Monday, February 8, 2010

scream free parenting, part two

your kids wanna fight. they want to engage you in battle and they wanna win. o.k. maybe it's just my kids. but this happens multiple times a day in our house and i'm usually the one who "takes the bait" and i'm the one who loses. scream free parenting says...

you.
don't.
have.
to.
pick.
up.
the.
gauntlet.

i know what the phrase "picking up the gauntlet" means, but i didn't know where it was derived from. turns out in medieval times, the gauntlet was a protective glove worn by knights. when thrown at the feet of an adversary, the gauntlet was an invitation to a battle. picking up the gauntlet was an acceptance of the invitation. ooooooohhhhh.....i get it now. my kids are droppin metal left and right. looks like they are "cruisin for a bruisin" but in all reality, they want to test me to see if i'm safe. will i be the one constant in their very chaotic, uncontrollable world? will i stay calm while everything around them is rocking their boat?

you've heard as a parent to"pick your battles". scream free parenting says...just don't battle. don't touch that glove with a 10-foot pole. sure you see it. sure it's the shiniest, prettiest, most pick-up-able thing you've ever seen, but DON'T! leave it there in all its glory and let. it. lie.

a few of the kids' favorite ones to throw down? how 'bout "are we there yet?" "i caaaaan't" "i hate you!" "i don't want to and you can't make me" "you're not the boss of me" sound familiar? yup. every knight carries those as staples. they whip 'em out in a pinch and throw those puppies down. they are just DARING you not to join the fight.

so, what do we do? are we just gonna let them win? are we gonna let children control our lives? if you know me, you know i could never advocate that. and you know children don't WANT control. they want you, the experienced adult, to control. but they just need to be reminded. a lot.

now this concept was fleshed out in dozens of pages in scream free parenting and i'm not going to do it justice in this post. i'll write a bit more about it tomorrow, but seriously, get the book. if you don't like it....just throw it down:)

2 comments:

Liz said...

I'm glad you brought this up b/c it's something I work on too, esp lately. It's certainly something that takes a little practice. I'm just trying to think of polite ways to tell Scott to "not pick up the gauntlet." I think he pays too much attention to the bad behavior.
Love the new layout!

Tonya said...

I so need help with this one too, I'm always doing battle with the boys! :)