I’ve been reflecting on my listening… I was talking about it a recently.
I’ve noticed it is easier for me to listen to Poppy, even when she is in the throes of a three year old tantrum. I’ve been able to diffuse said tantrums or reduce the duration with my listening and reflecting her feelings and needs back to her. It doesn’t mean she gets what she wants, but she gets heard. I’m putting Gil down more and picking her up both physically and metaphorically.
A typical reflective listening sentence this week has been: “Poppy you’re saying that you don’t want to put a jumper on (or a singlet or stockings or shoes) and you just want to go outside now (read…in the freezing cold). You sound really sad that I’m asking you to put on more clothes”.
I’ve noticed I often expect Fox will be more helpful and compliant, because at times I need him to be, and to be truthful I’ve felt really annoyed by his recent defiance. Maybe it’s because he is my eldest that I have greater expectations that he do what is asked. I’m aware I need to remember that when he pushes back it is not him being anything than a five year old. When I remember this and listen it is so much better for us both. I’ve been trying to asking myself why might he be behaving the way he is and sometimes I ask him why though he doesn’t always know. I know I need to give more time to listening to Fox, to remembering he is just five and adjusting my expectations and wants.
I’ve known for years my tone can come across as brash sometimes when I don’t mean it to, it is one of those things I really don’t like about myself. I want to be gentle with my tone. I know that tone of voice is more important in expressing your message than the words you use. Practice, practice, practice.
And I want to say ‘yes’ and frame things in the positive more often with my kids, I do this but not as often as I could be.
So these are three areas I am going to focus on over the coming months; active listening, gentle tone and framing comments and boundary setting in the positive. This, and getting more sleep – getting more sleep makes everything easier!!
* note the photos – 1. love, 2. hug, 3. see the foot on his back! It was gentle but….