Tuesday, February 26, 2013

1 Sad and 2 Happy-Help your child Express themself

Discover how brilliant your little one really is.
Sometimes I think If I only knew exactly what was going on in my child's thoughts, maybe I could help direct them better. Maybe I could be more patient with them. Maybe I could have a better relationship with them. Maybe they could tell me, what I am doing wrong, or right, and what I can do better. 

Having children is a privilege, not a right.:)

They are their own little selves, full of just as much worth as an adult. They have brilliant little minds, and if they are encouraged to express those little minds, they will become the people they have always had the potential to be. 

So I picked up this idea from a group on the website FaceBook. The group is for those using "The Child Whisperer" methods. "The Child Whisperer" is a wonderful book written by Carol Tuttle, who is also the wonderful author of "Its Just My Nature", and "Remembering Wholeness".  Three of my most favorite books. 
The idea I am about to explain, was suggested on the group, and I thought I would try it. I didn't realize how much my kids would love it, and how much I would look forward to it each day. 

The woman who suggested it, actually said they write it in a journal, which I want to start doing too. 

When I put my kids to bed at night, we have a routine that can sometimes last an hour, but it closes our day with family closeness, and good memories. We have been doing this routine for the last 7 years, every night, since my oldest was born. 
After the kids have gotten in their jammies and brushed their teeth, and completed their night-time finger chores, we all sit down and listen to "Daddy" read a book to us. Then we have a family prayer, and then we read out of the scriptures together. 
After all of that, we tuck each kid in to their bed and have a little 1 minute personal talk, garnished with loves, kisses, hugs, and usually tickles. :)

The suggestion that we have added recently is called "1 Sad thing, and 2 Happy things". I ask them during our personal talk-
"o.k. What was 1 sad thing that happened to you today?" 
They answer with something like this: "At school, I asked my teacher if I could read with her and she keeps telling me no. I have asked her Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday! All the other kids get to just go and ask and they get to!", or "I never got to hold Christian today", or "I had to wash walls today" and when my 5 year old is in a silly mood and just can't think of anything sad that happened, she'll make something up like "I didn't get to climb on the roof" :). Sometimes you'll be blown away by their answer, and think, "I had no idea that experience affected them that way".
When you get an answer for the 1 Sad thing, NEVER try to explain "why" if it is something you have done, that made them feel bad. Do not be defensive, only understanding.This is their time to express themselves and tell you what you can do better. The only thing that needs to happen, is to have their feeling validated. Simply say "I am so sorry that made you feel sad" or "oh how sad, I am sorry that happened to you!" and "oh that is sad!"
If it is something that happened at school or somewhere that you are not around, this is your chance to ask them what they think they can do to make the situation better. Trust me they have thought about that too, its in their little minds, and they thrive off of confirmation on whether what they think would work or not. Sometimes all they need to hear, is that they are capable of problem solving on their own, to have confidence on whether they really do need to do something about it, or if they should just let it go.

Part of the reason I only do 1 sad thing, is because I don't want us dwelling on sad things for to long, and we like to end the night feeling happy about things.

After we talk a little about the sad, I then say "o.k. now tell me 2 Happy things that happened to you today"
I get all kinds of great answers to this.  My favorite so far has been "I got to ride on your back down the stairs".It totally melted my heart. :)

The little things mean so much to them, and they will tell you! It's amazing, how great this has been. When I ask my kids sometimes, "how was your day?", or "what did you do in school?", I don't get very clear answers. When I ask them about a feeling though, it triggers memories of things and I learn a lot about them. I love it! It also helps them know that I care about the little things, or big things they have experienced and that I want to know how they are feeling about them.

Since I was pregnant with my first child of 4 altogether, my husband and I have been keeping a journal for each of them. Its been great because we can write about the things they are learning to do or say on a daily basis. I have expressed my thoughts and feelings about all kinds of things to them in their journals, and my husband likes to write about things going on. I haven't been as good about it as I would like to be, with writing on a daily basis, but I want to try harder. I think writing down their 1 sad and 2 happy's each day will be a great addition to their journals. 

What kind of ideas do you have about helping your children express themselves better?

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