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Category Archives: Gentle Discipline

Anger is Wasted On Children

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The kitchen renovation was the reason for most of it. Work, the full moon and the icing on the cake was when my 7 year old acquired new sassy back chat antics from hanging out with some friends. Her ‘new‘ attitude pushed me over the limit. I got angry. REALLY ANGRY! And, for days too! I did stuff I normally don’t do, like take away their toys and threaten that we wouldn’t go do the fun stuff they like to do, etc. Some people get angry more easily than others. I am one of those people!

Did my anger make them cooperate more?

Nope.

It was such a waste! And, I knowwwww better! But, that old record player somehow took over. That voice in your head that REACTS instead of responds.

After a few days of me being angry, and it getting me nowhere, I was ready to give up! Give up on what exactly… I’m not sure. But GIVE UP! And, I was sure that if I gave up and stopped being angry, that my children would walk all over me for the rest of my life.

I told them we were GETTING OUT OF THE HOUSE (capital letters for my tone of voice), for a walk. They skipped ahead of me, laughing and blabbering away. We had just had a yelling/crying match a few minutes ago, and here they were oblivious to the fact that my mind was still reeling! I laughed at myself.

My anger meant nothing to them. It was not their anger and they would rather not have any part of it. At the moment of my epiphany, I took out my phone to take a picture of them walking down the path. When they saw me pull out the phone, they stuck out their butts, as if to rub it in my face that their joy had triumphed over my anger. The baby locked eyes with me and drooled. Awww….

Kids live in the present moment. Anger, to them, lasts for less time than it takes for a tear to dry. An adult’s anger doesn’t teacher a child ANYTHING worthwhile. An adult’s anger only confuses, creates fear and causes disconnect, which causes MORE undesirable behavior. A child who laughs at an adult’s anger is actually expressing fear. You might have experienced this and it’s infuriating! The more angry you get, the more they laugh and giggle! This happens because it’s too painful for children to bear the anger. It makes them scared. And, laughter is the antidote for fear.

I could see where if you didn’t know any other way of getting kids to cooperate, you would think that you needed to get more serious about your anger towards a child in order to get her to cooperate. But, it just doesn’t work!

Tonight, for about half an hour, we sat and played the silliest game of Snap. We were cheating and lying and laughing and laughing. Kids RESPOND to laughter. They RESPOND to fairness and silliness. It was only me. It was ALL me! As soon as my attitude changed, they were back to ‘normal‘. After the game, I quickly brushed their teeth and they fell asleep, without a complaint and with their total cooperation. Without a worry. Without any fear. Their cups were full. They were happy to have me back. And, I was happy to be back too!

Luckily, kids live in the present moment, so they’ll easily forget about the turd I was to them for a couple days.

To get more ideas on how to use play to get more cooperation from your children, I highly recommend reading the book, “Attachment Play” by Aletha Solter. 

Getting Kids to Cooperate In One Simple Step

 

 

Katesurfscooperate

Think about how many times you ask or tell a child to do something throughout the day…

I bet it’s a lot.

Do you ever think they get sick of hearing you tell them what to do all day?

You betcha. Read the rest of this entry

When Your Nurtured Child Acts Aggressive: 7 Gentle and Effective Ways to Make It Stop

Katesurfsagro

It’s a stab to the heart… When your gently raised child starts biting, hitting, pushing and smacking. You always hear that children learn by watching their parents… but YOU do not bite, hit, push or smack, so why is your child? It’s baffling and it can become quite frustrating to deal with. Deep down in your heart, you know that you’re doing the right thing by being a gentle parent, but you seriously start questioning yourself and don’t know what to do. Read the rest of this entry

Why Are Kids Getting Into Trouble For Being Kids?

Trouble

My girls had asked for permission to get wet in one of the fountains at the playground. I told them it was ok because we had a change of clothes in the car. Read the rest of this entry

My Four Year Old Doesn’t Know What the Word ‘Naughty’ Means

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NaughtyKatesurfs

A few months ago, we were walking with a friend and we saw some older kids in the neighborhood getting into some mischief. My friend said to my daughter, “Those boys are being naughty!” My daughter looked at me and whispered, “What does ‘naughty’ mean?  Read the rest of this entry

Be a Mother Not a Martyr: When Gentle Parenting Seems to Bite You in the Butt

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Mothernotamartyr2

Martyr: One who makes great sacrifices or suffers much in order to further a belief, cause or principle.

Ok, if you’ve read the title and you know me, you might be thinking, now wait a minute Kate, you ARE the craziest gentle attachment parent I know. Tandem breastfeeding, cosleeping, babywearing, elimination communication around the clock, gentle parenting extraordinaire. And, here I am saying not to be a martyr? Yup, I’m saying it! Read the rest of this entry

Old School Discipline is Irrelevant: What We Do Instead

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Ditchthediscipline

I was trying to fold some laundry, but my kids were up to all of their typical annoying anti-laundry folding assault techniques. You know, sitting on the folded towels and pulling the middle shirt out of the pile, which in turn knocked the whole pile over, etc. My first thought was, “OMG! Really, just let me fold the f*cking laundry!Read the rest of this entry

When Sh*t Falls Apart: Remember, You Are Not the Voices in Your Head

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photo-8

My kids were bouncing around on the bed tonight, singing ‘Ring Around the Rosie‘. I told Margo (the older one) to stop (for the eighteen millionth time) because the little one is still a toddler and clumsy on her feet. Margo didn’t really listen and I didn’t really have the energy to pull them apart soooo… a minute later, they were crumpled up in a heap on the bed, crying and clutching at their freshly sustained injuries. The little one had a bloody mouth and the big kid had been bashed on the head by some sharp flying body part, like an elbow or chin. Both were hurt and both were crying really hard. Read the rest of this entry