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14 Sept 2021

What Did You Call Me?!?

Jo Emmerson

This week's Toddlertamers are looking at who is in their village and where there are shared / conflicting values.

What are your parenting values? Are you a respectful parenting advocate, or do you lean more towards the authoritative or free and easy approaches?

I *try* to be a respectful, gentle parent because I know that will bring better long term outcomes for my children, but there are definately times with the 'Big Bad I Said No' comes out (Stop It & Tidy Up reference for the parents of a certain age 😆) followed rapidly by 'BECAUSE I SAID SO!

It's an ongoing adventure though, and all we can do is try to learn alongside our little ones, and do better next time.

What are the three main things you would like your child to know as they grow up?
These are my family's core values:

1) We want our children to know that we love them no matter what - no matter how hard they push against those boundaries, the boundarries are strong and so is our love for them.
2) We want our children to know that they can always talk to us about anything. From 'look, I made a fire engine with 30 wheels and 6 wings' to 'I'm being bullied online' and beyond.
3) We want our children to have opportunities and choices that we didn't have access to when we were growing up.

What are your values? I'd love you to share them!

Have you got friends and family who share your parenting values? Or who really really don't? How do you manage that? How do you help your little ones manage that?

Top Tip:
Be careful of the language you use around your child - even when they are preverbal.

Don't be lulled into agreeing that your little one is 'acting up' or 'a spoiled brat' or 'precocious' or any of the other negative words that can be thrown around when someone doesn't share or understand your values.

You don't have to get into an argument. Simply not engaging is a step in the right direction. If it's your parent or a person in authority, for example a non-commital 'hmm, interesting that you see it that way' will do.

If it's a stranger in the street, I've been know to tell them to 'kindly mind your own business thank you very much' (not always so politely either 😑).

Our job is not to make excuses for our little ones, but it is to understand them and be their champion.

Yes, your little one might ba having a meltdown. That doesn't make them bad or mean they should be punished or sent away to 'think about what they've done' (as if they're even capable of such thoughts yet!).

You can acknowledge that 'yes, he's having some big emotions at the minute' without agree that he's being a little **** and getting drawn into the rhetoric.

Because that's language and attitude your little one will hear and absorb and it becomes who they are.

Go home and write your diary, swear into your pillow, scream at the bottom of the garden and say all of the 'my kid has been an absolute ****** today' - get it off your chest when they can't hear you. It's ok to feel that, we all feel that way sometimes!

But that's about us and how we feel, not about them and who they are. Not putting our kids down does not make us a soft touch. It makes us awesome parents.
Right. More coffee needed here ;)

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