The other day, I was in the waiting room of the pediatrician, when a couple with 2 children arrives: a 2/3 year old girl and a few month old baby.
The girl wouldn’t stop crying. I observe these parents trying to manage to the situation, and cannot help, with the lighting of my readings, judging everything clumsy…
« Look at your little brother, he doesn’t cry! »
« If you don’t stop crying, I don’t put you back in the stroller! »
« Listen… If you behave, we will get an ice-cream afterwards… »
For my sake: « She recognizes the place, she knows we are at the pediatrician and she doesn’t like it. »

Armed with my new skills, I know that everything is against what should to be done.

I want to intervene… Want to tell them not to compare their children (Which by the way is completely meaningless! He doesn’t cry, of course, because he doesn’t have any reason to cry! Is she crying every time that he wants to eat? I doubt it!), to not threaten, nor negotiate, but rather to listen to this little girl, to show her that she has been understood: « I have the impression you’re a little scared to go to the pediatrician… You remember your injection from last time, do you? Yes, that hurt you… It’s hard for you to come back here. I wish we could avoid it… »
Maybe it wouldn’t work, but at least they wouldn’t be creating a sense of jealousy towards her brother who happens to not be crying! (And not resenting her new brother who’s stealing her parents’ attention seems rather important…)
Of course, I don’t say anything.
But it got me thinking…
After all, companies don’t hire us if we’re not trained to do the work they will ask us to, but what training do you receive before you take on the role of parents? so many of us don’t do it right…  What if everyone had received advice on how to encourage good relations between the siblings, rather than inadvertently encouraging rivalries, wouldn’t society as a whole be nicer? Would we still need to talk about « school atmosphere » and « teaching respect at school »? What if tolerance and respect learned as children could avoid conflicts at the international level?

When is the first time I heard of choices in the context of education, I can’t remember… Must have been years ago. For years I have seen that giving options to a child can help you get out of a situation that seems blocked, in an almost magical way. You can use and abuse of choices!

He won’t put his shoes?
« You want to put first the right or the left?
You want these ones or those ones?
You want to put them by yourself, or you want me to help you? »

Recently, I discovered that you could bring this concept of choice one step further:
« You want to take the bath immediately, or you want to finish your drawing first? »

This is often enough to avoid the fight for bathing… because the child made the decision himself to go bathe after his drawing!

A note resulting from an answer to one of the parent questions in the comments of Chapter 3 of  How to talk so kids will listen..., about punishment.
When we see something that we do not like, we can (and we have to) comment on it, but do we need to seek the culprit? Wouldn’t that just encourage the children to blaming each other?
It is sometimes better to go directly to the corrective action.
The example from the book: « I hate seeing peelings on the couch! » (rather than « Who left peelings on the couch? »)
In general, the responsible one will react spontaneously.
If we hear « Wasn’t me! », it is an opportunity to give the following message:
« I am not interested in knowing who did it: I don’t mean to change the past, I want to see an improvement in the future. »

Now that I’ve read several books, I begin to see the link between all these chapters, all these attitudes…

At first, it seems there is so much to change in the way we talk and react!
But actually…

Description: « I see a jacket on the floor » is both
a way to engage cooperation (Chapter 2 of How to talk so kids will listen…)
an example of an alternative to « Why you don’t put away not your clothes like your brother? » (Chapter on comparisons in Siblings without rivalry)
If it’s a description of our feelings:
« I don’t like seeing this jacket on the floor »
Then, apart from the 2 previous cases, we also are in Chapter 9 of Liberated Parents, Liberated children!

« It doesn’t interest me to talk about what your brother has, I’d rather talk about you » in Chapter 4 (equal is less) of Siblings without rivalry
is similar to: « I’m not interested in a report on what your brother said, but if you want to talk about you, I’m here! » in Chapter 6 of the same book, on fights.
Finally, all these are the same skills, put into practice in different cases.
So, is it useful to read so many books?
My answer is very clearly yes. Because it is precisely by revisiting their cases of application that we can finally begin to make them ours!

first-hand In January 2015, time of good resolutions, I decided to take one: stop yelling.
In the previous months, the situation hadn’t been easy, and seeing the way our bigger ones spoke to our smaller ones was enough to understand that the model we were giving them had slipped…
So I started to surf the web, and I first got onto the « dirt and boogers » blog, whose writer, a mom like me, had engaged in a challenge:  « stop yelling« .
I read her advice, I got inspired, I liked what I was seeing, and I began to move forward.

One of the ideas she presented was that of the yellow heart. A ubiquitous symbol to be sure not to forget our priorities. Yes… Then, my readings led me to another blog, with another use of the yellow heart. There, I really liked the idea: a symbol that would allow me to refocus, and give the signal that I’m really getting nervous.
But, I didn’t like the symbol itself. The heart seemed too naive. So I asked Nicolas for some advice, as he always has creative ideas. He immediately suggested a 6 fingered hand! A hand that would represent our family, that would show the union we were thriving for… hand-in-salon
In a blink of the eye, I went for it, and a six-fingered hand was installed in our living room!
We hardly use it anymore. But in the early days, it was very helpful.
When I felt the anger coming, I would go lay my hand on the six-fingered one, and I breath very profoundly. I would help me stay calm, and show Leon I was about to burst.
He also began to use it, and sometimes, when we were outside, I would show him my hand to use when he needed to calm down!
Eventually… it passed. I use it again, from time to time, but he, even upset, no longer wishes to.

However, the symbol stays, and represents now the beginning of this story!