Manipulation Through Tantrums
I have noticed from watching her on talk shows that she often struggles with parenting. She was on Letterman just a couple of days ago talking about how when her child has a tantrum she has learned that the one thing she cannot do is let the tantrum work.
By this she means if she lets her kid have her way when she has a tantrum then the child will get the idea that anytime they want their way all they have to do is throw a tantrum and they can control their parents.
If she wants to remain in control as a mother she needs to make sure that she ignores whatever the request is when a tantrum is happening.
I understand this viewpoint and I know it is the traditional way of viewing things. Of course if you have read any of my blog posts it will be obvious that is not how I approach things. I believe that tantrums are expressions of emotions and signal of needs unmet. The deeper approach is to offer love and compassion during these times. A detailed explanation of this will come in a later blog post.
In her book she also talks about how when she was young she loved her father and was also quite scared of him. She was scared of doing anything that would get her into trouble.
She also says she wishes she could inspire that kind of fear in her daughter, but her daughter is 6 and is already completely unafraid of her!
The Rules Of Improv
Then this morning I listened to the section where she describes the rules of comedy improv. She said learning, practicing and following the rules of improv changed her life for the better in so many ways. She said she thinks everyone should learn these rules and apply them to their lives!
As I was listening to her explain the rules I was so full of emotion I was screaming and yelling in the car! I saw how these principles that she’s mastered can be used in parenting to create deep harmony and respect with our children. I will now share with you the rules that she explained and you will see why they affected me so.
Always say yes.
If something is happening on stage and you say no you block the action, ruin the energy and basically kill the scene!
It is wonderfully coincidental that this also happens to be the first and primary of the conscious parenting principles that I share with people. Saying yes increases positivity, trust and connection with our children.
Don’t just say yes, say yes and…
When you say yes and you are adding to the experience. when you say yes and you are working together to create the reality around you in a scene.
Saying yes and is another vitally important parenting skill. Yes and allows you to connect deeply and impart wisdom at the same time with your child.
I often explain
Don’t say “NO”
Don’t say “NO because”
Don’t even say “Yes”
Say “Yes and…”
Her rule 2 is word for word my rule 2!
There are no mistakes, there are only opportunities.
Anything that happens in a scene if you take it and run with it, it becomes your present reality. The momentum and flow of the scene continue.
Imagine if we could actually treat our children like there were no mistakes! If your child cannot make a mistake there’s no reason to punish them, give him a consequence like a timeout or a loss of privileges. Those things can only happen if your child made a mistake, but if there are no mistakes and if you really believe there are no mistakes and punishment somehow leaves the equation.
The only thing left behind is opportunity! Opportunity for learning, opportunity for growth, connection, love and self-development. This brings great peace to your relationship.
Everyone has something to contribute. Everyone on stage is equally important.
She encourages us not to be afraid to contribute, not to be afraid to say whatever comes into our mind because if everyone’s doing their job, whatever you say will be accepted and incorporated into the scene and brought to life.
Once again the brilliance of this as applied to parenting cannot be overstated. Treating your child as an equal and valuing all of their contributions to the family unit, to your home community gives them a sense of their value and their responsibility.
My dear friend Tina, you have all the wisdom to have the most harmonious relationship with your kids possible right at your fingertips. I hope you read this and see the connection between what you are brilliant at, which is a comedy and see how the same principles can be applied to this area of your life where you may be struggling somewhat.
You yourself have a wonderful opportunity at your fingertips and I encourage you to change your whole style of parenting to match the masterful skill you have at comedy improv. For these rules all apply brilliantly.
I know I certainly learned from listening to you explain them and have deepened my own understanding of them and for that I thank you.
Does anyone reading this know Tina Fey? If you do I would be very grateful if you could send the link in her direction. I am hoping that perhaps it can help her and her parenting journey.