won’t regret it!”
Aside from these, Michelle also said it pays to use the word “we” more often when it comes to mindful collaborative parenting.
“Instead of always saying ‘you’ (when ordering a child) and looking outward at [them], shift your mindset to the ‘we’ of things and doing things together,” she advised.
By giving kids choices and letting them have a say in basic decision-making at home, they can feel empowered and confident.
With the goal of promoting collaborative parenting, Lady’s Choice, together with Smart Parenting, has launched the #DoItTogether Movement. It’s an initiative that provides moms and kids co-creation activities that can be practiced at home, which are primarily grounded on developing the kids’ self-sufficiency, positivity, adaptability, connection, and empathy.
Some of you might find starting mindful collaborative parenting practices at home, but just remember that doing so can be rewarding for both you and your kids.
As Michelle put it: “It helps to think of our children not as blank slates we need to fill, as the older approaches used to teach us. They are souls with their own essence meant to teach us something as well, to allow us to evolve and be better.”
In parting, Michelle reminds parents: “Communicate [with your kids], talk [to them], hug [them], show [them] affection, [and] be present. [After all], the chance of today will never happen again.”
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Michelle Linchauco-Tambunting is a mom of two and a parenting coach. She is also the founder and Chief Happiness Officer of Happiness Class PH, co-founder and director of Young Creative Minds Preschool, president of Embrace Autism Philippines, a certified Sacred Space Holder, a Well-Being Boost Program Facilitator, and Parent Coach in Training: Conscious Parenting Method. She is not endorsing any of the brand’s products or services.