Tonight, I watched my kids eat their entire dinner, without even complaining. I felt so much joy, I just had to blog about it. Because it really is a rarity. (Both the blogging, and the complaint free dinner time.) (more…)
There’s a lot to be said for a kind and calm voice in times of turmoil.
I’ve been tired and cranky. 2 small kidlets and not much sleep is enough to manage just by itself, but the other elements of life don’t stop…if we let it, it can really get on top of us. And I had let it. I am an advocate for deliberate parenting, not reactionary parenting, but I realised my fuse was short, I was raising my voice at my 2yr old, who at times can be very difficult, and hard to negotiate with. Getting cross might be justified, but that is not the mum I want to be.
So I started reading some blogs and information about parenting, I have to say, there are some pretty condemning musings around. Most mums will know there is sometimes a voice whispering in your ear that tells you “You’re not a very good mum, you shouldn’t do things that way”. And it’s so easy to be swayed into thinking that. But the truth is, that you and your little cherub are an original combo. There has never been a parent/child combination like you before. So your parenting is YOUR decision. No one else’s. What works for someone might not work for others, so I chose to brush that nasty voice aside, and make a decision about how I wanted to overcome this little hurdle.
The very simple conclusion I came to was this.
Its very hard to argue, rebel against, or raise your voice to someone who is being calm and kind.
So for a day, (one step at a time) I made a really focussed effort to be calm and kind to both my girls. No raising my voice, getting down close to give requests and instructions, giving space in times of frustration, and all the while in my head “Calm, calm, calm”.
Wow, just in one day I noticed a world of difference. For a start I had changed the atmosphere of our home by not allowing that condemning voice to bug me, or rise to the frustration it was causing, and I had taken back the reins and started being deliberate and not reactionary. My 2yr old responded so well, it took a few less asks before instructions were fulfilled, and we had more giggles and less tears.
It has now been a week, and I’ve discovered a more compliant daughter and a more content mum. Which ultimately leads to a happier home, and better relationships. I think this principle can be applied in any situation where conflict is arising. A soft word makes a much better platform for negotiation. I’ve found it easier to remain calm now that I’ve made the decision in my heart. And although sometimes I want to let out frustration in the form of a raised tone, most of the time I can control it. But it has only been a week.. 🙂