Sunday, August 30, 2015

Motherhood: Parenting with Love and Logic

Brynlie was hungry and tired yesterday afternoon. But instead accepting comfort and eating to feel better, she just kicked and screamed at Trav and me. She's 4, ya know? But even though she's 4, Trav and I don't deserve to be treated that way especially when we are there just to help. Somehow, someday she has to learn that it's okay to be hungry and tired but it's not okay to yell at us and be mean to us because she's hungry. So we, basically, gave in knowing that we'd do something about it tomorrow when we'd have time and energy to not lose it. So today when she was calm, happy and content, having practiced saying this once before telling Brynlie, I said in a happy and relaxed voice, "hey, bryn, you know how you were kicking and screaming yesterday? It drained my energy but I thought of something you can do to put energy back in me! Want to here was it is?" And she excitedly said, "yes!" I said excitedly (to make it sound fun and because she was handling well so far!), "okay, it's a fridge project. Take everything out of the fridge to be organized." Then she ran off saying, "okay!" I didn't follow right behind trying to give her some room to not feel too controlled and also to help the other two tiny kiddos asking for my attention. She proceeded to organize and clean each shelf and now our fridge looks awesome! Double check off my list of things to do! Then she was exhausted after working for a hour and me saying "you are doing a good job putting energy back in me" "you're a hard worker" and "it looks like you like putting energy in me." We sat and she rested and we talked for a little bit. I said, "you know how yesterday you were hungry and tired? It probably would have been a good idea to eat and rest, huh? Instead you kicked and screamed like this...." Then we laughed and my imitation. "Why did you kick and scream?" She just shrugged and so I said, "it's okay to feel hungry and it's okay to feel tired. Mommy was trying to help you get some food and rest but when I said, 'bryn, can I help you?' You went like this..." And I imitated her kicking and screaming. This time she embarrassingly smiled and for a split second I saw a pure, innocent remorse on her face. She realized she had been rude. Thinking I'd have to help her understand that feeling and then what to do about it (tell me sorry), she looked away and kindly said, "I'm sorry for doing that yesterday." And my heart melted!! I said "thank you for saying sorry! That's was exactly what you needed to do! You such a good girl, even when you're kicking and screaming, but saying sorry was acting like a good girl! Thank you sooo much!" Tender mercy. Trying to remember to not talk to her about it in the moment but later when she's calm and can understand it without being defensive.
I got these ideas from Love and Logic.

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