image courtesy of http://www.thegodjourney.com/
In the middle of Tantrums, Whining, Bedtime Fights, Disrespect, we must must must remember WETIP.
Danny and Sheri Silk encourage us to never take our child’s struggle personally. It is THEIR struggle.
The imagery he uses is that we are the cloud that covers our child as she struggles. We are protecting them from the outside world, and we are protecting the world from our child.
Danny has 5 key phrases in the midst of children’s disrespectful attitude and tantrums and struggles.
1. I know.
2. Probably so.
3. I don’t know.
4. That could be.
5. Nice try.
The point of these phrases are to keep you levelheaded. And it keeps you from trying to “fix” everything when your child is in the midst of struggle.
Even if your child is being disrespectful to you (which more than likely they are), if she can’t push your buttons to get you to do something, you will see the disrespect stop. (Later on, he addresses how to deal with the disrespect. But he emphasizes that in the midst of emotional struggles, THAT is not the best teaching moment.)
We have put these phrases up in our kitchen to remind us what to say. When we SOOO badly want to lecture or yell or having a biting comment, we are trying to remember these phrases. And usually the phrases come out through gritted teeth at first, but as the moment passes, I am able to genuinely mean the words and say them with a calm tone.
Two other phrases he encourages are “oh, no!” and “No Problem.”
“oh, no” is for when things don’t go your child’s way and you genuinely are sad for them. You let them know that you care but you are not going to fix it.
“No problem” honestly means that there isn’t no problem for me (as your mama), but there’s a possible problem coming up for you. Put a smile on my face because it’s not my problem.
The next biggest thing he promotes is options. Give your kids lots and lots and lots of opportunities to choose between 2 options. Both options must make you estatically happy.
They get to choose between the 2 options you give them, but they aren’t allowed to pick outside those options. If they do, they give the right to choose the option to you!
The big one we use in our house is “Are you going to be fun or are you going to go to your room?”
It’s not about punishment. They can go to their room and do whatever they want to do, but they get to choose between a shared environment with me (and the rest of the family) by showing respect and self control OR some alone time in their room (or wherever the designated spot will be).
It’s very important to pose this as a question so she has the opportunity to choose. If she won’t choose, then we ask (all prompted by Mr. Silk) “do you want to walk or do you want me to carry you?” (Danny Silk says, “feet on the ground (walking)or feet in the air (carried)?”)
It’s important that our children take responsibility in Learning.
This is the process Danny Silk took us through for them to learn naturally.
1. Give them a task I know they can handle.
2. Hope they fail. They will learn that failing is not fatal. It gives me the chance to teach how to manage myself (not her), how it is safe to fail in front of me, and how to use me as a “storehouse of wisdom.”
3. When they fail, let consequences and empathy teach lessons. Come along side them, but allow the child to own the problem. Consequences of their decision will lead to another decision. If we bring anger, it separates us from our children. (this is where “oh, no” comes in).
4. Give them the task to do again as you cheer on your child. Of course this is all determined if the task that is something affordable. If they are going to cross a busy street, you don’t wait for them to make a choice. You jump in and protect them. But if they are needing to participate in cleaning the house or eat their meal, you can certainly use this process.
By using this process you help them connect the choices I make and the quality of my life.