By Geordie Bull
Athletes, entrepreneurs and entertainers have long understood the power of developing a success mindset. NLP practitioner and transformational coach Geordie Bull explores how developing a success mindset can help you be an effective parent.
A few years ago, I was stuck in a rut of guilt and anxiety. I yearned to enjoy my experience of motherhood but instead felt like I was stuck in survival mode – bouncing from one parenting disaster to another. My kids’ behaviour was challenging, my husband and I were arguing and the house felt chaotic. We couldn’t even get through a whole family dinner without someone leaving the table in a rage.
One night I was up at three am googling strategies for controlling my kids and came across a parenting coach. I called her the next morning and began working with her – initially hoping she’d give me some strategies for getting my home in order. Instead, we focused on optimising my mindset and giving me skills for communicating my needs and listening deeply.
It changed more than my parenting: I became a better wife, friend and daughter. I also learned how to be my own best friend.
Here are the key parenting mindset tips I learned from my experience of moving from surviving to thriving as a mother.
1. Develop a vision for your family
So many of us operate on autopilot with our children – stuck in cycles of acting out, then feeling guilty about it. It doesn’t have to be this way. Changing your parenting mindset begins first with developing a vision for your family and for the way you want to be as a parent.
Every change is first created in the imagination, and I invite you to put pen to paper and dream up your highest vision for your family – the best scenario you can imagine. Speak it like it’s already happening, for example, “We sit down to dinner. There is laughter and healthy food that we prepared together. After dinner, everyone helps wash up. I feel peaceful and our interactions are kind.”
Lean into really feeling the emotions your vision elicits.
2. Understand how your mind works and become aware of your thoughts
Your unconscious mind is like a filing cabinet that stores information on every subject in your life, including parenting. Everything you experience with your senses is interpreted by your mind according to what is contained in your file, and our files are filled with information gleaned by our life experience up until now – most of it learned before the age of seven.
This explains why two parents will respond differently to a child who has spilt milk on the floor. One will immediately feel anger rise and struggle to contain it, while another may hardly notice the mess and clean it up without a fuss. The difference is simple: they contain different information about a child spilling milk in their ‘parenting’ file.