Our Family's Journey to Peaceful Parenting and Unschooling.
Friday, October 25, 2013
Getting Myself Under Control
of the hardest lessons I've learned as a parent- Having a happy house
is not about controlling what the kids do, it is about controlling what I
do; my thoughts and actions.
Last night we were driving and
Bug (2y) was being LOUD. Screaming everything he said, singing at the
top of his lungs, etc. In the past I might have yelled back "Be quiet!"
or something like that. Honestly, I still fought the
urge to do just that, but I've been there and seen the outcome of that
action. Bug would get upset and start crying, or possibly think we were
having a fun game of yelling and increase the volume. So instead I said,
"Bug, your voice is loud. It is hurting my head." He said, "It's not
hurting your head, Mama." and I replied, "Yes it is. It's going in my
ears and hurting my head." He thought for a second and then said, "I
don't want to hurt your head." "Thank you. If you stop being loud my
head will stop hurting." and that was that.
Later, at home,
Josh (9y) and I had finished reading in the living room and I was ready
for bed. Josh was not, so I asked him to please respect that Bug and I
were sleeping by being quiet, and off I went. Not 10 minutes later I
heard a crash come from the living room. In the past I would have
stormed out and gone ape-shit. I am an angry lady when I'm tired. I've
been there, done that, and it never turns out well. Josh is very
sensitive, and my outbursts have set our family progress toward peace
back on more than one occasion. So instead I paused at the living room
door, took a deep breath, and managed to just ask, "What happened?"
"I was cleaning up the living room and dropped Bug's trains. You worked
hard all day cleaning up, and now its messy again, so I wanted to pick
up for you."
Cue heartbreak. I was SO thankful I didn't come out yelling at him for trying to be helpful.
Now, is this what every moment looks like in our house? No. Did we have to go through some seriously dark times to get to this point? Yes, oh yes.
The common theme in my experiences is that when I assign negative
motives to the kids in my thoughts or react to them from a place of
judgment or control, the outcome is almost always negative.
When I assume the kids have the best intentions in my thoughts and react
to them from a place of respect and love, these are the times we're
more likely to experience the types of outcomes shared above.