Sunday Evening Thoughts
Hello friends, how was your weekend?
For the most part, I had a great weekend. I'm up late tonight winding down, getting ready for the week to come.
I've been thinking a lot about parenting the past few days and had some thoughts I wanted to share. Burl and I spent most of the weekend over at my parents house on Whidbey Island. My mom and I took Burl to the Choochokam Arts festival on Saturday.
Burl's behavior this weekend was difficult, which made it hard to enjoy the festival. He has thoughts and ideas and opinions that are strong and very important to him. Sometimes his ideas clash with mine. And sometimes he wants things I don't think are good for him. Like climbing big trees with big kids, or eating candy, or running down the street, or being naked the entire weekend. And if I don't handle the situation correctly, the melt downs happen. But his perfect little mind is developing, and his behavior is very age-appropriate.
I've been thinking about how I feel when I have an idea that I pose to someone close to me. How do I feel when my ideas are belittled, or ignored, or patronized? It really frustrates me. And Burl most certainly feels the same way.
A while back I watched this video. I love this man. This weekend helped me more fully realize that the tantrums, the melt-downs, and the arguments between Burl and I are so easy to diffuse, if I handle the situations correctly. Burl loves when I listen to his ideas, and he's good at listening to mine, and I know he understands so much more than I'm aware of. I've learned that if I don't resort to the standard American parenting tactics - losing my patients, time-outs, letting him cry, spanking, locking him in a room alone to work things out, etc. - most situations can be turned around into a positive experience. I just have to get really creative sometimes to think of something to redirect his attention.
I'm also learning more and more that his negative behavior can be corrected with just a little bit of tender attention between the two of us. For example, if he's getting rough while playing with other children, and I take him aside, snuggle him and tell him a little story, explain why it's important to be gentle with others, he calms right down. I love what Dr. Neufeld has to say about giving attention - Why is it so wrong if a child needs attention?
So those are some of my rambling thoughts on being a mother. My experience has been that Much negative behavior in toddlers can be corrected with more positive, loving attention given to the child.
Have a good week my friends, I'll be back in the morning. xo.