Sunday, April 5, 2015

C & D - Connection as Discipline

Well, I am going to cheat for C and do D at the same time because I have gotten behind. Surprise. Considering that I’m winging it and forgot about the challenge until the day before, this is not exactly unexpected. I had a great idea for writing a fictional piece about a controversial doctor, but I just never could get that fleshed out. So I’m settling on something that will be easy for me so that I can hopefully move on tomorrow. It’s connection as discipline. What is that? Well, there’s a saying: Connect before you correct. That just means instead of barking orders, you connect with your child first. When you think about it, it just makes sense. All humans crave connection. For some reason, this gets lost in parenting. It’s much too easy to end up becoming dictators barking out orders for our kids to follow so that we can get to the next item on our To Do list. We lose sight of what’s important – the relationship. We blow the connection over a million different things every day. Well, I do. But what does it look like to connect before you correct? Let’s say you’re trying to get your child ready to go somewhere and he needs a diaper change. You can pick him up and take him against his will. Or you can go over to him, make a comment on what he is doing and then tell him it’s time for a diaper change after you’ve connected. It doesn’t have to take long. In fact, sometimes those short little connections can make all the difference in their cooperation level. Of course you want to connect in big ways too. It’s not always easy, but connection as discipline seems to work better than screaming or being harsh. It always seems to work better when you get to the heart of the matter. And people, not just children, are usually going to respond better when they feel connected. It’s just how we are wired.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

B - Bus

I sneak a peek through the blinds, hoping he doesn’t notice. I can barely make out his form in the darkness. He doesn’t want much to do with me anymore. I wipe some sleep from my eyes. What happened to my little boy? The one who used to light up when he saw me? The one who was so eager to tell me everything that I thought he would burst into flames? We used to chat while I made him breakfast. Now he eats alone because he wants it that way. We used to sit together while he waited on the bus in the dark. Now I am reduced to spying on him from the window because he doesn’t want me there. I shield my eyes from the flashing lights of the approaching school bus. My teenaged son chats with the neighbor kids as he boards the bus. I brush away a tear as I close the blinds and drag myself back to bed.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A is for Aggravation

Aggravated. Seems that's my state of mind lately. Aggravated with the kids. Aggravated with difficult people. Life can seem like one annoyance after another. I even get aggravated with myself when I snap at everyone. Or I stay up too late. Or I'm tired. Again. I can live in a constant state of aggravation (or anger, for that matter.). Or I can accept what is and make the best of it. I can recognize all the big and small aggravations as chances to grow. Acceptance. Yeah. I think that's what's needed. Just accepting what is...Accepting that kids are just doing what they do. And that's okay. Accepting that I mess up constantly. I stay up too late. I eat too much chocolate. I don't do the things I know I should do. And that's okay. Accept it. Own it. Stop fighting it. Accept. Accept the flaws in other people and in myself. Accept the annoyances and the interruptions. Stop fighting the way things *should* be and accept the way they actually *are*. Funny thing happens when you do that. You feel a lot less aggravated.