Friday, July 22, 2011

The Power of Your Influence

Sneak Peek Friday

I am honored to have worked on the Academy of Coaching Parents International's HeartWise book called Parenting Responsively for Connection.  Along with 10 other ACPI Certified Parent and Family Coaches; I wrote the book to help parents answer some difficult parenting issues.  Every Friday this summer YOUR Parenting Question Blog will share a short excerpt from this book.  We hope that you find them information and helpful.  If you like what you read and you would like to order the E-book you may do so here at Strong Roots Family Coaching.  

The Power of Your Influence
            Honestly, I promise you it's true.  Had it not happened to me personally, I would only think it happens on television (like on America’s Funniest Home Videos) or in movies to bring laughter to the audience. Can you picture this? Walking to the library, hand in hand with a two year old child, and kerplunk, amazed by the happenings in the parking lot construction area, she loses her focus, steps over the coned-off barrier directly into wet cement. Yes, we are both covered in cement. While in the moment, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, I did know that how I responded would significantly affect how my child responded. 
            My immediate response was, "Whoops a daisy" followed by "Hmm, sweetheart I think we’ll need to wait to go into the library. We'll go back home and clean up a bit and then come back".
            Waiting to see her response, I wasn't surprised that she too was completely calm and amazed at what had happened. But she was also curious, and lifted up her hand to take a closer look at the cement. When I could see she was eager and ready to taste it, I responded with a calm  "no, babe we don’t eat that, it’s all sorts of dirt and we need to clean it off," and was able to redirect her focus to going home to get cleaned up.
            We headed back to the car, prepared to take off her coat and pants to avoid making a mess of her car seat. At this point, I was laughing so hard and half in shock about what had happened, I couldn't stop. In between hysterics, I gently explained step by step, what I was about to do (because of course she's never been in the car sans pants!) and you know what? While she wasn't laughing, she was okay with it.
            While some children may have responded in tears, upset that they had to leave the library and distressed over being covered in dirty, gloppy cement, she was okay with it. Why? Because she knew I was okay.
            Now, I could have responded differently. In fact, inside, I probably wanted to. If I had freaked out and responded in an upset and excitable manner, the situation would have worsened. Fortunately, because I was aware that my reaction would impact her reaction, I kept it light hearted, matter of fact and as a result, was able to prevent a bad situation from getting worse.
            In times of unexpected situations or stressful times, how do you react? What example are you setting for your child based on your reaction? Can you find humor when things go wrong? Are you calm in the midst of it all?
            Each and every time you find yourself in a less than ideal situation, you have the opportunity to build good character in your child simply based on your response.

ACPI Certified Coach
Page 44

No comments: