This morning my ‘seven going on seventeen’ daughter said, “Mom! a lot of times you are wrong. But. ….(pause) I will try that out.”
Wow! That is all that matters. I sighed in ‘relief’!
My child and me will always have our differences, and there will always be this idea in my child wonderful mind that ‘her ideas and explorations are absolutely new to this world’. I look to encourage her in her explorations and dreams.
As a parent; her safety, her appropriate choices in daily life and being always there for her, when she looks around is what I strive for.
As a mom, I have my share of growing ups and understanding parenting dos and don’ts. One of them, I figured little late into my motherhood was:
Connect – Communicate – Conjoin
My girl has a lot of ‘vibrant energy’ and is either on the cloud or suddenly feeling distraught. Her self-ability to balance and transitions between two activities was very naïve, three years ago, when she was starting her KG… and I knew we had work to do! She had been at a nearby Montessori school and I felt we were nowhere yet.
I have struggled through many questions and self doubts. She is completely unlike me.. and I knew it early on. I am very calm and slow moving, while she is full ball of energy , on high pitch squeals and unable to sit relaxed unless sleeping.
She has taught me a lot about just my own reflections of myself. About being ok when things break. Letting things be all messed up and still want to move forward. With constant reflection, I tried different strategies. And would feel like giving up. Yes I was frustrated and joined ABC Children’s center as a supportive staff member to just give myself some space. My girl had just started Kindergarten.
ABC has monthly trainings, and my work helped me in my parenting approach too.
My foremost training at ABC Children’s centers was: relationship building sequence with children: “Connect- Communicate-Care-Coordinate /Curriculum’.
The quote unquote was “When children receive positive, nonviolent, and understanding interactions from adults and others, they develop good self-concepts, problem solving abilities, and self-discipline. Based on this belief, we are as Pillars of ABC Children’s Center, and are going to constantly use a positive approach to discipline and practice the following discipline and behavior management techniques.”
As I worked there, I understood what it meant. And it struck a note.
I modified it to my purpose. Connect – Communicate – Conjoin.
My relationship with my child immediately saw a difference. I was now able to be the ‘I love my Mom’ person for her. Rather than ‘Mom, you don’t understand’ person.
Every time, she went into a hysterical situation, my approach was “how do I connect without really communicating anything.”
Connect -Connect- Connect.
Connection was sometimes, just mirroring her words, sometimes, just sitting and nodding while inside I must be like, “she is hungry and that is making her go bonkers.”
Then slowly, when I sensed her acceptance to hear, I would either re-direct her to another activity or communicate to ‘just move to the next step’. Not a lot of communication, but just moving beyond that situation.
Communication- slow and short – with lots of looking into the eyes directly.
Conjoin- was the next step of ‘walking with her through the next step of actions.’
Getting her to put the upsetting moments behind her, with no guilt feeling, no remorse, and no thoughts actually…. Was important for me.
Based on the ABC teacher’s training, it is important to keep that happiness factor of the child high. I needed to do the same thing here.
Also, a huge emphasis was placed at ABC (@abcchildrens center ) about ‘walking a child through a challenging moment by re-directing and curiosity curriculum, with a slow steady effort to make the child forget the pattern of his/her inappropriate actions. Any talk about the actions, was always done in a general neutral tone. Consecutively, Praise and positive reinforcement are the addon effective actions to nail down the behavior management of children.
Today, after over 3 years of constantly working on it, I feel good of my mother-daughter relations. We are a team. She is very ‘unlike’ me and a mirror of her ‘Dad’.
But that makes us a perfect ‘TEAM’ now.