Picture this: your children are facing up across the topsoil mound in your backyard. And they’re throwing dirt at each other.
You have no idea how it started, or who started it. All you know is, you sent them outside to play and here they are, hurling dirt.
Perhaps your first instinct is to lose it, and fly off the handle.
To shout, to send them to their rooms, maybe even to spank them.
It would feel so good… To show them who’s boss, and to make them listen to your authority.
And, maybe that would work in the moment. Maybe you’d end up with more obedient kids – in the short-term, at least.
But when a coaching client of mine experienced this exact scenario, she did something different.
She did something that, together, we had been working on:
A method to keep calm, and help her 4-and 7-year-old girls resolve the conflict that started the dirt-throwing.
I read her success story aloud in this week’s podcast episode, “How to Help Your Kids Get Along with Other Kids: A Masterclass.”
Here it is in written form:
“Yesterday on the dirt pile (truck -sized delivery of topsoil) I rushed over saying “goodness – I hear somebody screaming at her sister, what is going on?!?” Then I asked [my four-year-old] to wait for her turn to talk while I listened to [7-year-old]. No problem. I LOVE that the first thing older girl did was to look around and say “what can we use for a talking stick?” Squee! We followed the talking stick formula and by the end, they claimed they couldn’t come up with any solutions for the next time. I think they were ashamed of themselves for throwing dirt and name-calling, so I reminded them “we already have a playground rule forbidding anyone from throwing mulch, so if we use the same rule at home would that work do you think?” LOL! “Okay mom, we won’t throw dirt.” Thanks so much for the super-long video. It all resonates with me, and I can’t wait to tell you how it goes next time we get a chance to try it. I love how you ended your thoughts: “I’ve got the most respectful kids anywhere!” That mindset will certainly help a lot.”
The most important thing she did was to keep calm.
She shares in our Ninja Parenting Community forums: “On the occasions when [my daughters] act appropriately for these talks, I’m sure it’s because I haven’t flown off the handle yet.”
So, that’s what I want you to hang onto today.
If this mom could remain calm when her kids were actively throwing dirt at each other, I know you can remain calm, no matter what your kids are throwing at you.
If it helps, picture me standing there with you, and telling you “Deep breath. This is a hard part of parenting. But I know you can do this.”
You’ve got this.
Wishing you a wonderful parenting week!
What’s up on the We Turned Out Okay podcast this week:
A whole Masterclass on how to help your kids get along with other kids!
Click the link below to listen:
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