Whether you call it "special time, together time, us time, 10-minute this or that time," all of it was a scam.
Actual conversation I had with my now 7-year-old son.
Son - "Oh, I got that toy with our friend."
Me - "Wow, you remember that. I think you were only 3 when we bought that toy."
Son - "Yes, I remember."
Me- "You have a great memory."
Son - "Yes, I do"
Me - "Hmm, Do you also remember when I would put you in your room or spank you."
Son - "Yes, I did not like those times."
Me - "I am truly sorry. You did not deserve that. That was not fair of me to make you pay for my uncontrolled emotions."
Son - "okay"
Me- "What did you think about the spanking?"
Son- "I thought it meant that I could hit."
5-year-old daughter - "What is spanking?"
I am a stay-at-home mom of two, and it was 2017. I was slowly drowning in my 2.5-year-olds son's emotional roller coaster. Every high and every low, no matter how close or far apart they were. I could not keep up. So I began the search for outside help.
Of course, I think, I am semi-normal, so let's ask the older people in my world that shaped who I am. Spanking, hitting back, biting back, taking away things, and time-out all stopped the undesired behavior in the moment.
But something wasn't working. This kid took these tactics as invitations to do them himself.
Then Facebook served me an ad to parents, calling them in to stop the yelling.
Okay, pay the money and get the course. Ready to be given the answers and receive the solutions.
The course says to do A, B, and C. But most important, do 10 minutes of special time with each child. The child gets to choose what you do.
The theory is you will fill the child's cup with positive attention and belonging. Then, all of that positive attention will translate to positive behavior. Yes, this course had other helpful tools, but the good behavior is because of completing 10 minutes of special time.
Okay, 10 minutes is not that long. BUT I SPEND ALL DAY WITH THESE KIDS!
I hardly, if at all, do things I want to do during the day.
Here I feel like I need to insert. I love these kids more than anything and know how lucky I am to have healthy kids. That guilt might be why it takes us longer to seek help, but that is a different topic.
Back to special time, if you miss a day and there is an outburst of emotion or bad behavior, back to square one. I am thinking to myself, "I messed it up...we are starting back at an empty cup."
I must do the thing to get the kids to have good behavior.
The universe sent me MegAnne
Then universe sent me a parent-focused positive parenting coach.
I do not use the term "universe" lightly.
The little work I was doing led me to follow and join a community that happened to have MegAnne in their employment. In one of the community's presentations, they introduced MegAnne as a positive parenting coach. I immediately found MegAnne's C.L.E.A.R. and Kind Parents program and what has become my safe place, the #kindsquad.
What is parent-focused positive parenting?
Parent-focused positive parenting is when your parenting tactics focus on you, the parent. Honestly, climbing that peak is scary and overwhelming, but the view is lovely. You feel in control because you are in control of the one thing you have control over, YOURSELF!
MegAnne has led me to believe that I am more in control of my situation as a parent and, in turn, a human than I initially felt comfortable with and still struggle with. But I know it will always be a process.
The bottom line is that 10 minutes of special time is a moot point when you can genuinely connect with kids during the day in the smallest interactions.
I have not turned into a robot. Actually, the opposite!
I allow or forgive myself for making mistakes and repair them. Why? Because that is life, and that is what I am disciplining for my kids. Do life, make mistakes, recover, learn, do better, and repeat.
My husband and I disagree on the next part.
When someone admires our kids, "Wow, they are so well behaved and courteous."
I am working on changing my response.
My knee-jerk, socially expected answer is, "Yes, they are great kids. I am lucky."
What I am workshopping,
"Yes, they are awesome humans & thank you, I worked hard on me."
My husband tends to think that is an egotistical and besides-the-point response. They are complimenting them, not me.
But, if I had not figured out why I get triggered, stop myself from saying or doing something hurtful, or when and how to intervene, or allow their emotions to be theirs and not take it on, they would behave differently.
I am not a positive parenting expert, but MegAnne has guided me to be a positive parenting expert for my family.
Time can only tell if this method will produce thriving adults. But, personally speaking, this work has helped me to become a thriving adult.
That short video on social that dictates a straight line to something you want, and then they show the actual path, which is the complete opposite of a straight line, that is this work. I know there is no end, but with MegAnne and Kindsquad's support, that doesn't scare me anymore.
PS. Now I play with my kids because I want to, and it is so much fun.
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