Life at the moment feels as if is going at a pace, racing ahead and away from me. Smoothing over the up and downs in friendships, keeping up with the demands which school and work bring, wanting to pull everyone just that little bit closer.
It has got me thinking about just stepping back and reflecting on how I can make this parenting journey that I am on a peaceful one. I made a conscious decision many moons ago to parent without confrontation, without argument and without being authoritarian. Sometimes, when life gets fraught and we lose our way with it all, it is good to remind ourselves why we choose to parent peacefully.
Recognising that our role as parents is to hold that place of safety round our children.
Understanding that little things are big things, huge things even, to little people.
Developing positive attachment and affectionate bonds.
Because it is catching! And has an impact on how we all work through.
How can we go about parenting peacefully in our everyday lives?
- Take turns in talking – walks home from school are great and landmarks help me with knowing whose turn it is next to share the good and the not so good about their day, so that it is all fair.
- Listen, without interrupting (other siblings too) and reflecting back, affirming e.g. ‘that must have been difficult / exciting’ etc.
- Pick your battles and asking in the grand scheme of things, does this really matter?
- Talk about boundaries, why they are there and what for. Show them how precious they are and how boundaries keep them safe.
- Roleplay often takes the heat out of a situation, provides distraction and usually diffuses the situation whereby little ones usually find a way through and come to their own conclusion about ways forward.
- Model behaviour, talking, communication, as well as the physical stuff.
- Games – imaginative play, building, creating…
- Get outside – walking, playing, talking, noticing, collecting.
- Think about how we would like to be spoken to. Respect is crucial.
- Looking for the positives and get in there first – children love praise!
- Be with them while they work through it, cuddling or sitting with them – whether it is a tantrum or tears, being on their level physically and sometimes maybe even being the spokesperson: ‘Katie wanted to say sorry to you, Joshua, and ask if you are ok?’.
- Keeping both close by, the one who caused the hurt as well as the one who is upset.
- Moving on, once it has been worked through.
- Surround yourself with other like minded parents!
And lastly, work at it! It is your journey.