Firm and kind

My first thought as I reviewed the list of seven strategies to consider during this week was, why didn’t we get this list weeks ago? The answer, I think, is that we weren’t ready for it. The list functions under a big umbrella called: firm and kind. Firm and kind is made possible through being at ease from the inside out — at ease with the situation verbally, physically, and emotionally. Six weeks ago we weren’t at ease. We were cautious and confused. We were anxious and overwhelmed. Our buttons remained sensitive and exposed.

Now, however, I feel a steadily growing sense of calm and confidence. Look how far we’ve come in just ten weeks! The new patterns are not 100% by any means, but each day they become more second nature and automatic.

And we see the girls growing into it with us. The other day, Fenner sounded almost cheerful as she said, “Mom, is it going to be like this after the parenting class, like, for the rest of our lives? Just like this?” Then I noticed Ellen wrote on this week’s appreciations board: “I appreciate me because I kept all my agreements.” And tonight Charlotte got in and out of the bath on her own and when I went up to say good night she had already brushed her own hair without one word from me. Bliss!

So these strategies for avoiding the slippery slope into the rabbit hole feel like icing on the cake. Some of them I’ve already been using, but consciously placing them under the firm-and-kind umbrella is new. Here they are in a nutshell:

  • Choices
  • Natural consequences
  • Ignore/Walk away
  • Re-direct/Distract
  • Humor
  • Yes, as soon as …
  • Would you be willing … ?

I aim to use all of them one way or another this week to practice my firm and kind demeanor and to remind me of what works, what feels right to me, and what might be a flop.

Stay tuned….

Explore posts in the same categories: Week 11: The Slippery Slope

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