I’m a big believer in teaching by modeling, or leading by example. Becoming a mother not only made my feet bigger (who the heck knew and why did no one tell me this?) but it has made me hyperaware of my actions, my communication and my non verbal body language. Motherhood has helped me to examine my inner core in a more gentle, less judgemental kind of way, decide if my talk matches my walk and how this all relates to raising a kid who other people want to be around.
When we introduce changes into our daily routine, even the slightest, there is always some pushback. Some of this pushback is genetic (sorry dude) some of this is Xavi’s spirit, and some is simple exertion of independence, which is welcomed by me. I want Xavier to question everything, yes, even me.
So we go slowly and methodically into the change.
- We begin with talking about it a lot
- Next we create some type of visual
- Then we engage in it and give Xavier a job to help out
- Eventually he joins in on the fun – on his own. No bribing, no ’tantrums’, just fun. The funness (is that a word?) is the main key here. As a parents you are also part time actors, FYI.
Case and point: when we hooked the bike seat up last spring and were ready to start cruising, Xavier didn’t want to wear his helmet. So began our helmet parties where Mike and I wore our helmets around the house like lunatics for a few days. Xavier then started helping us to put them on our heads while his helmet patiently waited nearby. It was fun, and it worked like a charm. After seeing how much fun we were having wearing our helmets, Xavier wanted to wear one too. We’ve done this with most new things like brushing teeth, potty time and eating new foods.
In my humble opinion, it’s a waste of time hasseling and nagging your child to be a certain way or do a specific task, and creates a frustrating environment for everyone. Ultimatley, your kiddos will act how you act and do what you do…so be who you want your children to be. One of my favorite childhood educators, Magda Gerber says is best: