Be the change you want to see in your children.
This is a foundational principle of Yes Parenting. Inspired by the famous Mahatma Gandhi quote (which apparently isn’t what he actually said anyway!)
I found it so much more powerful to make connections between myself and my children rather than me and the world.
There were patterns in the ways I got (and still do sometimes) irritated or cross. I saw that the things that bothered me most with my kids were actually things that bothered me with myself.
Let me give you an example.
I used to feel so frustrated by the amount of mess my kids made and their inability to clear it up. I began to see that it bothered me because I am naturally someone who creates a lot of mess while also not being very good at tidying it up. And yet I long to live in a tidy and ordered home.
As I noticed these patterns I shifted my focus from my boys and put that energy into myself first.
What would happen if I first took care of my own mess and began to learn how to keep my own areas and belongings tidy?
Lots of things started to happen and the most important is that it led to more joy, peace and connection with my children.
As I dealt with my own mess their mess bothered me less.
I realised that, even as an adult, I find tidying a challenge and making mess easy. Why should I have higher expectations of my kids than I do of myself?
I slowly began to learn how to tidy a little bit better but I realised that I actually need help with this area of my life. If I need help then clearly my kids do too.
The separateness I created by focusing on everything that was wrong with their mess and inability to tidy gradually became connection as I became more understanding, supportive and kind.
All this happened because I chose to be the change I wanted to see in my children.
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