Friday, May 16, 2008

Just Say YES!

There are two pieces of parenting advice that I have been trying to remember to implement. One is to find ways to say YES instead of NO. Even when you are disagreeing, find a way to agree. Generally. Not when they are running out into traffic, obviously. Just things like, "Yes, we can play that game as soon as you help me pick up the game we are playing." Not, "No, we can't play that game until we clean up this one." It helps the child to feel more attended to, empowered, and generally happier. It makes sense to me. I don't like being told NO all the time either.

The second is to stop using labels. The book I am rereading, Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids: 7 Keys to Turn Family Conflict into Cooperation by Sura Hart and Victoria Kindle Hodson, refers to it as "unpacking the labels." Rather than calling my son smart or crazy or hyper, I should tell him exactly what he is doing that makes those words come to mind. I am really guilty of this one. I can generally tell how checked in I am to my son by noticing how many labels I am using. The labels become a short cut in communication that hurts both of us. Him by speaking judgmentally, and me by not taking the time to really connect and say that I really mean. Of course, sometimes figuring out how to talk to him as he runs by singing a song at the top of his lungs is an issue too.

1 comment:

  1. hi! thanks for your comment on the 2-day heat wave here in sf. :) i shouldnt complain really, today its 69 or something!

    i will have to check out this book since, as aidan has gotten more entrenched in his two's, i've found myself saying "no" and frustrating us both! i love you blog and i'm going to add you :)

    have a wonderful weekend

    ps. i do miss austin/san antonio very much.