Parenting Articles

Little adults and their parents

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When little toddlers mature into little boys and girls it becomes easier to expect more of them and we find ourselves speaking to them in ways we never used to.

We might expect them to:
– understand consequences
– recognize hazards and dangers
– always be kind and gentle, courteous and polite to others
– be decisive, capable, reasonable, and sensible
– understand the difference between strangers and friends
– read relationships and personalities and know what is appropriate behaviour and language
– respect the order and cleanliness of the house

If the above sounds too theoretical and like it doesn’t apply – think about these questions:

1. Have you become frustrated with your son for changing his mind about what he wants for breakfast?
2. Did you impulsively yell at your daughter when she snatched a toy off a friend?
3. Did you get angry at your son when he did something after you told him it wasn’t safe?
4. Did you raise your voice or yell when your daughter started pulling Tupperware out of the cupboard in a mess?

All of these situations sound fair and like good cause for a parent to get frustrated.

Staying in a calm frame of mind and parenting gently can be hard, particularly when there is tense energy in the environment.

Our idea for you – the parent – is to TRANSFORM the energy into a positive energy you can work with.

This takes a little bit of sacrifice, as you will need to slow down a bit.

You might be a busy person, be mentally tired after work, be physically exhausted. You might have a million things on your mind.

We are all these things at least 2-4 times per day. The easy thing to do when you feel this way is to leave your young children alone and call out to them (scold, discipline) from a distance.

When you do this, your child does NOT feel a change in energy. The energy becomes more agitated and the tension is amplified. They may stop for a moment when they hear your voice – and then carry on to do the same thing seconds later. The same energy is still in motion. You may resort to being rough (verbally or physically) to ‘make your child stop and listen’.

The way you handle the situation, and your relationship with your youngster, is defined in these little moments. Memories are created at these times just as much (if not more) as the moments you:

1. Cuddle up to read a story together before bed
2. Give a piggy-back ride while making silly sounds and laughing together
3. Work together in the kitchen to make a special meal
4. Kiss and soothe a sore spot after a little accident

For little children who do something ‘wrong’ (in our eyes, not theirs), a lecture or hard discipline can overpower the lesson in the event. For example, you may be worried because your son has choked on food after eating too fast and you immediately lecture and get cross. Because children are highly emotional little beings, your anger will stay in their memory more than the message about eating food slowly to prevent further choking. If this kind of parenting response happens regularly – your child will remember your anger and disapproval more than many important lessons.

You need to make a choice about whether you want to take a few extra minutes, several times per day to create and maintain your beautiful relationship. It is worth the effort to slow down and practice transforming energy and educating your child in every opportunity.

In each of the above situations, you could try the following:

1. Have you become frustrated with your son for changing his mind about what he wants for breakfast?
Move closer to him, sit down and calmly acknowledge what he is saying. Transform the energy to a calm, quiet, discussion. Ask him to help you prepare the breakfast he wants. ‘I understand that you don’t feel like eating this. I’d like to hear your idea and to help you, sweetheart. Can you tell me what healthy food you are thinking of?’
2. Did you impulsively yell at your daughter when she snatched a toy off a friend?
Move into your child’s environment and get down on your knees. Transform the energy by gently taking her hand and saying her name, establishing eye contact, and waiting. Explain calmly how the incident is not ok and what your child can do instead. Ask her to practice the better alternative.
3. Did you get angry at your son when he did something after you told him it wasn’t safe?
Move into your child’s environment and transform the busy energy to a waiting energy. Relax and stay with him until the hazard is gone, or the urge to act dangerously has passed. Explain the situation, and tell him that you are there to help him be safe. Help him with the safe alternative.
4. Did you raise your voice or yell when your daughter started pulling Tupperware out of the cupboard in a mess?
Move into your child’s environment, get down on your knees, and be silent. Make a point of calmly looking at the mess that is being created. Be friendly and smile. When your child’s energy has transformed and she is calm and curious, ask gently what she is wanting to do. Then offer to help her, and discuss how you will do it, starting with packing away the Tupperware together. Ask her to talk about her ideas with you first in future.

A little bit of patience and transforming energy to calm, helpful, gentle and friendly energy will improve your day as well as your child’s. It can take a little practice and it helps if both parents have the same approach and support each other – when one parent is weak, the other can be strong and step in to help (because we all need a break at times).

Many wonderful parents already practice the above techniques. To meet like-minded parents, visit our and Like us on Facebook.

Joanna Becker, Author and Wellness Medium
www.joannabecker.com.au

Copyright. You are welcome to share this article on social media, please include a link to this website. Please contact Joanna Becker for permission to reproduce this article in print.

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