1 - Say “no” (Attachment)

We start saying no when our kids are babies and it may even be an important milestone for us as disciplinarians – I remember the first time I said no to my first child and he understood and accepted it as the final word on the matter – what an easy day that was. 
 
Beside the fact that “no” is often the first word babies say and beside the inherent negativity of it, the main problem is the lack of connection and communication that accompanies it.  What if every time we are tempted to say no to our child, we see that moment as an opportunity to deepen our relationship and open up conversation with them.  After all, our children, especially as they get older don't give us many opportunities to talk to them, so we should take them when we can. 
 
Instead of saying no, ask a couple questions about their interests and what it is about what they want that intrigues them, then get a sense for what it is that's important to them and find a way to speak to that – possibly even relating it to your own childhood or even your current state.  Demonstrate through creative listening that you understand them, then relate to them your own situation and concerns or needs around the issue assuring them that their needs are as important as yours and that you would like to find a way to make sure that they are both honored. 
 
If you can muster the patience and empathy in the moment to even try this, the times when you really need the no and have little of either, it will be much more effective and received in a broader context where the child knows you care about their needs and they won't feel nearly as dismissed.
 
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