“You’re a different kind of Mommy. You don’t get me in trouble, give me time outs or take things I like away. You listen to me and help me solve my problems. You help me figure out what I can do better next time.”
– Casey, Age 6, about his mom, my former client, Samantha
I often share my experience of having teenagers raised with peaceful parenting. You know what though? Little kids notice, too!
Here’s a lovely story from a former client, Samantha.
Samantha has been peaceful parenting for 2 years, since her son, Casey, was almost 4. She was struggling with a high-needs kiddo and a baby. Things are not easy all the time, but all her hard work is paying off.
Samantha emailed me:
“Casey, age 6, got off the bus yesterday and I could tell something was a little off. At dinner he was practically squirming. Finally he blurted out, “I punched Charlie at recess today! I punched him in the arm lots of times!” (Charlie is his best friend but they have been having some trouble on the playground lately.)
My partner and I stayed calm- difficult, as of course we were really shocked and unhappy that he punched his friend.
We said, “Oh my. What happened?”
Casey told us about how they were fighting over what to play and no matter how hard he tried to find a win/win solution (he is practiced at this as that is what we do when he and his brother have a disagreement) his friend would not compromise.
Casey explained that he instantly regretted punching his friend and said he was so sorry. But Charlie wouldn’t accept his apology.
I empathized with Casey about how hard it must have been when they couldn’t agree about what to play. I validated how awful it feels when we make a mistake and do something we wish we hadn’t. I even explained that sometimes it takes time for people to be ready to accept an apology when they are still upset.
I then said “Okay, what do you think you could do next time when you are mad, instead of hitting?”
Casey practically jumped out of his chair yelling, “That is exactly what I told Charlie you would say!!! He kept saying I was going to be in big trouble when he told you about what I did. But I said NO! My Mommy will listen to me and ask me what I can do better next time!!!!”
Casey and I then went on to brainstorm some ideas about what he could do next time (stop and take some deep breaths, walk away, suggest they go join another group of kids to play).
The best part though, was when he hugged me afterwards and said “You’re a different kind of Mommy. You don’t get me in trouble, give me time outs, or take things I like away from me. You listen to me and help me solve my problems. You help me figure out what I can do better next time.”
I love this story so much! Samantha shared that this moment really made her see the power of peaceful parenting.
When we parent peacefully, it doesn’t mean our kids are always well-behaved or in control of their big feelings.
It does mean though that when they do have a hard time, they know we’ve got their back. It also means that when they mess up, they tell us instead of hiding it.
Sarah Rosensweet is a certified peaceful parenting coach, speaker, and educator. She lives in Toronto with her husband and three big kids (ages 15, 18, and 21). Peaceful parenting is a non-punitive, connection-based approach that uses firm limits with lots of empathy. Sarah works one-on-one virtually with parents all over the world to help them go from frustrated and overwhelmed to, “We’ve got this!”
Read more at: www.sarahrosensweet.com