January 24th, 2020

Episode 10 - Bonnie Harris

What to do when your kids push your buttons

This week’s episode is with Bonnie Harris. Bonnie is a parenting and child behaviour specialist. She has designed and taught parenting workshops and coached parents for more than thirty years. Bonnie is the mother of two adult children and three grandchildren.

Bonnie is the author of two books:

·        When Your Kids Push Your Buttons and what you can do about it

·        Confident Parent, Remarkable Kids, 8 Principles for Raising Kids You’ll Love to Live With

You may have excellent parenting skills. You might have done a lot of work on developing really effective strategies and have spent a lot of time thinking about how to connect in a positive way with your child. But my guess is, since no parent is perfect, you’ve also had moments where you’ve yelled at your kids or nagged them or sent them to their room, and afterwards wondered why you did that, knowing that it only served to push your child away from you. You did it because your buttons were pushed. 

Bonnie’s work fills in that essential missing piece of the parenting jigsaw which helps us understand why we react to our children’s behaviour in ways that we later regret, when our buttons have been pushed. Bonnie helps us understand ourselves, to be compassionate towards ourselves but also to access the strategies that we know to be more effective. 

Listen to this episode with Bonnie Harris if you want to learn: 

  • What it is that gets in the way of you responding to your child calmly and with dignity and the great strategies you can come up with in moments when your child is not present.
  • About how children have their own agendas and how they can conflict with yours.
  • How our beliefs formed in our own childhood present themselves as The Truth when we have children ourselves and hijack our good intentions and leave us responding in ways we don’t like.
  • To be compassionate towards ourselves when we lose it. No wonder we had that reaction given what we were thinking and feeling about our child’s behaviour.
  • About common buttons –control, responsibility, approval.
  • What it was that you were feeling in the moment when you shouted at or threatened or punished your child and what were the thoughts about yourself and your child that gave rise to those feelings. If I’m feeling out of control it is likely to lead to some kind of controlling reaction.
  • How to change your feelings by altering your thoughts about yourself and your child.
  • How to analyse your expectations and reassess the reasonableness, or otherwise, of them.
  • To change your reactions by reframing your perceptions and judgments about your child’s behaviour.
  • That in button-pushing moments your children are having a problem, not being a problem.

(These ideas are explored in detail in module ten of our ten week course or in our workshop How to be a Calmer Parent: what to do when your kids push your buttons.) 

In our celebration of vulnerability and perfect imperfection Bonnie shares with us a Low Parenting Moment of her own. 

And Bonnie also shares her top tip for raising children to be confident, happy and successful. 


To get in touch with Bonnie: 

Website: https://bonnieharris.com/

Social media:




Bonnie’s own podcast Roots and Wings will be appearing in the Spring.

Posted in: Button pushing




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