A little miracle occurred tonight! I have to blog about it! So in my previous post, I had mentioned that I have been struggling with my skills as a mother. So of course, I find a book to read....to tell me how to be better. No joke. I love reading, and I also read a lot about ways to improve myself. You know....self help books.
Well, I'm reading a very interesting book right now, called "Christlike Parenting" by Dr. Glenn Latham. It started off a little crazy. One of the scenarios blew my mind. Near the beginning of the book, I was on the fence about his ideas of how to parent an unruly child. But the deeper I delve into the book....the more I am on board with his ideas. Basically, his whole premise, is to parent like Christ does....with love. Only with love. You are never to yell, say hurtful things or show anger. You are to stay in control at all times. Now before you stop reading right here and now....listen to this scenario that just occurred. Miracle I tell you!!!
I took my kids out to a big birthday party at a roller skating rink. When it was time to go, my daughter (6 yrs old) had a meltdown. Crying hysterically. She wanted to stay and skate longer with her friend, but I needed to get the boys home to bed. So, I finally made it out to our car, and started driving home. My daughter did not stop crying the WHOLE 15 minute drive home. She went on and on about how unfair it was that she had to leave, and how she never gets to do anything she wants. She continued on with things like, "no one ever loves me, no one cares about me, I hate myself". By this point I knew she had all out lost it and had no control over her emotions. My first initial impulse was to start arguing with her, and harping on her about how she was being over dramatic and ridiculous. My blood was starting to boil, and I could feel myself starting to get angry and frustrated. In times like these, as of late, I've been known to go off on a tangent about how ridiculous she sounded and to stop crying right this instant! In that moment, I decided to try and apply one of the skills taught in my book.
I kept my mouth shut. I did not want to lose control of my emotions. So I didn't say anything at all. There were many different times in that 15 minutes that I wanted to start in on her, and tell her to be quiet. I spoke maybe once or twice....when I knew I had complete composure, softly explaining that she needed to stop crying and that I wouldn't be talking to her until she was in control of her emotions. She tried many times to engage me, by saying ridiculous things, just to get a response from me. But I stayed quiet (that in itself is an amazing feat!).
But the miracle occurred once we got home. As I was standing in the kitchen I felt a tight hug from behind. At first, I thought it was my son Lincoln, because he is a doll like that. Giving hugs for no reason. But upon closer inspection, I realized it was my daughter. Just like that, she had stopped crying, and she said, "I love you mom. I'm sorry I said all of those things". WHAT?! In total shock here, people. My daughter felt remorse, and realized that she was in the wrong. I sat her down on my lap and squeezed her tightly, right there on the kitchen floor. I told her how much her apology meant to me, and told her how much I loved her.
This was a magical moment. Now, if only I can do this ALL of the time.
P.S. As a side note, I read something about a woman trying to go 365 days without yelling at her children. She is now on day 400 and something....I think. Wouldn't that be an interesting experiment. I'm considering it.
What do you think about that? Do you think it's possible to go without yelling? Also, do you agree with the concept of parenting with love, and never using anger either physically or verbally?