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I wanted to share something I just read:<br><br>
It is really long, but I found it profoundly insightful. Naomi Aldort wrote it.<br><br>
Pat<br>
____________________________________<br><br><br>
Today's theme: Sibling hitting<br><br>
Many of you have already discovered the clarity and joy that come when we question our own stressful thoughts. My new site <a href="http://www.TheWorkForParents.com" target="_blank">http://www.TheWorkForParents.com</a> will focus on self-realization through parenting.<br><br>
Those of you who have taken phone sessions and workshops with me are familiar with my talk on how obeying your mind is not always the path you really want to take. When your child acts in ways that don't fit with your ideals, watch the "window" that opens automatically inside your head, but don't read it out loud nor follow its instructions. The Work, or Inquiry, is a way of questioning the mind rather than obeying it blindly. It originates with Byron Katie, and is explained in her book "Loving What Is."<br><br>
When your mind tells you to scold your child, you can question the validity of what it says and gain clarity. Is it true that you want to scold your child? Do you really believe that she shouldn't annoy her sister? How do you treat your child when you take the voice in your head for truth? How would you treat her if that voice wasn't even there? Only when you realize that she should annoy her sister, can you actually figure out why, and help her. Realizing that the child is doing the best for her own sake, helps us shift from negating her, to finding productive solutions to real needs. What we think often gets in the way of loving our children.<br><br>
We sometimes obey our mind when we don't even believe what it says. We do this automatically because we haven't learned to stop and question what it says. Inside of you, you always know what to do and how to love your child unconditionally. Yet, this capacity can be obstructed by recycled thoughts. Here is an example of a mother who realized that a thought prevented her from effective and loving response to her child's need.<br><br>
(Scenario and names are always changed. This story is so common that<br>
many of you will assume it is about your children.) Martha's five-year-old daughter, Jasmine, was aggressive toward her 18-month-old brother. She refused to let her brother play with her toys, and pushed him when he destroyed her tower of blocks or messed with her dolls. She even pushed him out of the blue when he did nothing at all. Martha tried to explain to her about the baby's innocence, and eventually became angry and annoyed with her daughter. The result? Jasmine's aggression naturally escalated and her relationship with Mom was falling apart.<br><br>
This is when Martha called me for a phone session. Martha's confusing thoughts were, "My daughter shouldn't hit her baby brother," and, "My daughter should be considerate of the baby's needs." Believing these thoughts she felt angry and impatient with her child. Martha stopped to investigate these thoughts and found that they were not true. As she did the inquiry she understood why her daughter should, under these conditions, hit her baby brother. She realized that her five-year-old child could not give up her own needs for the sake of another, and could not even understand that he has his own existence, passions and limitations. And, she could not control her own reaction when her brother got in her way. With this clarity Martha said, "Oh, that's simple then. When I believe that she can be considerate of the baby, I don't care for her needs; I don't even see her needs. In a way I "hit" my daughter by being inconsiderate of her and by scolding her." Not only did Martha realize that her expectation wasn't valid, but also that she could benefit from the same lesson she was trying to teach her child. The next day she created an enclosed space for her daughter, where she could have her toys and dolls out of the baby's reach.<br><br>
As long as Martha believed that her daughter should prioritize the<br>
baby's needs over herself, it didn't occur to her to put her daughter's toys and creations out of the baby's reach. Once the truth is revealed, clarity shows up and effectiveness is the natural result. We all adopt ideals and expectations which deny a child her way of being. When we obey these thoughts we are blind to the most obvious and simple solutions. When I think my child shouldn't hit, I am unlikely to discover why he needs to hit and how to offer loving solutions. If I am at the mercy of my thought that my child shouldn't have a tantrum, when he does, I end up feeling anxious and failing as a parent. If I believe the thought that we should be able to eat in a restaurant with the children and the reality is they cannot stay in their seats, I have a stressful dinner.<br><br>
Does it mean that your child will always have tantrums or that you will never be able to go out to eat with your children or get enough sleep? These too are thoughts that lead you away from enjoying your child in the moment. These thoughts prevent you from being effective and unconditionally loving. How do you know what your child needs and what she is ready for? Watch her. It is that simple. I watch what you need in your parenting and I give what I have.<br><br>
With love, Copyright Naomi Aldort
 

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Thanks for sharing. Easy to read, but hard to put into practice. I find it especially difficult when it comes to sibling hitting.<br><br>
I was trying to control myself when ds1 hit ds2, but then I became very torn. ds2 would actually cry when he heard the word "no." Ds would say "no" and hit him if he came near his toys, etc.<br><br>
I just could not allow this. Ds1 enjoys respect and has done so since his birth. I just did not feel it was right for ds2 to suffer so much even if it was justified and normal behavior for ds2.<br><br>
I decided to take a not so gentle aproach and risk with ds1 as a sort of compromise between ds1 enjoying gd and ds2 suffering through a siblings very hurtful and scary outburts. I instituted a time out which I only use for when he hits ds2. I don't warn him or anything, I just say, "I cannot let you hurt people, it is my job to keep you both safe. When you know you won't hit you can come play again."<br><br>
I know it is appropriate behavior, etc., but that didn't change the damage it was doing to ds2. I tryed giving him his own space, but he is only two and doesn't want his own space.<br><br>
I would welcome other suggestions.
 

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Thanks
 
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