My tone wasn't mean. It was fairly matter of fact.
Maybe it seemed like no big deal at the time or no big deal reading this now.
Except for two things:
I know my daughter.
And I knew in that moment just as I know right now that my intention, seeping through the subtle edges my tone, was to shame her. To make her feel badly for forgetting.
I knew when I said it it was hurtful.
The practice is, when faced with a challenging interaction, to always guess the thing you hope for or want it to be first.
This is the heart of generosity:
Giving someone I love space and open-hearted curiosity.
Leading the interaction with kindness and generosity assures my child that I'm on her side and I want to understand.
This understanding opens the door to discussing other strategies.
How would it feel if rather than being completely attached to how you'd like something to go, each person were to contribute something small (a brick) to create something better than what any one person could have conceived of alone?
When we access non-judgment, we open the doors to seeing the world through another’s perspective. We get curious and wonder what their experience might be like. We relate to their universal human needs which enables us to access generosity and compassion within to meet that child’s needs in a way that still honors our own.
When I believe my child is vindictive, I act in vindictive ways.
I become tense, angry, prone to punishment, blame and aggression.
I see how my reactivity (and my own vindictive behavior) decreases compassion and trust and peace in my relationship.
What I want to foster is understanding, forgiveness, calm listening and the ability to be angry without hurting another.
The first rule of improvisation is "YES, AND." Saying yes is accepting another’s offer. When you are invited to participate in a dialogue and you say yes, collaboration begins. This requires a willingness to be open-minded and to respect what your partner is offering.
How can I soothe and support another person - be it my child or anyone I’m in relationship with - without assuring them (or insisting) that they’re ok, when they are expressing that they’re not? It's this simple...
My search continued to narrow into more and more gentle approaches. I relied more on the feeling that I had in my body to tell me if what I was reading was right for us.
My litmus test became “Does this create more trust, or less?”
It helped to clarify whether the appeal for me was my own convenience or in deepening the connection between me and my child.
Ditch the fear.
They will learn.
Shaming, blaming or withdrawing from them won't accelerate their learning.
It won't teach them what you want them to learn.
It will teach them that your love is conditional.
Drop the idea that discipline and punishment are interchangeable.
Discipline is rooted in guidance.
Punishment is motivated by revenge.
Punishment teaches them that they can't te...