Would You Go This Far for Your Child?


New paradigm parenting requires, well, a new model of doing, thinking, evaluating, appreciating, considering parenting like no one else. Sorta like “outta the box” parenting. But my question is, what is box? Or as Bryan Post likes to ask, “where is the love?”

New paradigm parenting often requests of us to try something different, and this takes courage. To be able to “ignore the lie and not ignore the child” on the surface sounds easy. But for those of us who have tried it, it is often anything but.

Here is some help with visualizing models of NPT (New Paradigm Thinking) to give our brains something to latch on to and can be inspiring to us as well. Trying to think outside the imaginary box (a box that is not really there but…) may be a good exercise, but concrete examples that spur us on to at first emulate, then innovate may be more valuable for struggling parents.

So, let me once again introduce Kirk Martin founder of www.celebratecalm.com. Kirk has a very elegant way to humorously shame us into seeing just how simple it can be to help our children be who they really are without judgement and condemnation. This is the heart of acceptance and the essence of unconditional love. Here is one of Kirk’s telling stories.

I’m sitting in the audience waiting for my workshop to begin. No one knows I’m the speaker because I’m in casual clothes with a winter jacket on and my head buried in a book. Just another parent.

A couple sits down next to me. I hear a guy smirk to his wife, “Those CDs are ridiculously expensive. What are they thinking?” I smile inside and begin small talk, asking how old their kids are. So here’s how the conversation goes.

I hope you will glean from this:

(1) A different approach to understanding our kids and

(2) Very specific strategies that may help YOUR child.

The guy says, “We’ve got a strong-willed boy, age 9.”

“I’m curious,” I begin, “does he ever do weird stuff like hanging off the sofa upside down?”

The couple looked at each other and muttered, “Uh huh. We’ve wondered why he does all kinds of odd things.”

“It’s perfectly normal,” I assured them, and explained the needs being met. “Want a cool tip? Ask him to do his homework upside down and see what happens. And if you ever want to have a tough talk about his behavior, go lie upside down next to him. It will take the defensive response away and you’ll enter into his world.”

“Really? It’s just odd.”

“So does he ever take the cushions off the sofa and ask you to pile the cushions on top of him?”

They looked at each other kind of strangely.

“See, you’re not the only ones. My son did the same thing. Our kids like that sensory pressure. Does he have trouble sleeping? Then put him a sleeping bag, with stuff piled on top of him. Ask teachers to allow him to take tests sitting UNDERNEATH his desk and do homework under the table.

“When he’s getting upset, say a code word like ‘sofa,’ which means he goes and lies underneath the sofa cushions. Then you lie on top of him. It’s calming and you’ll have a better conversation about what’s bothering him than if you are standing over him and looking him in the eyes. Weird, but it works.”

I got up and began to take off my jacket, then asked, “Does he struggle getting up in the morning?”

Two head nods.

“Wake him up with a treasure hunt where he has to find something you hid. Make sure he has to crawl under something to find it. You can even create a little obstacle course in the basement or backyard with tubing he has to crawl through. Maybe he even eats his breakfast in there. Or he hides something and YOU have to find it. Kids love stumping their parents!”

The guy said, “How do you know all of this stuff?”

So I smiled and said, “I’m the speaker with the ridiculously expensive CDs.”

He laughed sheepishly, so I assured him that I am a skeptical man and agreed with him. “They are expensive on the surface. They are. But I bet you guys have spent hundreds and maybe thousands of dollars on tests and therapy that didn’t tell you much and in 5 minutes, I gave you 5 strategies you could use immediately.”

“True,” the skeptical man acknowledged.

“I purposefully want people to make an investment in our CDs so they take them seriously, listen, and change. When you get literally dozens of practical strategies and insight insight into your kids you’ve never had, when you finally know how to stop the yelling and power struggles, then I think these are worth it and more. Plus we always help people who need help financially. You just have to ask.”

I got up, shook their hands, and conducted a two-hour workshop for almost 200 parents and teachers. I love seeing people’s heads nod because they don’t feel alone. I tried to give them another 10 strategies that night for their son. Afterwards, I was answering questions from parents and caught the couple out of the corner of my eye. He held up the bag of CDs and smiled.

I was happy because I knew that was a family whose home life and relationships are going to change. It’s a cool thing! I want your family to experience the same transformation.

This article is reprinted with gracious permission by Kirk Martin and he can be found at www.celebratecalm.com.

by David Durovy & Kirk Martin