The Impactful Parent is an amazing free online platform supporting parents of school-aged kids with tips and resources for real issues around raising today’s kids, tweens and teenagers.
Prefer to listen rather than read? Head over and listen to Episode 11 of the Mind Over Motherhood Podcast!
I had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with Kristina for an interview for the Mind Over Motherhood Podcast and we discussed many topics that will be of interest and value to the Mind Over Motherhood audience.
Read on below for a summary of what we discussed!
FROM TEACHER TO PARENTING COACH
As so many of my guests have experienced, Kristina’s priorities around work shifted as she progressed through her motherhood journey.
Kristina absolutely loved her teaching career. However, as her four children got older, her teenagers needed her even more than they did when they were younger. They needed her in different ways as well. After some reflection, Kristina realized that she needed to stop taking care of everyone else’s children and spending more time taking care of her own.
When she left the workforce however, she felt there was something tugging at her heart to help more and serve others. She felt a need to serve and help others, and has since created The Impactful Parent. In this way, she can still provide support and resources to parents to help children – but instead of helping them in the classroom, she is helping them at the source: their parents.
When Kristina was raising her own children, she was surprised to see there were many resources for the toddler stage and many for the teenage stage, but fewer for parenting school-aged children. She realized that her expertise as a teacher could be used in a valuable way by providing resources to parents to help them navigate this phase.
So now Kristina creates short, impactful informational videos to provide parents with actionable strategies to help them parent their child on her platform.
ANXIETY IN CHILDREN + TEENS AND HOW PARENTS CAN HELP
Anxiety seems to be more prevalent among children and teens today. Kristina asserts that children today are under more pressure to be successful in their lives and this plays a huge role in childhood anxiety. We live in a culture that emphasizes and values achievement.
Social media is also a huge stressor and can cause incredible anxiety in children and teens. Social interactions and bullying have been morphed into a stressor that is so much more prevalent and in your face.
Furthermore, the pace of our world is faster, do more, be more and rushed.
The more anxiety we have as parents also can increase the anxiety in our children. It’s important to learn the skills to manage our own anxiety so that our children can observe and model our behaviours.
Mindfulness is an important strategy to help children navigate their own emotions and worries. By learning mindfulness skills, children can develop stronger skills in emotional management and regulation. Kristina focuses on helping children learn how to regulate their own emotions by helping them pinpoint what is causing them anxiety and how to avoid thinking and worry traps.
The goal of parenting is to help our children learn how to do things on their own – and it is this approach that Kristina takes towards helping parents help their child.
From empathy to mindfulness, awareness of body symptoms and trigger identification – Kristina offers a wealth of information for parents.
If you want to read more about anxiety in children and how your own anxiety is impacting your child + what you can do about it, you can check out my feature in the Ask the Expert Column in this issue of Your Teen Magazine.
CONNECTION AND RELATIONSHIP IS THE BASIS OF DISCIPLINE
START WITH CONNECTION. Our child needs to have a relationship foundation with us before they will comply. It is important to create a strong foundation with our child before we discipline or parent them. We must seek to connect before we direct.
BE FLEXIBLE. Understanding that if you are being demanding and dominant, your child is going to resist your discipline. It’s important to have some give-and-take in parenting and allow your child to have some role in creating boundaries.
CREATE BOUNDARIES. Teenagers need boundaries, but they need there to be a bit of grey area within the boundaries. It’s important that teens have some say in what those rules and boundaries look like. Furthermore, allowing your child to have input on the consequence of a boundary infringement as well. A child or teenager is more likely to comply with a boundary that they have had input on.
WHY THE PRE-TEEN/SCHOOL-AGE YEARS ARE SO IMPORTANT
Kristina provided an interesting perspective regarding the pre-teen years (6-12 years) and how these years provide a time to build a firm foundation for the parent-teenager relationship in later years.
The pre-teen transition years provide an excellent opportunity to improve connection and communication with your child. By focusing on these years, you can have a solid foundation for your relationship in the tumultuous teen years.
It is much harder to build a relationship with a teenager who is biologically prepared to disconnect and launch.
If you’re struggling to connect or parent your teenage child, Kristina has a ton of great tips in this episode.
Connect with Kristina on her website for behavior classes @ https://courses.theimpactfulparent.com/behavior-management-control-emotions
Another Great Resource: How to Become More Patient as a Mom