Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Learning Parenting (Day 21)

. . . . Oprah says if I don't spend 10 minutes in silence a day I won't be happy.  Obviously, Oprah does not have small children. . . .

Day one of the parenting experiment started yesterday.  I gradually started using some of the strategies from the book I read.  So far so good.  It's more about parent training than child training.  Here is a quote from the beginning of the book that spoke to me

"Don't fool yourself:  parenting is intense.  When we're confronted by our child's needs and behaviors, we often return to our own childhood and end up reacting to our children the same way our parents reacted to us, for better or for worse*."

Boy, I bet we can all sign on to that statement. 

Reacting is the key though, according to the book.  Actually, not reacting is the key.  Unless The Girl is in imminent danger due to her actions there is no reason I can't take a step back from the situation to assess what might be causing the bahavior and then determine how to handle it.  The goal is to be more intentional and less emotionally reactive. 

"When your child triggers you by throwing a tantrum, crying, behaving in 'naughty' or 'annoying' ways, whining, or even trying to hit you, it's common to feel intense feelings bubble up inside of you.  This is normal and natural.  Intense feelings in others bring up intense feelings in us.  The key is to not react and this takes practice*."

That quote really spoke to me.  It is so easy to respond to The Girl while those intense feelings are there.  Wouldn't it make both of us happier if I waited a moment or two and responded with a clearer head?  I think so.

Today I will continue to work on implementing the strategies in the book.

I have one to share with each of you that I hope you will try.  It seems obvious, but spend 10-20 minutes with your child each day.  This means one-on-one time.  You may not watch tv, talk to your spouse, answer the phone, etc . . . during those minutes.  Read, play a game, color, or do whatever the two of you enjoy. Do not try to lead the time.  Let your child determine how the game will be played or how the book will be read.  Do that for two weeks and it will help you immensely.

*Quotes taken from The Happy Child Guide by Dr. Blaise Ryan)


  1. Thanks for the tips! I think maybe we will have a play-doh date tonight!

  2. I never really realized that in an average day, I maybe spend 20 minutes total with just Talia. A few minutes here or there is not the kind of attention she needs. I imagine that has a lot to do with how things have been going lately. Tomorrow I plan on getting out the Candyland game from Christmas and spending time with her. It won't be too long before she won't even want to hang out with mom. Sometimes I forget that.

  3. Very true! My husband and I put Carter to bed early and played with just Madison last night for over an hour! I think she really enjoyed it. She still was a pain to get to bed, but she had fun and thats what matters!