I started reading the book "How To Listen So Kids Will Talk, and Talk So Kids Will Listen" last week. I don't get a lot of downtime to read, so I'm only through the first chapter. A quick excerpt-
feel right, they'll behave right. How do we help them to feel right? By
accepting their feelings! Problem- parents don't usually accept their
children's feelings; for example: "You don't really feel that way." "You're just saying that because you're tired." "There's no reason to be so upset."
Steady denial of feelings can confuse and enrage kids. Also teaches
them not to know what their feelings are- not to trust them."
The chapter goes on to suggest parents name their children's feelings
instead of responding like above, so I started practicing with Josh
(8y). It is much harder than I anticipated. For one, I now realize how
often I was denying his feelings. For another, I now realize how often I
use the word "frustrated" to describe a large range of feelings.
Last night I think I started getting it right. Josh had built this
really amazing lego RV. I won't go into all the features, but it was
cool. He decided he was done playing with it as it was and took it to
his room to take apart and build something new. A few minutes later he
came out crying.
Me- What's wrong?
Josh- I took it apart and now its gone!
Me- You're sad that you can't play with it anymore?
Me- Do you want to come sit with me?
Josh- Okay....*still crying*
Me- You thought you were done with it, but now you're doubting your decision to take it apart.
Josh- Yes...*crying lessens* How will I put it all back together?
Me- Well I guess you'd start with the bottom...
Josh- *regaining composure* And then go to the top. *deep breath* Okay, I'm going to go rebuild it.
Whoa. That has never happened before. Great book (so far). Don't
discredit the practice exercises. Implementing the ideas is harder than
you may think.