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September 23, 2017

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The stooping down thing is effing stupid. It's not "being submissive," it's looking them in the eye and making sure you're actually connecting with them and they're hearing you.

My response to a smaller child's "Why?" asked about an instruction of mine: "Do what I say first, and then you can ask me why." It's sort of in between. I want them to trust me, especially where prompt compliance is safe behavior, and not to get in the habit of using "Why?" as a delaying tactic (which absolutely does happen). But I want them to know that I do have a reason and I am willing to share it and talk about it—just not necessarily in the moment.

I find that when the compliance has already happens, the "Why" often disappears, which is sometimes a little disappointing as I spent time thinking how I would answer! I am not sure whether they've despaired that I wouldn't tell them, decided I was bluffing, or whether they didn't really want to know and really were just using it as a delaying tactic.

What a beautiful homage to parenting! I've never read Rosemond, I'm glad to say.

The other day I visited a friend, who had a young mom over with her 6 month old and 3 year old. The baby was using a sparkly plastic bracelet as a teether. The 3 year old tried endlessly to take it away so that she could use it in her play. The mom appeared relaxed. The baby was blissfully calm. I had overwhelming anxiety!

This interchange gave me aggida because my two girls struggled endlessly over things like this. Now at 17.5 and 15.5 they stay up late giggling together and helping each other with school work. How did that happen? I'll take some credit for modeling reason and negotiation and kindness. Kindness above all, really.

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