Since our nuclear meltdown a couple of weeks ago, we’ve been really, really, trying to practice Jane Evan’s C’s – compassion, connection, calmness, correction, communication, containment, cooperation and not the D’s – disapproval, disappointment, discipline, domination, dissatisfaction, distance, disconnection.
(You can read more about the amazing Jane and her C’s and D’s here.)
And,you know, it really isn’t as hard as I though it was going to be.
Yes, I still get mad. But I try to remind myself of the bigger picture.
Yes, Jonathan still acts up. But he reacts differently as I approach things differently.
He’s had some serious issues at the baby sitters the last couple weeks. One particular day was so bad that I went to pick him up at lunch. I waited to talk about it with him until we were in the car. Instead of getting upset, I empathized about how hard it is to have a bad day sometimes but we need to try our best still to follow the rules. We chatted calmly about feelings and I took him back to work with me where he got lots of attention and a special goodie bag from one of our admin staff of highlighters, clips, post it notes and doohickeys. Doohickyes are his favorite. It wasn’t a reward, it was what he needed.
Another day, he peeled paint off the babysitters car, yelled and screamed at everyone endlessly, told them all they were going to die and had an accident (this is happening more and more frequently…but that’s another post). When I picked him up, I practiced my C’s. After a few minutes of chatting in the car he said “mummy! you not mad!” Huh. Interesting little rocket man, interesting of you to notice…
It makes so much sense, yet like most things that do it can be so hard to put into practice.
What we are trying to accomplish with Jonathan and using C’s not D’s, can be explained in this nice little analogy:
If two people are sewing a dress, and one person rushes around being all crazy like and stressed out and over the top and the other lady works her way through the pattern calmly and steadily, and both end up with a beautiful dress…which way is the better way to approach sewing the dress if the end result is the same?
(This came from my counselor, not me. Clearly you can guess who I’ve been in this example and why she gave it to me!)
Trying to use C’s not D’s is not only benefiting him, it’s benefiting us too.
Why be crazy when we can be calm?
We are still planning on keeping the good crazy – the run out in the back yard in a downpour to dance crazy, we’re just trying to toss the bad crazy.
It’s hard, but it was hard before.
It may not be perfect, but it wasn’t perfect before.
Seriously, do it. Now. Like, right now! And when your kid who can’t read yet asks “what is say?” you tell them “it reminds mum not to yell”. And world gets a little shiner.
Carry on Warriors:)