We are entering new territory and it must be said, my parenting style varies from having ‘Rapunzel’ like moments when I want to keep her locked up in a tower until she ‘comes of age’ to ‘you’re getting older now, why can’t you just get on with this.’
Neither stances are particularly helpful, but honestly, I don’t always manage to maintain a calm, consistent and graceful approach to parenting. Sometimes I’m shouty, illogical and inconsistent, largely through anxiety and fear for the future.
Like many others I don’t always achieve the right balance….
So, my clever and resourceful daughter has found a way to help me with this, by using the following phrase:
‘Mum, stop filling in the blanks!’………..
Much as it pains me to say this, but this apt response from my daughter, is enough to stop me ‘dead in my tracks’.
It stops me each time I rush to give my reaction – before she has even had a chance to think about and respond to a question, a request, an observation just about anything really.
Ironic as I coach for a living, but hey ho 😉
Am sometimes, just a bit too quick to jump in with what I imagine or think she is going to say. This would not be acceptable in coaching, so certainly don’t need to be doing this as a parent.
It is quite shocking how much I can do this as a parent- I’ve already created a scenario in my head and voiced my irritation, frustration, or conclusions to it before she has even said anything.
In other words, I’ve already filled in the blanks………
But since my daughter started using this phrase, I have been reminded to stop, as it so beautifully describes what I have been in the habit of doing.
I’m not alone in this, I’m sure but it seems to me that it is often our habitual responses that can cause problems in our interactions with our children.
Now I need to learn to take a breath, count to ten and listen to what is being said, before I go rushing in.
And I certainly, need to go back and revise my sessions in mindful parenting.
So, there you have it, until next time.
PS, before anyone asks, my husband might well say the same too, but less worried about that 😉