Jun 19, 2010

Understanding Why


I have three kids. Kaela, my oldest and I hit a rough patch after I had baby number three. She was a persistent four year old, I was hormonally challenged, and we were constantly in cahoots with each other. There seemed to be no resolve to her disobedience and my impatience. One day I felt inspired to pick up this random parenting book. In reading it, I had a huge “light bulb” moment. I needed to start asking why and listening to Kaela’s views/thoughts/reasons before reacting. To this day it still saves our relationship and brings many arguments into understanding.

In fact, I just used it on my 3 year old Luke the other day when we were outside. I looked over to see him peeing (yeah, I'm just going to say it like it is) on our porch. Before I reacted, I simply asked why he would do that and his reply was, “I’m making a waterfall mom!”. Instead of boiling up inside, I turned my head and started laughing. Here is just a snippet of what inspired this change:

“When you find yourself entering an argument with your children, listen. “You’re upset; tell me why….I didn’t understand that. I’m sorry. Tell me more.” You’ll be surprised at how the conversation changes. Rather than state their positions, your kids may explain their points of view. Instead of building walls, you’ll find them falling.”

“…try to learn your son’s point of view, rather than get stuck in your own. You ask why he thinks you are unfair, rather than quickly reject his opinion. Once you understand his thinking, you can help him understand yours and work with him to find a compromise.

Listening well may be more like a habit than a skill. Rather than rush to solve a problem or settle an argument, slow yourself enough to learn from your children why you differ. Once you do, you will be more persuasive when you talk.”

How to Negotiate with Kids…even when you think you shouldn’t, by Scott Brown

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2 comments:

Sue said...

Great tip for any parent!

=)

Kierstin said...

This is such a great post!!

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