From the time my daughter started school I’ve always told her that anytime she wants to stay home for any reason, all she has to do is tell me and I’ll let her. She doesn’t have to explain or justify her reason; I’ll just trust her and believe that she knows what she needs.
Much opposite to conventional wisdom she has never taken advantage of that opportunity.
She has used it a couple times a year and she always knows that the freedom is there.
I believe this has worked so well with my girl because I used it from day one.
I’m sure parents with older kids might cringe at the idea of introducing it!
They’ll obviously take advantage.
And I agree they will… at first!
Introduce Big Changes Gradually
To introduce something like that at a later age one has to do it gradually.
So it appears as a natural thing.
Eventually when kids start to really believe they are trusted
They joyfully meet us there.
In fact our children are aching to feel that we trust them.
And every time they aren’t trusted, every time they are controlled in any way
Their image of themselves is tarnished
And the relationship with their parents is further strained.
Kids Know They Deserve Love
There is an instinctive knowing kids have that their parents are supposed to
Love them unconditionally
Trust them completely
And accept and honour who they are.
When their experience contradicts this it hurts and damages them on so many levels.
And yet if we can love them, trust them and accept them this way
It gives them an atmosphere to blossom into the amazing beings that they naturally are.
Even just a little more trust can have a profound effect. I try and be a little better at this every day. None of us will ever be perfect, but as long as we are trying, as long as we work at it and are willing to put in the effort, our kids will respond.
My daughter feels this trust is just a natural thing and doesn’t quite understand when other kids don’t get that trust. Well now she does that she’s older. She can see how the world works in many ways and is grateful for her family.
Parents Just Don’t Understand
She knows that her friends are more capable, more intelligent, more creative, more trustworthy and generally better people than most of their parents realize they are.
She sees the struggle and pain that they go through. She sees how they turn away from their families and how their friends become their real families. For that is where they receive acceptance!
If only parents could see the bright lights their kids are
their lives and their families would transform.
She also has no doubt that we see her this way.
The trust of letting her take off school whenever she wants is just one example of this.
Every day I work at showing her I trust her.
In every interaction is an opportunity to show her I believe in her, accept her, celebrate her
And LIKE her.
Yes that’s it, my daughter knows that I like her, as she is, for who she is!
Focus on Your Relationship With Your Child
It’s not hard to do that for your kids, for all kids.
It does require a re-focus of our attention.
Primarily changing from a focus on behaviour to a focus on your relationship.
Pay less attention to what they do and more attention to how they feel.
When you stop trying to control their behaviour and start valuing your relationship first
Then amazing things start to happen.
I will be writing more about the transition from behaviour to relationship in further posts.
I would love to hear your thoughts and reactions to all this.