Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Saturday, January 24, 2009

House of Kind Words

Silas took this picture. This is the view of our front yard as seen from the bay window in our living room. Silas stands at this window to look out quite often. When I come home from work, I see his sweet little face waiting for me at this window, and it is always a joy to see him break out into a big smile when he realizes I'm home...

...So, when I last posted, I mentioned that I wanted to write more, but mommy duties cut my computer time short. I wanted to write a bit more about what I had been thinking of that day.

Silas is a great kid, but he's also a normal toddler and this means he has moments of frustration, anger and over-excitement. These moments can lead to hitting, biting, and outbursts. We are always striving to find ways to stop these moments before they start. The loop reward system (mentioned a few posts back) has been very successful thus far. He really gets it and so we are trying to give him loops when he has been biting/hitting/tantrum-free for a long period of time. Sometimes, I think Silas is simply frustrated because he feels he can't communicate his needs. I remind him to use his words because, really, he has quite a large number of them and in truth can communicate much of what he needs too. We are also trying to redirect angry energy by doing "mad dances" to stomp away angry feelings rather than hitting. When I write this, I feel like I'm giving the impression that he is a little terror who needs serious behavior modification therapy. I assure you, that's not the case. We are simply trying to reward for good behavior and deal with fixing the cause of bad behavior before that behavior even begins.

Anyways, I could go on and on about all of this, but the real point I wanted to make, before I blab too much, is this: Learning how to parent Silas, to gently discipline him, to raise him to be a thoughtful, compassionate person, has really forced us to reexamine ourselves. We know any negative behavior we exhibit will rub off on him. We know we aren't perfect people, or perfect parents. We are perhaps hyper aware of this and therefore, we've really become focused on awareness of our own issues and actions. One thing Drew said recently really stuck with me: "How we react to anger is a choice." Anger doesn't have to be met with anger, and keeping a cool head when your toddler goes berserk...definitely helpful. And that is where "house of kind words" comes in. If you want a peaceful child, you must have a peaceful family, a peaceful home. If we are quick to anger, Silas will be. If we are judgmental towards each other or towards Silas, he will be judgmental. If we react to stressful situations or outbursts with anger, he will grow up to do the same. I know this is all obvious on an intellectual level, but in practice, it takes constant reminding. It is so easy to forget Silas is in the room when we talk about certain things, but whenever we speak negatively, we now remind each other that this is a house of kind words.

As a family, we share the same goals: we all want to live peacefully with each other, have a happy home, and enjoy each other's company. I suppose it helps that Drew and I rarely rarely argue, but this is just one piece of the puzzle, and we are still striving to deal with some of the issues all people face. I am incredibly grateful to Silas for showing us that it's not just the toddler in this family that needs to learn (or maybe unlearn) a few things!

On a different front, yesterday, Silas said another complete sentence. Out of the blue, with no prompting, he announced "I like salsa." Yep. He may look a lot like me, but he is his father's son. He also learned the word iPod this week (it was bound to happen). He can now be heard saying "mommy's iPod, daddy's iPod, sync iPod!"

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