I’m taking an amazing class called “Simplicity Parenting” and I love it.
It’s really made me think about all aspects of my parenting and the message’s I want to send to my children by how I respond to situations and to them.
The most valuable so far has been around family values. It’s interesting to actually sit down and write out the “values” that I am interested in fostering and protecting in our family and the actions I take or discussions that I have with the kids as it relates to the actions, behavior, or habits we develop in the home. I’ve found it to be a starting point for collaboration with them and one that seems to be having an impact… at least on one of them.
Last night my son ( age 6) was enjoying a one way dialog on a subject I call “poopy” talk. What is it with boys and poop, phart, pee-pee, burp, penis, booger, butt, smelly butt, “Ba”-gina and every other orifice and unpleasant word and function of the human body that requires constant hommage and reference? My daughter has taken the high road in these situations and simply looks at him over her glasses in her oh so mature nine year old way and simply says:
“Really Shaw?” in such a way that might create immediate shame and repentance in even the most criminal of behavior.
It simply makes him giggle with glee to have his discourse corrected by her and of course serves the purpose of having him ratchet it up a notch. Giving him the attention he wants has a way of now making the one who is calling him out the subject the OBJECT of his affection making it a much more “personal” attack on the caller – outers orifice’s. The talk turns to :
“YOU are a poopy head and YOUR butt smells….” ( for example)
I knew what was coming and planned on jumping in but I think she handled it beautifully:
“You know Shaw, since you are going into the first grade and still wet the bed it makes sense why you need to still act like a baby and use those words…. and, ….those words do not fit into our family value system at all… do they mom?”
Now… I find it fascinating that she used shame (which is not a family value) and blended it seamlessly with our family value system in order to pull rank in the situation.
But on the flip side?
It was effective – he stopped the potty talk in mid expletive, and she was able to divert his attention away from HER orifice’s and onto HIS.
Brilliant. That girl is going places.