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Honour the Child

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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Tuesday, 29 April 2008
Rowan is 2.5.
I just had surgery and can't lift her up.
She knows this and is using it against me.
No, I am not paranoid, or projecting things on to her.
She has me over a barrel right now.

We practice, as much as we are able, Unconditional Parenting. We don't use punishments or rewards. We try to work with our daughter rather than do things to her. We don't spank, do timeouts, or count to three to get her to move. Combined with a healthy does of playful parenting, we usually chug along just fine. But there are times when our chosen tools don't work!

Lately, Rowan has been tuning us out. Last week I said "You're not listening to me, are you?" She smiled and said "nope.". This weekend I told he I had the remote and was turning on her listening ears. I pressed my button and she promptly reached up to each ear and said 'click, I turned them off again." (she is *very* verbal kid). Argh.

Last night I was in pain (infected incisions), hungry, tired and my husband was still at work. I needed to get Rowan to her bath and bed. She didn't want to come (transitions are tough at this age) so I went up and ran the tub and told her to come along (she generally does). She didn't. I went back down and she laid on the floor and ignored me. In this case I would usually give her a chance to move before picking her up. Not an option, and she darn well knew it.

I had nothing. I wasn't going to bribe or beg or cajole. I should have gone to the playful parenting mode, but I was too miserable. I got angry. I told her I was starting to get angry (we try to own our emotions!) and she said, very understandingly "That's ok mommy, it's ok to get angry. It's a feeling". AHHHHH!

I muttered to myself something about wishing spanking was an option (while realizing it wasn't, because, well, we don't hit, but also because it was totally anger driven!) and Rowan perked up. "What's that?"
"Ya, what it is?"
"Well, it is when someone hits your bum and it hurts."
And at this she promptly jumped up, grabbed her puppy/lovey and ran upstairs and into her room, all cooperative sweetness!

I did explain that I would not spank her, that we don't hit each other. She hugged me with a 'gently hug' as she calls it since my surgery and went off to bed without a hitch.

While I achieved my ends that time, I didn't feel good about it and it made clear to me the need to be prepared for next time with more effective tools and options! It also made very clear to me what the next, oh, 16 years might be like ~ somehow i don't think my remote for the listening ears is going to be very effective!


Nicole said...

That is a wonderful post! Omg...I couldn't stop smiling, thinking of all the times my now 17 yr old and 6 yr old "have me over the barrel).


woolies said...

Great story. I yearn for those days....(I have a 15 year old and a almost 13 year old.....)

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