Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New Directions

Last Friday I had a coaching session with Tara and it was great.  Not only is she super comfortable to talk with, but she "got" me and my struggles, I think.  She had a couple of really great solutions for me to implement, not only did she validate some of the things we already implement, but she also brought up things that are semi-related and ideas for solutions.  Yay.  :-)

First on my list : Fight for my kids.  This doesn't, obviously, mean go out and kick ass in their name.  But, it does mean if I'm embarrassed to do something they really feel they need I need to identify and get over what it is that embarrasses me.

Example : Zane has been continuously asking me to call his girlfriend and invite her for a playdate.  I've been embarrassed, as we've already called a couple of times and been rejected.  I don't want to seem rude, pushy, or like an idiot to her Mom by continuously trying.  But, why not?  Cause I'm afraid of what she'll think of me.  Why do I care?  I dunno.  Habit, I guess.  Why shouldn't I let this bother me?  Zane needs to see ME pushing for HIM.  Not for my own humility.  So, we called again.  And again.  We haven't heard back.  I've just decided that when he wants to call, he can call.  If they respond, great.  If they blow us off, he'll figure out it's her issue.  But, he'll know it's not ME standing in the way.  Good stuff.

Second on my list : Listen to what HE wants.  Don't get me wrong...  I'm not to any point of wanting to give him everything he wants.  That is NOT what I'm talking about.  I'm talking about LISTENING to him.  So often, I don't.  I hear him request something and I don't listen to why or what.  He is intuitive as well.  In fact, it's long been my belief that all children are immensely intuitive, but are trained by us to not be.  We want to tell them what they need or what they want or how they feel, starting right away.  When infants cry we say to them "It's okay, you're alright."  Guess what...  If it's okay and they're alright they wouldn't be crying!  We tell our toddlers they don't WANT to walk off the edge of a porch.  Yeah, they do.  They want to find out what happens.  Rather than hold their hand while they walk off and help them if they fall or startle we tell them what the hell they want.

Example : Zane wanted to camp in the backyard a few nights ago.  I'm all for it generally, but that particular night I didn't want to camp out, so I told him no.  He was quite persistent, but always in a respectful manner.  I explained to him that I didn't want to camp out and what does he come up with?  "I can camp out by myself."  Now, this is a big deal because he's at the age where quiet night time is intimidating to him.  He feels alone.  Not so much scared of monsters or the like, but just a fear of feeling alone at night.  I asked him if he was sure and he insisted he was.  I finally agreed and set up his tent.  I didn't believe he was going to do this, I just didn't.  But, I didn't tell him that.  I was totally supportive TO HIM and let him know if it didn't work out for whatever reason he, obviously, could come in at any time.  I left the back patio light on and poor Rootie had to spend the night outside to guard Zane.  I read him his bedtime story, as usual, but in his tent and hoped for the best.  That child slept out there all night long.  I couldn't believe it.  I still barely can!  He wakes up pretty frequently needing help getting back to sleep in his bed but he knew that he was ready to do this really big thing and thank goodness I listened to him, because he felt SO good about himself in the morning the pride was nearly spewing from his pores!

Third on my list : Say YES!  I've been working on this already, for quite some time but there's always room for improvement.  It's a big habit.  It's a bad habit.  It's a way of parenting.  You ever notice how a LOT of parents get really frustrated with THEIR parents for saying "yes" to the grandchildren so much?  This is what I think...  I think grandparents say yes because they realize in their grandparent-wisdom and experience that they said "no" to their kids too much when they were young.  They were worried about wet floors, muddy shoes, hyper kids and in the end of it all when their nests became empty what makes their hearts sing in memory is the time they said "yes" and they had fun with their kids.  That's what I think.  I'll let you know in a couple decades (or less!), but that's what I get from it.  This goes hand in hand with both number 1 and number 2.  It ties into so much of our experiences and I am thoroughly looking forward to more yeses!  Most kick-ass thing happened today, too when I said yes.  Zane TURNED DOWN A PIECE OF CHEESECAKE!!!!!  Usually he eats any dairy he can get his hands on, because he's very restricted on it.  But, he turned it down.  AWESOME!  AWESOME!  AWESOME!

Very important to note!!!  I feel it imperative to the publishing of this post to say that these are all examples of things I've found myself to need help with.  This was inspired by my coaching with Tara, but not direct instruction from her.  Should you feel you want to begin unschooling or even want to speak with someone about issues you have, regardless of time spent on your journey thus far, please, PLEASE contact her for a coaching.  During our conversation my brain just opened up to all sorts of solutions and even problems I didn't think I was having.  This post is not intended to advise you on anything you should choose for yourself or your family, but rather to share what we're experiencing and inspire you to become self-aware and a conscious parent.

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