These next 3 posts are simple ways to improve your relationship with your little, the reception of the ‘no’ and the experience as a whole.
Before I began being more intentional with the discipline and teaching of my boy I would talk to him from my height of 5’7″ or from my place on the couch.
I still do that some, but I have found he is much more receptive to my teaching when I am on his level.
When I go over to him and kneel down and look at his face he finds it a little more difficult to just keep doing the thing he’s not supposed to do.
It also has the benefit of softening my heart toward him and his actions.
When I get down on his level I remember how small he is.
When I look in his eyes I can connect with his inner conflict. I see different needs in his eyes from what his behavior seems to call for. I can see a need to have fun, or interact, or be given attention. I can think about whether he is hungry or tired.
Getting on his level makes me consider him instead of me. I can connect more effectively and our time is better spent.
I might see more of the story. I might see reasons for his struggle to obey instead of attributing it to stubbornness and reacting accordingly.
When I go to him instead of trying to control from a distance I show him that he is more important to me than whatever activity I am doing at the moment.
I am trying to reprogram my brain to show that I care more about him than whatever I’m doing. Because it is true. He is my focus and my priorities are circled around his (and the rest of my family’s) well-being. I just need to reorder my activities and program my mind, brain and heart to respond appropriately.
Stay on his level – it makes your heart feel more gentle.
What are practices you have adopted to stay connected to you child and soften your heart toward him as you redirect his behavior?
7 thoughts on “10: connect on his level.”
I struggle with the distance discipline. I tend to yell what I don’t want them doing from my seat. I think I am going to challenge myself the rest of this week to get to their level and go to them when they need to be talked to.
You’ve been offering some very interesting views and observations. I never would have guessed that parenting would have been my best education…not only for my daughter but for me. I found that much of my best parenting has come out of really understanding child development, what our children are capable of understanding at any given time. Who they are and what we should and shouldn’t be expecting of them. Some good/hard learning that has not only benefited my daughter, but me, my husband, and our entire extended family.
May I suggest the work of Dr. Laurie Markham, http://www.ahaparenting.com/ages-stages/toddlers/discipline-managing-toddler, the Parenting Passageway blog (http://thoseyoungmoms.com/tag/the-parenting-passageway/) and the Clean blog by Rachel Jepson Wolf as a few great resources on your journey http://lusaorganics.(typepad.com/clean/2012/02/ten-steps-to-peaceful-parenting.html)
I try to gather the good stuff on my Pinterest Parenting page if you are interested.
I’ll have to check out those links! Parenting has been quite the larning experience so far!
Loving this whole series, but popping in on every post to say, “Yes, that’s awesome!” would be monotonous. :)
Getting down on their level is huge. Reminds me that a lot of what they’re doing is learning not trying to be onery.
Great series, great writing. Your organization is awesome. :) GO you!
Aww thanks! :) we’ll see how well I. Finish!
I’m enjoying this series so much but this particular post stepped on my toes. When my oldest was little I did this well. The life and three more kids happened. I must remember to humble myself, kneel, and discipline. Those actions (and the results) are very different from my current mode of self-centered, sitting, and yelling. Thanks for writing!
Thanks for commenting, Angie! It is so hard to do this, even with just two! I am so not consistent yet!