Positive parenting: One mum's beautiful approach to disciplining her daughter changed me
This is a game-changer.
When it comes to my parenting style, I would like to think that for the most part, I manage to strike a nice balance between being chill and flexible, but also being strict and authoritative when needed.
However, I always found the issue of disciplining my children a difficult one. On one hand, you want them to know that there are consequences when they do something they know to be wrong, on the other hand, I am also of the opinion that we all make mistakes, and that sometimes we all just made bad choices. It happens.
But reading this post from Rosie Lamphere, mum-of-three and co-owner of parenting website Play At Home Mom, I find yet another reason why sometimes you just need to pick your battles – and why often, anger isn't the best way.
According to the Facebook post, Lamphere’s 9-year-old daughter was playing with her siblings when things got a little out of hand, and she ended up putting a hole in an upstairs wall. Now, this is a pretty big thing, and I have no doubt so many of us would be furious if it happened in our own homes.
However, when Lamphere noticed how upset her daughter was over the accident, she took an uncommon approach to addressing the incident – and you'll want to read this:
Her full post reads:
"Our girls were messing around yesterday. One of them happened to put their body through the drywall. My nine year old came downstairs crying and frantic saying she had to show me something. I walked upstairs to the damaged wall. The remorse was already displayed all over her body.
She didn’t need me to make her feel guilty.
She didn’t need me to shame her.
She didn’t need me to make an already crappy situation worse.
I know you are.
“Daddy is going to be so mad!!! I’m not ready to tell him yet.”
That is OK. When you are ready, you will tell him.
She knew. She knew that he was the one most impacted by this. He would be the one taking time from his day to fix this.
I walked downstairs and told my husband.
The kids put a hole in the wall. A big one. M is really upset about it. She’s working up the courage to come and tell you about it.
We have two choices here.
1. Scream and yell and make her feel more awful than she already does.
2. Accept that little girl for each bit of awesome that she is... even in her mistakes. To realize that it was SO hard for her to come down and tell you how she made a mistake.
Our response will 100% determine how she comes to us with mistakes in the future.
How do you respond?
Today, my daughter walks around with a little more trust. She walks around feeling loved and connected. She walks around knowing that she can tell her parents anything and that she is safe.
This was the best gift I could ever receive this Christmas.
And yes. She still feels sorry. She offered to not receive any Christmas presents this year, all her savings, and her time to help fix it. She didn’t need screaming parents to make her feel this. She did it all on her own."
How beautiful is this? I love the idea that how we respond to our children when they come to us with problems and mistakes now will determine how – and if – they come to us in the future, years from now, when something has gone wrong and they need our help.
Lamphere realised she had two choices when it came to dealing with this incident. They could shout and shame their daughter for having been so careless. Or they could tell her they know she already feels bad, and that is OK, and remind her we all make mistakes. They went with the second, and hearing how she described knowing they had handled this correctly is actually pretty moving:
“Today, my daughter walks around with a little more trust. She walks around feeling loved and connected. She walks around knowing that she can tell her parents anything and that she is safe,” Rosie wrote.
“Our response will 100% determine how she comes to us with mistakes in the future."