Wednesday, February 10, 2010

scream free parenting, part three

remember that picking up the gauntlet thing? well, it sounds nice huh? don't engage in the fight. just let the glove lay there. bend and sway like a willow tree instead of being rigid and breaking off your branches (o.k. if you didn't read the book that might not make sense:) BUT how does that actually work in real life? won't that just give your kids the message that their testing behavior is permissible or won't you bottle up your frustration and then explode one day? here's how it works (directly quoted from scream free parenting) ...

" I'm Bored"

This is the classic gauntlet. And so often we are quick to pick it up. First, we get angry. 'Bored?' How could you be bored? Why don't you go play upstairs with all those toys I bought you?' 'You know what's boring? Working my job every day to buy you those toys, that's what really boring."
Then we get anxious. 'You mean you can't find anything to do?' We might even think to ourselves, 'Is this kid totally uncreative? What have I done wrong?' Finally, we overcompensate. 'Look, you could go outside and find Jimmy, or you could go upstairs, or you could do this, or you could do this, or this, or this...'
A ScreamFree response could choose, instead to never pick up the gauntlet in the first place. 'Wow, you're bored? That stinks. I hate it when I'm bored. What are you going to do about it?' No resistance, just go with the momentum and actually join right alongside your child as she faces her own dilemma."

make sense? the problem is THEIRS. just keep putting the ball back in their court. you can do it lovingly, empathetically, and calmly. you just REFUSE to get worked up by something they throw down. as my bff (see post 2 1/2) hal would say..."Calm yourself down, and grow yourself up." or as helen parr of the incredibles would say..."IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU, BOB!" you are the one already grown up. we are here to help guide our children to maturity and independence. it's game over for us. if we're not done growing (i'm not) then we need to do that on our own time....not try to while we're swashbuckling with our kids.


Liz said...

Love it! I am totally getting this. I was thinking about this too and how important it is to not throw the gauntlet yourself (as in, asking your kid every couple of minutes if he needs to potty).

Tonya said...

you are so awesome at this, enlightening us! Thanks for the advice!! I HAVE to get this book now!!