As a mum of 2 girls, parenting is without a doubt one of the toughest things to do. Having no instructions manual makes it really tough ( by the way, I am a SC (Steady+Conscientious) style mum, as I generally do everything by the book. Yes, I am the type of person who reads all instructions manuals - from cover to cover.
When it comes to parenting though, it is hard to learn from others or from parenting articles, as every combination of parent and child makes each situation unique. Even with our own 2 girls, I find myself adjusting my style to each child, as they are both very different in personality.
Why would DISC help your parenting skills? To answer this question, I will share my own experience with my 12 year old. I decided to let her try out the Children's DISC Personality Assessment. And I sat down with her to go through her report - the way I would do with any client. And there lies the magic of the assessment. The report was generated by her own responses, in words that were objective, and most importantly (especially to an about to be teenager), the words did not come from mum. It was from a neutral source.
And when I started talking to her with the report in hand, I realised that the report was providing us a tool to talk about her. Not just a passing remark of "how did you feel about so and so being mean to you" type of question, but to really discuss what is important to her, and to focus the entire session on how she feels, she reacts, and why some things may bother her, or why some things "just has to be done like that". Finding out and discussing what she values most and what motivates her, was as enlightening to me, as it was to her.
It wasn't just about discovering her. It was about a non-judgemental, objective way of having a fun discussion about my daughter, with my daughter, in a coaching style, and not in a parenting style.
We all have our blind spots, and children can sometimes be our blind spots. I am sure some among us have said this before - "I can teach others, but not my own children". Why is this so? Usually because we are so emotionally charged with our children - resulting in a tone and behaviour that may just be a notch or two of a more extreme version of ourselves than usual. Some of us may be more sensitive, more aggressive, more cynical and even more angry than usual. In my case, I have come to realise that I do perhaps have different standards for my own children, compared to other children, and it has taken time (and mistakes) to correct it.
When I learnt more about DISC Personality styles and became certified for it, the awareness of the need to be cognisant of how different people behave differently, simply because they are wired in a certain way, made me channel this same awareness to my home situation. And it has made parenting easier. Not because my kids have changed - but because I have. Stepping back and allowing myself to remember that we are all unique, and we all get upset at different things, and are motivated by different factors, and applying it to my own children, has been an eye-opening change, and a very positive one.
We all want to be great parents. We all have different methods of achieving this. But most of us, if not all of us, want to have a good parent-child relationship. Its harder than it sounds, and it requires constant and consistent efforts, but what the Children's DISC assessment has allowed me to do, is to channel both her and me into having an open, positive discussion, allowing us to build on working on both of ourselves in our relationship.