In my never-ending quest for sanity and peace in the household, I stumbled upon this book. I think it may actually help us deal with Ezra and in doing so, ourselves. The means we had been using to try to "control" Ezra have not worked. Cajoling, pleading, time -outs, bribery, threats, and saying things that I never dreamed I would say, have not worked. Neither have the two unplanned spankings, and the screaming and crying. Surprising right?
Bailey uses "7 Basic Skills for Turning Conflict into Cooperation". I know, groan, it's a self help book. The funny thing about self help books is that the content often seems obvious and that can be sort of embarrassing and yet there you are reading it and hoping that you will get "help". Bailey's ideas are sort of obvious, in that they make perfect sense and yet they are completely different than the methods used to raise us and our parents. She insists, and rightly so, that we cannot expect from our children what we don't model ourselves, self control. Here are some of the ideas that she want you to wrap your mind around: (And I quote loosely)
The Journey from a Fear based approach to discipline, to a Love based approach...
1. Power of Perception: No one can make me angry without my permission
2. Power of Attention: What you focus on, you get more of
3. Power of Free Will: The only person you can make change is yourself.
4. Power of Unity: Focus on connecting instead of trying to be special.
5. The Power of Love: See the best in one another.
6. The Power of Acceptance: This moment is as it is.
7. The Power of Intention: Conflict is an opportunity to Teach.
These sound a bit like empty cliches when taken out of context, they are I guess. What makes her book special ( so far, I've only read the first chapter) is that she explains it all soo perfectly and it just makes sense. For instance, if Ezra is hitting Henry, I might say something like: "We don't hit in this house, you are making me nuts." when in actuality, we do hit in this house, he just did it, that's proof, and if I am going nuts, I am letting myself. I need to learn to calm down, I need to use the right words. Why is he hitting his brother? What is frustrating him? How can I model self control and help him to make the right choice. Don't ask " how do I get my child to ...? Do Ask, " how can I help my child be more likely to choose to...?
I feel that with the methods we had been using we were trying to break Ezra's will in order that he will mind our will. In fact, we should be strengthening his will and trying to teach and model good behavior.
So far this book has me feeling hopeful. I am also grateful that his preschool teachers agree with the basic premises (I chatted with them this morning about it).