i apologize for letting the thread dwindle away, but i'm back with a tiny bit of free time, so i'll start up a new week's thread and see who's still around...
this is the thread for parents trying to respect their children's autonomy, trying to guide and model more than correct and mold, parents attending to their own personal growth as they help their children to grow...
most of my personal energies this past week have been spent on dealing with my inner child and her reaction to the reunited family of origin, rather than my outer child and son, but that's another thread
i do have what feels like a success to me, but i can't exactly define why. my dd (4) and her cousin (5) were playing, more parallel play on dd's part, with dnephew trying to engage her in more cooperative play. she's already decided she doesn't like boys and she's frustrated that nick is faster and stronger than her. they were sitting on a bumper pool table and each guarding a pocket when nick started making a game of trying to get a cue ball past her into her pocket. when he succeeded, she wailed and wailed and nick braced for a lecture. (his parents have a different philosophy of childrearing). i just sat there, sorting through the different reax popping up in my mind (gently chastising nick for not respecting her wishes, telling maddie it was no big deal) but they all seemed wrong, and in the time it took me to figure out what i wanted to say, she feinted a swipe at him and wailed that she was so frustrated that nick was stronger than her, and it clicked that i didn't have to do anything.
i said to her that she was doing a great job of handling her frustration, that she hadn't hit anyone, she had just yelled, and that was alot of progress. at which point she wailed louder and interestingly, nic (who was looking pretty confused) put his hands over his ears and chanted, "i don't hear you." and then she was done and they were playing again.
i guess it was a success because my first reaction was to jump in and mediate and that would have been a mistake.
as for my dilemma, i've read on the taking children seriously site and elsewhere the philosophy that it's wrong to overpower your kids and that we should avoid taking things from them by force (ie, to punish them by taking a toy away from them) because that only teaches that might= right.
but, what do you do, if you're trying to follow this philosophy, when oldest child, after repeatedly saying she wants the toy her sibling has and being told not to take it from him, takes a toy from youngest. to restore the toy to youngest before the wailing gets too intense requires wresting the toy from the eldest.
did i need to be more creative as the conflict was brewing and direct her to some other toy, if that were even possible? any thoughts?
hope you're all doing well today. i'm finding that the day after christmas is bringing all sorts of unexpected behavioral problems and conflicts. oh joy.