Safety zone

The other day I was asked a question that I hear a lot: “So, that parenting program, has it helped?” It always takes me a few seconds to answer because “helped” doesn’t come close. What I usually say after my pause is, “It changed my life.”

I know this sounds like an exaggeration and can be intimidating in its grandiosity. I just don’t know how else to describe the depth of the transformation.

This morning I read about a scientific study that concluded: “Parents who spend more leisure time with their children and who argue less with them have offspring that are less likely to bully each other.”

Doesn’t that sum it up nicely? More time connecting = less arguing = siblings that get along = more time connecting = less arguing = siblings that get along = more time connecting = less arguing = siblings that get along … and round and round we go.

Yes. It changed my life.

Remember Charlotte 2 years ago? Starting fights was her specialty. She was really good at it.

Last month I heard Fenner and Ellen arguing in the living room. I continued to fold the laundry. It started to escalate. I put another load in. I heard Charlotte’s voice chime in. I cocked my head to listen, but the volume had suddenly gone way down and I couldn’t quite hear.

A minute later Charlotte pranced up the stairs, “Ha, my method worked! I said I saw a funny shadow under her arm and now they’re talking about shaving and they’re not yelling at each other anymore!”

She pranced on by as I stood there with my mouth hanging open. The girl who used to pride herself on being good at starting fights had just demonstrated the fine art of distraction to diffuse her sisters’ argument.

By the way, that article went on to say: “We know that experience of sibling bullying increases the risk of involvement in bullying in school. Children who are involved in bullying at home and at school are 14 times more likely to suffer behavior and emotional problems; they have no place that is safe for them.”

No, my statement is not an exaggeration. I found the information I needed to turn our home into that safe place. And that has made all the difference.

Explore posts in the same categories: Weeks following: Problem Solving

One Comment on “Safety zone”

  1. Papa Says:

    Caught the NHPR rebroadcast this AM.

    Great photo of two “Ten-eyes!”. Just making them stay on is a miracle.


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