|Say it loud; let them hear you!|
Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.
Henry James (1843-1916)
The last couple of weeks have been rough. ROUGH. Crying in the bathroom rough. (Can I get an amen- crying in the bathroom at work is pretty much as low as it can get, right?)
But I'm hear to report that James' 3 rules work.
Let me back up a bit...
Lily has always been a challenging child to raise. As I said before, she's a strong willed child. She was a strong willed toddler and she was a Strong Willed 4 year old.
She was a strong willed baby, which is what kept her alive. I'm not a big believer in angels or fate or fairies, but this I know for sure: Lily's mother passed on to her some amazing strength, strength that is still protecting her to this day and will hopefully keep enveloping her the rest of her life.
But inside of that amazingly strong child is still a sensitive, sometimes sad and lonely girl. And that sad and lonely girl was acting out terribly the past few weeks. New school. New routines. New teachers. New friends. It was all too much. (And then there was Ballet. ugh.)
So last week we started the positive reinforcement. We just killed her with kindness- we marinated her in love and support and reminders of just how wonderful she is.
We taught our daughter the 3 rules, and we started practicing them ourselves.
And it's working.
This may be the most "Well, DUH!" moment of my parenting career.
For a while now Lily has been thinking of herself as the "bad girl". Now all day every day I remind her, "Who are you?"
Funny, smart, loving, kind, GOOD.
This is not to say we aren't correcting mis-behavior, rudeness or disobedience. We are just spending more energy and time on the good stuff, and giving her low key time outs and calm corrections for mistakes.
Parenting: just when you think you're reaching the top of the steep learning curve, another hill appears.