The triggers are silent, deadly and are rarely seen: a long time to finish eating, the constant need to talk while doing EVERYTHING, never putting toys back in their place…you get the drift. I am a bit annoying (okay, VERY annoying) when it comes to schedules and cleanliness. My house isn’t spotless, mind you, but I need things in their places. I hate rushing around looking for stuff at the last minute. Probably the way I am wired.
My daughter is what I would describe as a free spirit. She likes to do things at her pace, in her own way. For most of the time, I believed that I let her do that. But, examining a typical day, I noticed how many times I used the words, ‘No’ and ‘Don’t’ when she asked something. That must be so frustrating to hear!
Things really came to a head a couple of days ago, when I completely lost my temper and yelled at her for being irresponsible, careless and useless! 🙁 Yes, I said those things to a 6-year-old. The cooling down period after that outburst left me shaken and subdued. I realised I needed help. Thanks to a couple of friends(‘A’ who blogs here and ‘V’), I turned to two great sources: The Orange Rhino challenge and an e-book version of this book.
I started with the simplest of rules:
Listen carefully and with complete attention
It is very tempting to keep reading that book or complete reading that interesting article on your laptop, when the child is in a mood to jabber.
Today, I decided I would physically turn myself away from whatever I was doing and focus on what she had to say. It wasn’t easy, mind you. But I did it! I looked into her eyes each time, as she glowingly told me about the star she had received for neat handwriting that day ( for about the fifteenth time 🙂 It was amazing how calm I stayed during the repeated statement :):)
Acknowledge her statements with a nod/ a look
She was finishing her glass of milk. As she came down to the last quarter of the milk, she started whining, ‘I can’t have any more. I am too full.’
Today, I just looked at her with a smile and said, ‘Oh?’
She repeated the statement. I responded with , ‘ I see.’
She said it a third time, but with far less conviction. I merely looked at her, still smiling.
Then I asked her, ‘ Do you feel well enough to finish it?’ She said, ‘Okay, I can do that. I feel fine.’
And just like that, the milk disappeared into her system! And all without raising my voice or even an eyebrow!
Wish me luck as I undertake this challenge! Daily updates will follow (I hope) 🙂