Tuesday, February 21, 2006

less frazzled...

Yes, indeed, life has become a lot less frazzled lately. Mostly due to the fact that we are under voluntary house arrest from Annika's sad throat. "Why is my throat so sad, mummy?" she asked me last night. Your throat is sad? "Yes! it's so sad it's crying and i'm having a hard time swallowing its tears!" And she took a big gulp of the flem sliding down the back of her throat. She was up every 40 minutes or so all night long, herself crying from her very sore, sad throat. I'd give her a sip of rooibos tea or lemon water and she'd slide back into a restless, feverish sleep. I don't often find it necessary to force my children's fevers down with ibuprophen or the like, and hers broke on its own around 5 this morning. It's nearly 11 and she's still sleeping, as I would like to be!!! Pedar slept in his own bed for the first time in months -- and I found myself wondering if his angels were rocking him, holding him, comforting him in order that I could attend to his sister. I said a prayer of thanks, knowing that something extraordinary was going on...
I went to a talk by Alfie Kohn, author of "Unconditional Parenting" last week and his powerful words and passionate stories have revolutionized my life. Of course I wish I had learned all this long before I ever started parenting, but perhaps I wasn't ready for the concepts then. I'm not even going to try to summarize his wisdom here, but I feel very powerfully that every parent should be forced (!) to read his book or watch the DVD under the same name.
Just one quote that sings in my head: "There is something inherently STUPID about trying to make children into better people by making them feel bad." okay, one more "The more you use power to try to control your children, the less influence you will have on their lives. "
And so! It's been an adventure, this week, reparenting myself by choosing in each moment to respect and honour my children, choosing to be their compassionate ally instead of their dictator... Choosing to put my vision of who I want them to be as adults (kind, generous, loving, self-actualized, joyful, self-confident, passionate, aware, ethical, responsible, empathic, healthy, creative, free...) ahead of how I want them to behave as children. Not that this hasn't been the goal all along! But something in his message finally rang the bell deep enough within me to really initiate deep and lasting (!) change...
Hallellujah!

2 comments:

SRJ said...

'The more you use power to try to control your children, the less influence you will have on their lives.'

it's sort of like the more you try the more they resist you!
I guess it goes without saying that 'trying' doesn't work. But just 'being (present)' is what does work...
love you!xoxoxox

cherry said...

wow. sounds inspiring, will have to check it out. tell us more!
being a childs ally instead of a controlling parent sounds so much more right and real.
xx