Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Day 1129: I'm Not The Fun Parent

But, I am the Funny Parent.

First, let me say that today was a much happier day.  We had our moments and I'm still trying to work through the deeper issues, but on the surface, things were good.

I practiced the new parenting tricks I learned last night.  They worked wonders with the toddler group this morning, knocking back tantrums really successfully.

I also practiced the stuff for older kids with Sweet P and Little M.  It basically consists of responding with empathy be restating back to the child your understanding of what they are feeling--judgement free (feelings only, actions might be another story).  It was really nice.

Sweet P really is a sweet girl, but somewhere along the lines, she has gotten really entrenched in passive-aggressive communication.  And I find myself getting sucked in really easily.  And then we have these little negative interactions all day, most days.

Really unpleasant.

But, listening with empathy is the perfect way to stay out of the cycle.  I was really proud of myself.

And then we had this conversation this afternoon:

Sweet P:  Why do you keep on saying things like,  "That must be frustrating," and "That sounds disappointing"?

Me:  Because I'm trying to make sure I understand how you're feeling... Is it bothering you?

Sweet P:  Kind of.

Me:  That must be frustrating.

And we laughed.

And that is one of my favorite parts of having my kids grow up.  Being able to joke around and have them actually get it.  I might not have the spontaneity to decide to gather items from the recycling bin to shoot with the BB gun, but I can make my kids laugh.  And that is just as much fun, for me at at least.

And on a more personal note, I think I'm getting closer to finally being able to deal with the icky stuff.


Becky said...

I was a teenager when my parents took a parenting class. They must have learned a similar technique because they started using the phrase "I feel __________ about __________ because _________" all the time. It was quite annoying, but effective, and one of my fond memories. Even if communication techniques start out feeling stilted and awkward, they really do work.

Melanie said...

My kids hate it when I say very calmly, "I love you too much to argue with you." But, it ends the argument before it even begins. Nice. :)