Sometimes I hear myself throughout the day, I hear myself nagging, and directing and controlling. I don't know if as parents we can help it, if we can parent without conflict because not matter what at least once a day you have to request something from your child that they are not going to want to do. Brush your teeth, clean up, come for dinner, get your shoes on .....all simple requests but for some reason most come with a struggle a bribe and a hurried plead. I have been trying very hard to listen to myself and the children to slow down and remember that they are small and the day is big, the day is big for me so I can see how they feel the need to resist.
My husband and I have been changing our family ways over the past year, we have chosen to live a simpler life, to go out less, to eat in more, to talk more and listen more. We eat dinner together every night and our 2 year old can only seem to stay seated for about 10 minutes and nightly Daddy says to Max please eat with me I want to hear about your day. Just barley able to form a complete sentence Max is excited at this request and I translate what Daddy can't decipher as Max describes his daily highlights sometimes things that didn't happen that day but are clearly fond memories that we are excited to see he is forming.
What used to happen at our table was me begging and Max crying and both of us giving up frustrated. I was only focused on him eating his dinner forgetting that when you are two that's the last thing you are going to focus on. Mike and I used to talk between ourselves forgetting that little words needed to be heard. Now we listen and when he is done and we are all satisfied he is excused and we talk adult talk and listen to the chatter of make believe in the background and everyone is happy.
I am please with our approach to control our parenting instead of trying to control our child.
When our days seem to be filled with chaos and tantrums I encourage myself to be mindful of their world to take a deep breath and take time to listen.