RealMama Week, Day 6
I couldn't resist another opportunity to share another nugget of wisdom from Leslie Potter of Purejoy Parenting. A huge thank to you Leslie for her work in improving the art of parenting! <3
I've noticed, when having an agenda, my daughter, simply refuses to engage. Today, coming in from the grocery, I asked her to unload one of the bags. I'd taken her to lunch, bought her a sweet treat and driven her to a friend's house so I thought asking her to unload one little bag would be a piece of cake. Well, the truth is, I felt like she owed me this one small little favor since I'd given so much earlier. Ahhhh...the agenda reveals itself.
Now you might be thinking, hey Leslie, you are just teaching her how to help out at home....or maybe you are thinking she is going to get the wrong message if I don't require her to help out. And if you are, all of these thoughts ran through my head as she growled and claimed she wouldn't unload the bag. I took a deep breath and tried my big voice saying, "Meili, it is just one bag and I want you to unload it now." Growling she started emptying the bag, but slammed the goods on the table refusing to put them in the fridge.
I felt an intense heat rising in my body, as my trigger engaged. Clearly my words were not producing the results I desired. I knew, in my heart, what I was about to say was NOT what I wanted to say but before I could stop out spewed. "Alright then, I guess I won't be taking you to lunch or getting you a treat anymore." As those ugly words came tumbling out of my mouth, the dreaded blackmail move engaged.
As I looked at my precious daughter I knew that was NOT how I wanted to teach her to get support. Remembering, I'm the role model, I took a deep breath and said, "wow, what just came out of my mouth, isn't what I really wanted to say." What I wanted to say is, "I love you and I see you are in a big hurry to get out the door to your friends." And the moment I opened into a receptive place, including her agenda in the space, she looked at me and said, "I'm happy to help you, mom." Ah, can it really be this easy? Only when I remember to stay open, taking responsibility for my agendas, knowing she is not here to serve them. It wasn't that she didn't want to help, it was that I was only thinking about my agenda and forgot to include her.
Practice: Become aware when you meet resistance in your child. When you do, ask yourself if your agenda is playing out, determined to defend and justify its position. See if you are willing to drop your agenda, open to receiving your child and then see what happens. Let me know what you find out!
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