How to Peaceful Parent and Still be Somewhat In charge

  • -In some situations, after explaining and talking through what I think he should do/not do and why and what the pros and cons and natural consequences of various options are,  let him make the choice on his own (even if he wants to make a bad choice).  Make it clear to him that I have given him advice and information, and I am letting him make the choice.  Let him own it.  Let him perhaps experience some of those natural consequences.
  • -In other situations, where I am not prepared to let him make the decision, explain my reasoning to him, and also explain that I can’t let him XYZ….  because, for example, he might hurt himself or others.  Perhaps explain that as his parent, I am responsible for him….   that is why it is my job to make sure that his teeth get brushed, and he gets enough sleep, etc etc….
  • -When he is doing something that is annoying or disturbing me…..   making loud noises etc….  (following lori petro’s advice hear)  explain how what he is doing is affecting me, and then invite him to make it better.  Eg ‘Do you think you could do that outside/in the other room to give mummy’s ears a rest?’   If he doesn’t want to do that say “well you doing that right here is not working for me…  its hurting my ears and giving me a headache.  Can you think of another way we can solve this problem?
  • -When he is taking everything personally and getting defensive (eg – because I told him to do/not do something).   Get right down to his level, put my arm around him.   I know darling.   Its ok.  You’re not in trouble at all. I was just saying that to give you some guidance, because I know you’re still learning, and I want to help you learn.
  • -When he talks to me rudely  (eg, when he’s asked me a question or given me an instruction, and I haven’t responded after less than 3 seconds.   “I don’t like the way you’re talking to me.  Do you think you could try again in a more friendly and gentle voice? and then we’ll probably both feel better.”
  • -When things get ugly with other kids.  Observe the situation out-loud.  Pause. Listen, reflect and interpret the info the kids give back to me. What can we do to make this better/ make everybody happy?  Does that sound fair to you?
  • Talk about any significant behaviour incidents or tricky situations later, in a loving and safe environment.   Empathise with his feelings first,  then discuss his actions and how they impacted other people and the situation in general.  Discuss other possible options and their likely outcomes.
  • Also talk about good behaviour choices that he made too.  Emphasise the fact that he made that choice on his own.  Let him own it.   He made a positive choice, and this is the positive outcome.   Tell him how proud I am of him.
  • Try to get down to his level more often in general.  Spend more time with him, connect and love him. Use it as a time out for myself too.   Just stop thinking about all the productive things I could be doing, and relax and enjoy my son.
  • Don’t just leave this blog post and forget all my carefully thought out strategies……review, re-read, and add to this post regularly.  Print it out.  Refer to it when ever I need encouraging.   Refer to it before bed, as I visualise the following day.

 

 

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