When I asked one of the Mum’s if she could write something about her experience of developing as a compassionate parent, I was blown away by what she wrote and how she tells us that compassion acts as a container for her difficult emotions that come with being a parent. It shows the power of compassionate parenting – practicing, harnessing and mirroring to our children the power of empathy, approaching a difficulty in a kind and caring manner and demonstrating authority in a loving way. I wanted to share this wonderful example of the power of compassion. Many thanks for the Mum who wrote it for her honesty and time.
When you become a parent there is one thing for sure you are going to be on a sharp learning curve. You will learn so much yourself along the way and then if you are lucky and open to learning other people will teach you how to be a better parent. A person who crossed my path on several occasions that I learned a vast amount from is Bethan.
Have you ever had other children over to your house to play and all you have wanted to do is have a cup of tea with their parent and find a few quiet moments but the more you seem to want for this the more they seem to need your attention and the more you seem to be needed to negotiate with them who plays with the one and only toy they all seem to want to play with? Then the more you get involved the more they get upset and fixated with that one and same toy and you are standing there begging your child to share this particular toy and getting nowhere so then pleading with the other child to play with absolutely anything else and getting nowhere. The situation escalates into one child pushing the other and then tears breaking out on all sides with you now punishing your child who has pushed the other child and you offering comforts and treats to the little kid who is crying?
Well this was a common enough experience in my house- the end result being a stressed out mam and upset children until I met Bethan. When the above example happened in Bethan’s company Bethan simply asked the children to explain what was happening and tell her what they each wanted- to my surprise my little boy said – ‘that’s my favourite toy and I don’t want her to play with it’- the little girl said ‘I only want it for a minute’. Bethan then asked the little boy would he give it to her for just one minute and he agreed and then apologised for hitting the little girl. With this simple calm intervention both children were given the opportunity to say exactly what was going on for them and they listened to each other and when a very simple solution was offered they each accepted it ending the whole incident calmly and pleasantly.
I cannot count the number of times that I have since said ” Rory what do you want to say to child xyz or what are you trying to say ….
This is just one of the powerful positive strategies I have learned from Bethan – it’s so simple but so empowering and in using it really values children and what they have to say. Their voice is what you end up hearing rather than yourself getting stressed and then handling the situation in a less than positive way – threatening to withdraw one child’s treats while you reward the other…etc