Elaine Taylor-Klaus, co-founder of ImpactParents.com and author of The Essential Guide to Raising Complex Kids With ADHD, Anxiety, and More, came to Rumson, NJ for the WEforum’s Spring Community Conversation. She provided several points and advice for parents to improve their relationship with their children:
Lean into relationships: Taylor-Klaus emphasizes the importance of prioritizing relationships with our children, even when they exhibit challenging behaviors such as slamming doors or hiding behind them. She suggests that these behaviors are not necessarily indicative of a lack of desire for a relationship, but rather a lack of skill in navigating relationships. Therefore, she encourages parents to take the lead in building and maintaining healthy relationships with their children.
Focus on self-care: Taylor-Klaus suggests that self-care is another essential aspect of parenting. She advises parents to daily prioritize their own well-being and mental health, as this will enable them to be better parents. Taking care of oneself allows parents to have the capacity to handle challenging situations with their children more effectively.
Consider neurodiversity: Taylor-Klaus highlights the importance of considering whether a child’s behavior may have a neurological or metabolic component. She suggests that for complex kids, there is often an underlying neurodivergence that may be contributing to their behaviors. By asking the question, “Is it naughty or neurological?”, parents can shift their perspective and approach their child’s behavior with more compassion and understanding.
Reframe and rephrase: Taylor-Klaus suggests reframing how we perceive and respond to our children’s behaviors. Instead of seeing a child as rude or disrespectful, she encourages parents to consider that the child may be struggling and having a hard time being respectful at that moment. By reframing our perspective, and rephrasing our language, we can respond to our children in a more empathetic and supportive manner.
Shed the “shoulds”: Taylor-Klaus discusses avoiding using obligatory terms like “should,” “need to,” “have to,” “got to,” “ought to” and “have to,” as they can create unrealistic expectations and add unnecessary pressure on both you and your child, leading to feelings of guilt or failure. She encourages parents to let go of “shoulds” and instead focus on what they genuinely want and choose to do. This shift in mindset can empower parents and improve relationships with their children.
Commit to calm: Taylor-Klaus emphasizes the importance of staying calm, even in challenging situations with our children. She suggests committing to strategies such as taking breaks, practicing self-regulation techniques, and avoiding triggering conversations when we are not in a calm state. By staying calm, parents can model healthy emotional regulation for their children and create a more peaceful and effective parenting environment.
Overall, Taylor-Klaus’s advice focuses on building and maintaining strong relationships with our children, considering neurodiversity, reframing our perspective, practicing self-care, letting go of unrealistic expectations, and committing to staying calm in challenging situations. By implementing these strategies, parents can improve their relationships with their children and create a more positive and supportive parenting dynamic. As parents prioritize relationships,, reframe and rephrase, shed the “shoulds,” and commit to calm in our interactions with our children, we’ll build healthier relationships with our children and create a more positive and supportive parenting dynamic. Because parenting is a continuous learning process, Taylor-Klaus reminds parents that it is okay to make mistakes and learn from them. Seeking support and guidance from trusted sources, such as Elaine Taylor-Klaus’s books, trainings, or other parenting resources, can be helpful in navigating the complexities of parenting in challenging times. She reminds parents to be compassionate towards yourself and your children. Overall, one key message is to approach parenting with empathy, understanding, and a focus on building positive relationships with our children. By doing so, we can create a more harmonious and supportive environment for our children to thrive.
Taylor-Klaus and her co-founder Diane Dempster have taught Sanity School® to thousands of parents all over the world since 2015. Elaine & Diane are excited to teach a live version of this keystone parent training program virtually on zoom, for four Wednesday nights in a row starting on April 26.The class will be taught in 4 sessions instead of 6 sessions, each 90 minutes.ion. In addition to four live, interactive classes with the creators of the program you will have two months of what they call Office Hours for laser coaching and personalized problem-solving support and guidance. . Get some coaching to improve your own family dynamic, and discover how much you can learn by listening to other people get coached. Finally, this four session class includes access to ImpactParents’ moderated forum, support from a community concierge, and more.
“Up until now,” she said. “are powerful words that can change your life.”
You can’t do anything about what has happened up until now. But here is where you are now. As Maya Angelou said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
Elaine Taylor-Klaus introduced us to some of the opportunities that are available for you with a coach approach. So step in. You will start thinking differently, feeling differently and acting differently as a result.
It’s not about doing it 100 percent right. It is about doing it consciously and intentionally and having a vision for what you want for yourself, for your kids and for your relationships. Stay connected to your vision and to the relationship.
Here are additional resources from ImpactParents.com to guide you through raising complex kids