Also, this exchange both amused and frustrated me:
Well, I don't think anyone likes to be told that they are being inconsiderate, but sometimes it needs to be said, don't you think so?
|My thing is, I feel it would be extremely inconsiderate for me to presume to tell someone else whether s/he has a valid reason to be upset.
So it's inconsiderate to tell someone they are being inconsiderate? LOL
I think that's the sign of a healthy relationship and interpersonal dynamic that we listen to each other even when it's not all sunshine and roses.
|Yes, I agree. However, I also see the ability to stop my "tantrum," and listen and be rational while someone else tells me what a jerk I'm being, as a real mark of maturity. It's way more maturity than many adults are able to muster up when their emotions are raging.
Well, first of all, I don't have "tantrums"--my form of being inconsiderate is to make plans or organize our day according to what my vision of our priorities is. If I'm failing to recognize the priorities of my daughters or DH, or if I'm weighting things too heavily toward my own priorities, it's good that they feel open to speak up about it. Sure, if I were a perfect and perfectly mature person I wouldn't do this in the first place, but heck, I'm just human, and so are the other members of my family. No one will go through life without ever being inconsiderate or unfair, or without bearing the brunt of someone else's unfairness. I think it's good to model directness and discourse about this kind of thing.
|So, I would see the ability to listen "when it's not all sunshine and roses" (I'm assuming this means when the storms are raging and thorns are pricking?) as something that maybe I should try to model for my dear children -- but not an ability that I'd expect them to have right-off-the-bat (especially since I don't consistently have this ability at age 43!).
Yes, I agree--I don't expect
them to do it at all. I don't chastise or punish for being "inconsiderate" or "unreasonable" or "unfair"--and I don't use those words to describe or label their behaviors, either. (I should interject that, of course--I'm talking about my ideals
--like all parents, I sometimes slip and use language that I know is not best.) I honestly and empathetically (as much as possible) explain the emotions and situation at hand to help DD1 think beyond her own desires, to understand that other needs/wants have to take first priority. I.e.:
"I know, it is so hard to leave the fair when you are having so much fun, isn't it? But tiny girl [that's what we call her sister
] has really got to get in the car so she can rest; see how unhappy she is? And we should get home so that we can have supper. How about we take one more ride on the carousel and then we hit the road, sound good?"
or, to take the case in point:
"Oh honey, it really would
be so much fun for you to have a pony in the backyard that you could ride to school every day, but the thing is that ponies are very
expensive to buy and take care of, and we just can't afford one. Also our yard is much too small for a pony to live in, and the pony would be really unhappy without a great big meadow to run around in every day. Maybe we can think of some other way that you can be around ponies."
And when I'm baldly putting my own personal needs above hers, I try to be honest about that, too:
"Sweetie, I know you really, really want to play a computer game with me right now, but the truth is I'm having a really hard day, and I'm super tired because tiny girl was up all night last night, and I just really, really need some grown-up quiet time so that I can be a better mommy to both of you in the afternoon. I am asking you to try to understand that, and to do me the really big favor of just playing on your own for a little while until I am better rested. Then we'll play a computer game or do something else fun that you want to do."
Truly, that's all I've been talking about. And if that seriously runs counter to what gentle discipline is all about, well then smack my a$$ and call me Sally, and I'll not darken this forum again.