Parenting: A Win, Win

Parenting. It's one of those subjects that I do not like to talk much about. It's a subject that is so...well...subjective and varies so greatly. But I needed to share a moment that I had yesterday.

Scott and I parent with, what we like to call, Non-Negotiables. These are hard and fast rules, if you will, which by we direct our kids. While many of their behaviors, or mis-behaviors, fall under one of the Non-Negotiables, the bottom line rule will always apply.

We would say that we keep a pretty tight reign on our children's behavior most of the time, especially at home. Don't mistake, we let them be kids. They are kids when they play in the rain and jump in mud puddles, they are kids when they paint the chicken coop with mud and they are kids when they play house with boxes. But when it comes to issues of behavior we reign it in, knowing our time to teach is so limited.

While, with me, there is usually no gray area, yesterday was an exception to that rule. There was a time when one of our children began throwing a fit over a simple request. This child...she is soft and sweet, but packs a punch when she wills it so. The fit began slowly, but I knew. I knew it would escalate to a full blown 4 year old tantrum in no time.

So it did. And then a consequence she just couldn't deal with spewed from my mouth. As I kept myself completely collected and calm I sent her to her room to finish the fit she had started. She complied while stomping and kicking at the floor all on her own. She screamed and yelled. She even spouted something about me.

This behavior is not something that we would tolerate from 2, or even 3 of our other children. But yesterday, I knew I had to treat this tender hearted child a bit differently.

I allowed the fit to continue until she returned downstairs. She was still crying and even still having a small bit of her fit. However, I continued my conversation with Scott and slowly approached her as if it was not my intent. As I got closer I felt even further compelled to extend a hand. So even in the conversation I slowly began to rub her back....she slowly began to settle her voice and calm down. Before I knew it her arms were extended and I slowly drew her to my side while I realized her fit had stopped.

I then hugged her tightly and asked her if she thought her fit was worth her consequence and she replied "No.". I asked her if it felt even silly that she was throwing a fit for that reason and she said "yes.".

It was in that time of unlikely calm, for me, that I realized that even though our "rules" apply to all children, all of the this case they needed to bend, juuust a bit in order to accommodate a fragile spirit.

How I am so thankful for those moments of triumph in some days, they seem so few and far between. In this moment...parenting was a Win-Win.


Anonymous said…
Yes " deer friends"...there is a " Santa"'s called :
" Interpol".
(Ollie North)
Katie said…
so what are your consequences? i have a couple strong spirits and our time outs and escalation points with my kids responses need a shock treatment. i am trying stars too now, some visual motivation. good post:) happy friday!

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