My Journey as a Mother

Parenting 101: Having the Will to Accept

Have you been calling your child for the 10th time now?

How does it feel when your child does not respond immediately to your request?
Why does NOT responding to your request anger you?

Why do you want an immediate response from your child?

Does not responding to your request affect your ego as a parent?

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Parenting 101: First Things First

Do you have the will to accept things just the way they are when it comes to your child? Are you willing to pause (remain silent) and observe for a few minutes without judging yourself or your child?

On a Bad Mood Day

On my days with a bad mood, I used to be in a constant state of anger. Sometimes, I am overwhelmed with home things or work stuff. It has nothing to do with my daughter not responding at all, but that fragile being has to bear my bad mood.

Parenting 101: Question 1: How many times have we blamed the kid to cover up our mess? This question has haunted me for a while now.

Problem: Have you felt tongue-tied and did not stand up to someone for something they said?

What Happens: Affects your mental health. You feel frustrated when you are not able to address daily issues at home or work. The pressure on your mind is immense that you want to cry or shout.

Actual Solution: Polite talks address more issues than rude ones. Also, it gives you accountability.

Reality: Come home, yell at that little kid, then feel guilty about whole life.

Problem: Have you scrolled or binge watched something due to which dinner is delayed?

What Happens: You’re angry about breaking your routine and blame it on the kid.

Actual Solution: It happens when you feel you don’t have enough breaks. Also, it happens when you’re feeling a little tired or exhausted or just that you need company that particular day. You wish you could ask your partner to offer you company in the kitchen.

When you are blamed, do you point fingers at the kid? In general, whatever happens, if you don’t take responsibility for yourself, you will put it on the kid.

On those Good Days

On my best days, I understand that her mind is processing my request. I call once or twice with a request, but then choose to wait for at least 20 seconds before she responds. If there is still no response, I take a 2 minute break or a 20 seconds break and then call to her just once.

I’ll tell you that children are going to test your patience to the greatest level. Sometimes all days of the week. At other times, they’d listen to you just a day which will give you a week’s happiness.

I’ve noticed that what gets resolved in 2 minutes if I take a break to breath takes 20 minutes to an hour, if I yell. The entire scene will get repeated. There will be over apologizing from my end followed by feelings of guilt and giving treats to calm down. Even though I know that’s not the right diversion, by the end of it I’m exhausted and need that peace or I might cry.

If I take a 2 minute break and send her a 2 minute notice in advance, things get a little better. This works even if we need to go out somewhere and we’re already running late. I’ll tell you that another 2 minutes delay is worth it. Some will follow through in less than 5 minutes, whereas some will come your way within 10 minutes.

This works for TV time too. When I say, “Alright, this is the last episode”, she reaches my page after an extra episode. It’s okay to slowly pull the strings.

Parenting 101: Tip 1: Give Time to Respond

By Montessori method, it is ideal to give 20 seconds for the child to respond to any request. I’d like to say follow up with a word or two related to your question and give another 20 seconds to respond. At times this might go to a minute. Still, counting and breathing helps you to stay calm and become aware of your mood. The child needs time to prepare a response to tell you.

Though it might look simple to us, it’s a long and complicated process for your little one. We have all failed many times everyday. Remember reacting is super easy. Responding to your child’s request takes time. However, the child always responds, never reacts. Hence they take a lot of time.

Also remember that changing from reacting to responding doesn’t happen overnight. We need to become aware of our emotions, responses, reactions, accept them and then change it to a response to suit your child and situation.

Our damages and healing plays a vital role here. The amount of damage we have already caused the child is also important here. The healing for both will take a while. The trust the child needs is going to be filled with love, forgiveness, understanding and letting them be. Sometimes it will take weeks or months, but sure we’ll get there.

Have the Will to Accept

Parenting 101 – Tip 2 – Have the willingness to accept any situation as it is.

It is important to be consistent with your request, but it is more important to be consistent with your response. There are many sections to practicing overall parenting today – yell-free, positive parenting, gentle parenting, etc., Choose which one you want to start with, but first start with ACCEPTANCE and OBSERVING in parenting.

Initially, even if you are being soft and polite, the kids will test you deeply. They are waiting for you to shout, yell or raise your hand – whatever that response had been before for their behaviour – to do that regular thing.

Even though you talk nice and sweet to get the work done, your facial expressions, the way you touch your child and your gestures will be more meaningful to them. Non-verbal communication is more important.

It is always better to be open and truthful about your feelings with children. They understand and want to help you always. If you are worried , angry or frustrated over something else, let them know. You need not narrate the entire incident, just tell them something that happened today has made you feel so. When you tell it you will feel a bit better.

Immediately you will understand that your child has nothing to do with that emotion of yours. It’s entirely your responsibility. Best of all, you yelled not because of the child. That could give you a whole lot of UNDERSTANDING of the situation and your child would be willing to hug you before you could.

2 thoughts on “Parenting 101: Having the Will to Accept

  1. These pointers took me back to my childhood. My mum has always had the habit of unburdening her frustrations on us without us having any part to play in it. Her moods and reactions terrified us. As a mother, I made a note of these things and made sure that I did not repeat the same with my child. And I am glad I did. Thanks for reiterating such experiences so beautifully in this post.

    1. Thank you for dropping by Vinodini.
      I have been there too and some of the damages have come out as I became a mother. However, the acceptance has helped me heal better and become a conscious parent to my child.

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