How has your day been?
This month’s theme for the Carnival of Natural Parenting is “Role model” We’ve been asked how our style of natural parenting has inspired someone else.
I found this hard to write because it can sound as if you’re being arrogant. But it is wonderful when you see a friend have a lightbulb moment because of something you mention in passing or something they see you do.
Dealing with anger
One such occasion occurred recently when talking to a friend about her son. Her son is going through a challenging time right now with anger issues, emotional outbursts and things escalated when he tried to run away from school. That must have been very scary for her and him to go through and she was looking for support.
When I asked what he had said about the situation afterwards, I was told he had said nothing. When I probed further I found out it was because they hadn’t discussed it! My friend has 4 other children, works full time and has a hectic lifestyle. She is a single mother, so her time is limited and busy. Her way of coping is to pretend things haven’t happened and not to discuss them, but this was clearly getting her down.[amazon-product align="right" small="1"]1853407054[/amazon-product]
Listen to children
I gently pointed out that behaviour like this (hitting, screaming, tantrums at the age of 10) showed that her son had something unresolved going on inside; some kind of issue that was troubling him and needed talking about. The idea of talking scared her. She’s not a talker, not one to share her feelings, not one to go to ‘uncomfortable’ places. I suggested that sometimes all kids need is a good listening to.
This simple statement stopped her in her tracks.
She asked how she might go about talking to him. I mean, how do you do that after 10 years when her son has never been used to being listened to or encouraged to voice his feelings?
How are you?
It was then that I shared something we do at home. Every night before sleep, Mr Green, Little Miss Green and I share the worst part and the best part of our day. It’s important you do them this way around so that you end on a high. The great thing about this is that if we’ve angered one another, frustrated each other or endured something challenging we’re able to finish the day by apologising to one another AND little Miss Green is able to see that even as grown ups we have fears, things that annoy us or troubles we need to find a creative solution to.
[amazon-product small="1"]1577310799[/amazon-product]My friend loved this idea. It takes away all feeling of confrontation and the whole family can join in so the focus is not on just one person.
Learning to communicate
Three weeks later she called to say that this was working brilliantly. Her son was extremely wary at first and wouldn’t join in, but now he has built up trust, seen that his Mum struggles with things too and really looks forward to this part of the day when he can be heard. It is dissolving his fears and anger and he now feels that someone is listening to him
Such a simple and tiny tool that helped.
If you want to step it up, I recommend a talking stick. This is great when you have a family issue you need to discuss and you need people to listen rather than spend the time you are talking to figure out what they want to say!
A talking stick was used in Native North American tribes at council meetings. It was used as courtesy not to interrupt a chief when he was speaking. The talking stick was then passed to the next council member who wished to speak.
As a family you can have fun making your own and decorating it. It doesn’t even have to be a stick – you could use a large feather, a shell or any other object; it’s simply a symbolic gesture and because it’s visual is great for when members of your ‘tribe’ are young. They can visibly see when it is someone’s turn to speak!
What about you – how have you inspired someone to parent?
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- Woman Seeking Inspiration — Seeking Mother’s struggles and joys to find her own path in motherhood have inspired others — to her surprise! (@seekingmother )
- Paving the Way — Jessica at This is Worthwhile makes a conscious effort every day to be a role model. (@tisworthwhile )
- No Rules Without Reason — The Recovering Procrastinator wants to inspire her husband to discipline their children gently. (@jenwestpfahl)
- Creating a Culture of Positive Parenting Role Models — Michelle at The Parent Vortex shows parents at the playground how to do a front wrap cross carry and tells nurses about her successful home births, as a way of modeling natural parenting in public. (@TheParentVortex)
- Making A Difference for Mamas — Shana at Tales of Minor Interest took an embarrassing pumping incident at work and turned it into an opportunity for all the employees who breastfeed.
