Friday, August 7, 2015

The Phrase That Changed Our Game

This post is written as part of the Round Table Discussions with Natural Parent Network volunteers. In an effort to discuss, support, and promote a kinder, more gentle world, we are taking an in depth view of various books. Our current book is Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life by Dr. Laura Markham, author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting. We hope you will join us with an open mind and a desire for change and growth.

Hello again! I'm back with my thoughts on Chapter 4 of Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings by Dr. Laura Markham.

This Chapter provides scripts, tools and tips on exactly how to do emotions coaching AND what to say. Which is great because I can attest to what it's like to have your brain go blank as your kids are crying or arguing on who gets to pick what show to watch. Or whatever conflict situation is escalating in your kiddo-land.

I re-read this Chapter because I wanted to really soak in the scripts and imagine myself actually saying the words.

But as I read and read, one thing popped out at me over and over.

The idea of teaching your kids that the situation of conflict they are having with each other is a problem, but it is not an emergency...and most importantly, that it CAN be solved.


I admit that I had never before thought of things this way.

Not because I thought the conflict of kids IS an emergency, but because I don't think I had really seen it that way, from their perspective. And of course to kids, their tower getting knocked over, their lego getting broken apart, losing their favourite stuffie, or having their baby brother pull their hair IS AN EMERGENCY.

Dr. Laura explains that in order to effectively emotion coach our children we need to stay calm, model the behaviour and teach them that we empathize with them. We know it sucks. But that it is not an emergency and that they can solve it (with our help if needed).

It's awesome because I've been going around saying, "Remember, this is not an emergency, I know it feels very awful, but there is a way to solve this problem." And variations of this.

And the cute and hilarious thing is that now I hear my 3 year old going around saying this message too. I don't know if she gets it fully yet, as she still screams bloody murder for the slightest thing, but at least it's beginning. The seed has been planted!

I've been enlightened with this phrase for 4 days now. I see it making a HUGE difference. The kids calm down faster, probably because I am calm too. But it really has helped them (especially the older 2) to put things in perspective and I notice it puts their mind into problem-solving mode vs. react mode. Which is definitely easier and less loud for me.

And I've adopted it too for my internal self-talk:

"Kat, the sink is full of dishes? No one has tidied their laundry off the floor? You still have loads and loads of laundry to fold and you're exhausted? Remember, it is not an emergency. Stay calm, chill out, find a way to solve it."

I am LOVING this new phrase. It is SO zen.

<3 Kat

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