Monday, July 02, 2012
Mom-Fu #1 - "The No Position"
A friend was fretting about over-compensating for being a busy working mother. But, I think it applies in all instances when a temper is forthcoming. You can see a child wrking up to a temper fit, if you are just connecting with the energy around you. So, I encouraged her to contemplate using the "No Position." I thought, I'd expand on how to practice this important stance for inter-acting with children...your own or other wise..
Employing the "No Position"
1. The "No" involves complete relaxation. It involves "being inside your NO." There will be no need to tense your muscles. There will be no need to snatch somebody. There will be no need to make any physical intervention. The "NO" is final and without debate.
2. Relax all of your facial muscles into a "NO position." This is the beginning of the cascade effect. They know the indisputable, "NO" is coming. They may not trust that it will happen. But, if practiced early in a child's life, just the relaxing of the eyebrows can get them on page.
3. Next, relax your entire body into the "No position." Feet wide apart, shoulders relax, neck cocked slightly to the side. "
4. Speak quietly and issue the command for desired behavior. "We are leaving now." Gather your things, walk to the door." OR "We had lots of sugar today. We can think about that tomorrow." OR "It is time to put your toys away, put on your coat and walk to the door."
5. Choices should be offered freely, but only when they can actually make that decision and you are willing to abide by their choices. When there is no choice, well, there isn't.
6. Combine the "No Position" with "The I-Don't-See-Why-Not" Theory of parenting. Question "Can I eat candy at 10:00 AM?" Answer: "Well, you ate 2 eggs, a bagel and some ham for breakfast. I'm thinking about some fruit and vegetables." Answer: "Oh, I could eat some carrots." Well, when you've done that, I don't see why not. Or yesterday, you didn't brush your teeth after eating candy. So, I'm worried." This ultimately leads to better dialog. Question: "Can I have some candy?" Answer: Can you see why I think not?" Answer: "Oh, right. I think I'll get some healthy food, ask again later and promise to brush my teeth." Answer: "You're awesome!"
Practiced from toddler hood, just the relaxation of the body into the "No position" is very effective. And for some reason, regardless of home, upbringing or their situation, children understand a "No position" when they see it. If you expect a fight, you'll get it. If "No" is the answer and there is a legitimate reason, "why not." They will answer their own questions.