As soon as a child develops preferences, which in most cases is about as early as you can imagine it, her views on what is good for her, what she needs and what she should do will probably differ, if not exactly conflict, with those of her parents. And that is good, right? We want our kids to be critical thinkers, it’s a feat that looks so good on any résumé. We just don’t want them to critically examine every order we give them. So, how do you ensure a smooth family performance, to use a business term for everybody doing their thing, eating healthy, putting away their toys, finishing their homework, folding their clothes, going to bed on time and all the while staying happy? My experience as a child and as a parent says it’s all about love, love, love.
Love = patience + trust
My mom never once raised her voice at me. Seriously, not once. She never once squeezed my name through her teeth. Not even when I broke our antique Louis XVI marble tea-table while skipping elastic in the sitting room. How on Earth did she manage to do that?! I often wonder that myself. Though I believe the answer lies in an elegant mix of patience and trust. Both emanating from her genuine, tender, motherly love. Love, love, love.
Connection before correction
I wasn’t a mom like that to start with. But I am doing my damnedest to become one. At some point I grew really worried about the amount of yelling done in my own home. The book my mom gave me when my first baby was born, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, was gathering dust on the book shelf. It was a great approach, exactly the one my mom seemed to have used with her children, but it wasn’t helping. I needed a very detailed, step-by-step tactics and I also needed some patience with myself that the book never mentioned. So I turned to internet and social media and after several months of search, I found a new religion, Positive Parenting. What the concept suggests, in short, is that you should connect with your child, prove him you are on the same team, show empathy and understanding, and that is how the child will develop their faith in you and start trusting you in your advice, rather than fear you and try to defend himself, which further leads to misbehaviour. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? But, how do you actually practice this new religion? Well, just like any religion, it’s all about love, love, love.