Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Making Progress

When making the change from a schooled, authoritative parenting atmosphere to that of an unschooled, peaceful parenting lifestyle there is a transition period. For Josh, this is a time for him to learn how to be self motivated and take charge of his own time and learning. For all of us, it is a time to learn how to solve our problems peacefully and respectfully.

Making it through this transition is hard. Just yesterday Josh wanted me to unpack some of his moving boxes to play with his things. I told him I wasn't going to do that and he got really upset. He started yelling and crying at me about how unfair that was because those were his things and he wanted to use them. Old authoritative parenting Mama Bear would have gotten angry and yelled right back, or responded in some other mean way because "how dare he act so disrespectful toward me!?!"

Peaceful parenting Mama Bear was actually happy with his reaction though. Not that I want him to be yelling when he gets frustrated, but I can see that we're making progress toward peacefully resolving issues and effective communication. How can I see that? Because in the past Josh would have taken my answer and silently dealt with it, bottling all his frustration up, not communicating his feelings.

Now he is feeling comfortable enough to open up. He's not afraid to get angry and upset in front of us.  He's learning he won't be yelled at or scolded for displaying his feelings. He's standing up for himself. He's seeing that what he has to say is important and that I care enough about him to listen. If he's courageous enough to stand up to me and Papa Bear with his thoughts and opinions, how much easier will it now be for him to stand up to other people?

I calmly acknowledged his frustration. I conceded he was right, the things in the boxes were his to do with as he pleased. I explained why I did not want to unpack any boxes and how the next few weeks were going to be frustrating for everyone while we move. I gave him some examples of other ways he could have communicated his feelings instead of yelling.

After we talked he decided to help me pack up more of his room instead of unpacking things. :)

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