This entry is more for my own reference. Something I can go back and review in a concise place. There will (hopefully) be more in the next couple of weeks, but here’s the first.
I’m taking a positive parenting class right now. I roped a friend into going with me, which was especially great for showing up to the first day. I feel like we are both getting heaps and piles of good information.
So far, here’s what i’ve learned for myself ;
1. Validate, then move along. “Ouch! I’m so sorry you hit your head. That must really hurt 😦 Can I give you a hug? Is there something you’d like to play with now?” “That really stinks your brother took away your toy. That would make me angry, too. Is there something else you want to play with?”
This is a pretty commonly known parenting tool, but it just never clicked with me until this class put it in simple terms. I’ve done it, i’ve practiced it, and it’s worked great for my toddler.
This could be used for more than just the kids. “Goodness, husband, I can see you are quite randy tonight. If I was out at a job working at my own desk not preparing food for others and cleaning butts and dirty chonies all day long, perhaps I might feel the same. I am happy to give you a hug and a kiss as soon as I’m finished putting the dishes away. Care to go have a solo date in the bathroom? Don’t forget the candles.”
2. I am more mindful of when/how I “flip my lid” when something is triggered (like the kids fighting and having the noise level escalate immediately) – this is something that is explained in the book/class and i’m not going to elaborate here.
I learned at the last class that this also might result from a significant other. Oh yes it does… yes it does.
3. Parent your child in a manner that will allow them to grow into the adult you hope they will be.
4. Monkey see – monkey do. NOT Monkey command – monkey do
5. Most recently, there was an exercise that demonstrated how most parents speak to their kids, esp when you are on a timeline. It looks something like:
“Put your shoes on.”
“Get your backpack.”
“Get your shoes on.”
“Don’t forget your coat.”
(and in my house) “GET YOUR SHOES ON!”
what might allow for a more pliable, productive result would be:
“Before you get to school, what might you need on your stinky feet?”
“Are you choosing your rain boots or your tennis shoes today?”
“Oh man, looks like it might be cold outside. Make sure you have what you need for recess.”
This particular demonstration was very eye-opening to me. I began parenting my son with lots of choices to get things moving when we had to be somewhere or get something done when he was a toddler. As he got older and we were on more of a schedule, my idea of saving time was just to tell him what to do. Most kids resent this immediately and first response is “No.” I know I feel this way when someone tells me what to do! In reality, the forming of the question/idea might take longer, but the hope is that the results are me repeating the same command/direction less than the usual 15 times in conjunction with lots of sighs and exasperated eye rolls.
Again, perhaps this can translate into other relationships…
Instead of “Fill my wine glass!” maybe “I would love to get you a refill, my friend, would you mind if I got more for myself as well?”
Perhaps “The house might smell better if the trash were outside.” would work better than “Take the goddamned trash out!!”
There have been many tools i’ve taken away from the last two classes, and I hope to learn a lot more. As of right now, things are looking more hopeful for me parenting with a little more planning and deliberateness, and less reaction and regrouping.
..and monkeys might fly out of my butt