- Inspiring Snowflakes — Joni Rae at Tales of Kitchen Witch Momma is a role model for the most important people: her children. (@kitchenwitch)
- Paying it Forward — Amber at Strocel.com inspires new (and often scared) mamas with these simple words: “It will be OK.” (@AmberStrocel)
- A SAHD’s View on Parenting Role Models — Chris at Stay At Home Dad in Lansing doesn’t have many role models as a SAHD — but hopes to be one to his daughter. (@tessasdad)
- Am I a Role Model? A Review — Deb at Science@home brings attachment parenting out of the baby age and shows how it applies (with science fun!) to parenting through all of childhood. (@ScienceMum)
- Say Something Good — Arwyn at Raising My Boychick reminds women that it is within our right to be proud of ourselves without apology. (@RaisingBoychick)
- Try, Try Again — Thomasin at Propson Palingenesis wants to inspire like the Little Engine that Could.
- I’m a Parenting Inspiration, Who Knew? — Sarah at OneStarryNight has received several beautiful comments about just what an inspiration she has been, if not in real life then definitely online. (@starrymom)
- That Little Thing — NavelgazingBajan at Navelgazing demonstrates the ripple effect, one status update at a time. (@BlkWmnDoBF)
- How Has Your Day Been? — mrs green @ littlegreenblog inspired her friend to be an active listener for her children. (@myzerowaste)
- No, Thank You! — If you are reading Maman A Droit’s post, you’ve probably inspired her. (@MamanADroit)
- My Top 3 Natural Parenting Principles — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now describes how her family’s natural and Montessori principles inspired others. (@DebChitwood)
- My Hope for a Better Life — Mandy at Living Peacefully With Children hopes her choices inspire her children toward a better life.
- Natural Parenting Felt Natural — Sheryl at Little Snowflakes didn’t plan on natural parenting — but her son led her there. (@sheryljesin)
- Rest. Is it even possible? — Janet at where birth and feminism intersect has found that even role models need rest — and that there are ways to fit it into everyday parenting life. (@feministbirther)
- May Carnival of Natural Parenting: Role model — Lauren at Hobo Mama was the fortunate recipient of a seed of inspiration, and has been privileged to plant some of those seeds herself, though she didn’t know it at the time. (@Hobo_Mama)
- crunchspiration — the grumbles at grumbles and grunts wants to inspire others to parent from their heart. (@thegrumbles)
- No Extra Inspiration Required — Zoey at Good Goog doesn’t think she inspires anyone and wasn’t inspired by anyone in return — except by her daughter. (@zoeyspeak)
- Upstream Parenting — Luschka at Diary of a First Child blogs for that one mother in one hundred who will find her words helpful. (@diaryfirstchild)
- Parenting Advice for the Girl from Outer Space — If Mommy Soup at Cream of Mommy Soup could give one piece of inspirational advice to new parents, it would be to parent with kindness. (@MommySoup)
- Natural Parenting Carnival — Role Model — Sarah at Consider Eden feels the pressure at trying — and failing — to live up to her role models. (@ConsiderEden)
- May Carnival of Natural Parenting: Role Model — Dionna at Code Name: Mama encourages natural parenting mamas to take joy in the fact that they are touching lives and making a difference to children every day. (@CodeNameMama)
- Inspiration Goes Both Ways — Melodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite! is flustered that people consider her a breastfeeding role model — but the lovely comments she’s received prove it’s so. (@bfmom)
- My Seven — Danielle at born.in.japan has identified seven role models in her life who brought her to natural parenting. Who are your seven? (@borninjp)
- A Quiet Example — Alison at BluebirdMama was one of the first parents in her group of friends — and has come to see almost all those friends follow in her natural birthing footsteps, whether intentionally or not.
- Gentle Discipline Warrior — Paige at Baby Dust Diaries has inspired a gentle discipline movement — join her! (@babydust)
- Change The World… One Parent At A Time — Mamapoekie is more comfortable inspiring parents online than she is in real life. (@mamapoekie)
- Inspirational Parenting — pchanner at A Mom’s Fresh Start has intentionally tried to be a role model but was unprepared for how soon someone would take notice. (@pchanner)
- My Inspiration — Erin at A Beatnik’s Beat on Life has written thank-you letters to everyone who’s inspired her to become the lactivist and natural parenting advocate she is today. (@babybeatnik)