Readers of yesterday’s post (below) will know that I was exploring the idea of being results-oriented or process-oriented in my parenting. The idea being that focussing solely on results (obedience, being heeded, etc.) eclipses the opportunity for greater learning, self-awareness and connection with my children. I hypothesised that, as in Yoga, transformation might occur during the process, the in-between bits, so perhaps they are worth noticing.
Today after a 23 hour experiment, I am here to report that one of the fruits of noticing the process when I am with my children is a general slowing down. And this slowing down engendered a greater self-awareness. In one example from yesterday, my second child was cross because I was taking my eldest to the shop to buy her a belt. The trousers she’s brought to Granny’s house are too big and are falling down, and since we have limited clothes here I agreed to purchase a belt. The younger child said, “What about me?” I said, “Well, what do you need?” She said, “I don’t need anything. I just want something.”
Now, usually I’d probably snap, “Well why are you asking for something then?!” But this time, because I was reacting a little bit slower and also checking in with myself, I behaved differently. My thoughts were these:
No she doesn’t need anything. But how nice that she was honest when I know she struggles with being truthful sometimes. Quite a clever answer actually. But why buy superfluous things when we don’t need them?
Checking in with my own thoughts meant that I could select the ones I chose to voice, rather than knee-jerk snapping at her, which would result in her feeling even more excluded. I ended up telling her how much I appreciated her honest answer and that I would see if I could find something. Who knew that it’s so hard to find a single belt? You have to buy the jeans that go with it. So I bought the smaller size jeans, which my younger daughter was delighted with, and I gave the belt to her elder sister.
This is my blog, so I can pick and choose which scenarios I share with you! Sometimes it didn’t go like this, especially when I was under pressure from all three children or when noise levels were high, but the point is that I wasn’t so snappish and I didn’t find myself feeling quite as helpless as I often do. In fact, if anything I felt more connected. The experiment continues into day 2 today.
Try it for yourself and let me know how you get on. Sending you all love and compassion today.