One day, a few months ago, my son got angry and kicked a glass door. A myriad of options ran through my head as I decided how I could deal with this. Of course there was a part of me that wanted to rant and rave, give a lecture and send him to his room. The other part of me knew that this would not solve the issue and it would only reoccur again. So, I took a deep breath and gathering all the calmness I could muster I asked him to remain quietly next to the glass door and breathe deeply, over and over again.
A few minutes later, when the high emotion had subsided I returned to talk to him.
I went in with the purpose to just listen. I listened to why he was angry but did not comment, when he felt that he had been heard and had nothing more to say I knew that I could talk and be heard effectively.
My purpose now was to ask him meaningful questions, those that would get him to think. “What can happen if you kick a glass door?” He rattled off some answers.
Then I asked, “What can happen to YOU if you kick the door?” and “What are the good things about NOT kicking glass doors?” and finally, “How else can you get rid of your anger?” His answers amazed me.
Without me giving my opinion, lecturing him or telling what could have happened and that such an act is to his own detriment, he came to these conclusions all by himself.
The result of such a Purpose Parenting session was that he realised, through his own thought process, that kicking a glass door actually takes away his play time outside. The reason he was upset was that he was impatiently waiting for me to finish something so that he could go outside.
By allowing anger to run out of control he had actually lost some of his outside play time. The benefit was that by asking the right questions his brain had the opportunity to rewire and create new connections, stimulating mental ability and enhancing emotional development. Purpose Parenting turns a challenging situation into a beneficial one and it is not only useful for the child but it gives the mom or dad a mental workout too!
My son has not kicked a glass door again.
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Photo by Shalom Photography, Jolandi Grundeling | Models: Dandre & Colette Nell