Guest mini blog – Vicki Wilkins, Parent Hope Project Community Programs Coordinator
I have been working for the Parent Hope Project for a few months now and trying to apply the Confident Parent principles in how I parent. I have three strong-willed small children, and frustration levels often run high!
Making small changes, including parenting by my principles, holding these boundaries and speaking from “I” statements, have reduced my frustration and the exhaustion of toddler battles.
Recently I was with my 3-year-old picking up his big sister from school. He wanted me to come to the other side of the playground when I told him I was waiting where I was for my daughter to leave her classroom: cue massive tantrum, screaming on the grass in front of an audience of parents!
I thought through my options of trying to negotiate, empathise and emotionally coach him through his tantrum, but at the end of an already long day, I did not have the energy for this. I took a deep breath, told him I loved him, and I wasn’t going to the other side of the playground. He was welcome to play in an area nearby, but I was not going to come while waiting for my daughter.
A few minutes later, he picked himself up and proceeded to play nearby, and we did go to the other side of the playground when his sister was out of school. He worked through his emotions, and I was much calmer for not getting deeply involved in his feelings. A friend who watched the whole incident later mentioned how freeing the approach was, not getting drawn into negotiation and emotionally coaching by gently holding to my principles.
Vicki Wilkins, Parent Hope Project Community Programs Coordinator
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