Your child isn’t listening to you. You can’t make her do as you tell her. And that can be wildly frustrating.
There’s a choice here–do you enforce or do you yield? Enforcing is more of the same–power over, authoritarian parenting, hierarchies, right and wrong. But yielding, isn’t that giving up? Not if you take a long perspective and remember that you’re nurturing a relationship.
The root of discipline is to teach, and a disciple is your joyful follower. Let go of the demands on yourself to get things right, and on your child to do things a certain way. Open up for some levity. Look for the playful way to do this.
My boys throw their shoes off in the hallway. I fall over them in the dark. I grumble. And I’ve told them a hundred and one times to put them to the side .
Now I just hide them. Yup, if the shoes are in the way, I create a treasure hunt. Hang one shoe on the coat rack. Tuck them under the stairs. Now every time they’re heading out, and their shoes were in the wrong spot, they have to search for them.
We have a good laugh about that together. And that’s the challenge sorted. Now I can truly discipline them–and ask myself how I wish to teach them everything I want them to learn about life.
Short-term playfulness. Long-term discipline.