5. Stay short and to the point. I like this point on page 196, Kids have endless time to play point-counterpoint, in an effort to wear you down. I know many parents whose children are ready for law school by age five! They are the ones whose parents often overdo reasoning and explaining, in hopes that if only they give their children enough explanations, the kids will stop wanting what they wanted in the first place. “
They point out it is okay to stay short and sweet, repeating the same phrase, being very specific as to what is needed, and the use of one word to communicate what you want (which can work well with those over seven in my opinion).
I think I would add to this section with the child under the age of 7 has a completely different consciousness than an older child or adult, and that it is very important to use your imagination, your singing, your moving with the child as you do something together, and to really use your rhythm to help carry discipline for these tiny ages.
6. Put It In Writing. This can work well for older children.
7. Focus on the Essential. “Parents have to decide for themselves what is really important in their households.” Yes, this is why a mission statement can be so important.
8. Restore good feelings. From page 206: “Children want and need good feelings to prevail, even when the battles become fierce. Time and distance heal many wounds, and a simple apology can diminish resentment and pave the way for reconciliation. Some people are afraid to let their children see that they are vulnerable. But it is a good lesson for children to learn. We are all weak sometimes. And we all have regrets. When we put a human face on the job of parenting, and acknowledge our imperfections, it makes it easier for good feelings to be restored.”
I agree with this – to a point. If you apologize to a small child every day over something you felt you did wrong, then the small child will eventually be saying to you, “Say you are sorry Mommy! You are mean!” I know some of you are laughing at this point because you have been there.
I think sometimes mothers need to actually work with the concept of restitution for the small child in action, not words and we need to work with not blurting every single thing out and being unclear in the eyes of the child as we work through our own thoughts. Change your mind, handle it differently next time, but again I don’t know as you have to go through your whole thought process as I see many mothers doing with their very small children.
Mothers seem to have a harder and harder time claiming their own authority in the home, and this could be an important exercise in self-control for these parents to work on. You might not have handled things great, how can you fix it in action and without so many words?
Just a few thoughts.
The last chapter will be up next!