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August 7, 2014

Ask the Expert: Change is Hard

“I have been trying to make some changes to my life and my parenting based on the ScreamFree philosophy, but my kids seem to be fighting me tooth and nail on it. Can you provide some insight into what is going on in my home? I want to stick with the whole idea of focusing on myself and my reactions, but my kids make that process very tough. They seem to be pushing my buttons like never before!” (Carla B.)

Kelvin headshot Oct2013 HDRCarla,

Thanks for the question. I am happy to hear that you have begun your journey toward becoming a ScreamFree parent. Keep in mind that it is just that—a journey toward becoming ScreamFree. It is a journey that may well last a lifetime, but that’s okay.

Now, for what’s going on in your home…

I can’t fully explain all the things that are taking place, but I can say a word or two about the changes that you are implementing. As with all families, change is a difficult process because of all of the forces at play.

You have realized a need for change and you have taken some necessary steps toward that end. Here’s the thing though, your decision to change doesn’t just affect you, but it impacts everyone in your household. When you change, you invite all of them to change. The problem is, they may not want to change.

Sure those in your household, particularly your kids, may see the need for change, but they may not want to withstand the discomfort that change invites. So what typically happens, especially with kids, is that they will work twice as hard to prevent the change that you desire from taking root. Why? Mainly because of the discomfort.

I encourage you to keep on focusing on yourself and controlling your emotional reactivity. You want to make that the “new normal” for your family. Once your kids see that their attempts to “push all the buttons” that used to work are fruitless, they may stop. Even if they don’t, you will have developed enough emotional muscle to withstand their feeble attempts.

Hope that helps.


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