I used to worry about the day that my child starts acting up when I won’t know what to do.
Quickly realising fast, that it is unavoidable, I’ve been wondering what to do…
Luckily I came across this podcast called ‘Unruffled’ by Janet Lansbury. I am quickly consuming the episodes and I have to say I am slowly beginning to feel a bit more prepared!
To introduce her, I have chosen an episode where she responds to critique on an article she publishes. I think it is a great episode to get a flavour of her ideas and approach.
I have been grateful to learn about this idea of ‘Respectful Parenting’ – so much about it makes sense to me yet it seems so elusive in daily life!
In a different episode, Janet, answers a reader’s email about her child reaching for the handle of wood-burning stoves (this reader lives off the grid and has 7 stoves – one in each room!). The question was simple:
is it ok to slap my child’s hand to teach her that she cannot open the oven door?
I feel like I learnt a lot from this episode. If only from how artfully Janet defined her boundary; ‘No, no matter how justified the hand smack is not compatible [with respectful parenting].’ Amidst our ‘polite’ manners and permissive parenting this somehow took me by surprise.
As I understood it; if we pull rank based on being a bigger and older human when relating with our child, on a subconscious level the child will need to submit to the power struggle (however minor) and will find it hard to trust unconditionally. Rather than causing enormous damage, can subtly undermine closeness and friendship between the parent and child. Ultimately making the relationship less satisfying for both.
What I am learning from Janet Lansbury:
- Importance of identifying my own feelings
- Never presume to know what my child is feeling
- To watch my own ‘sticky’ or neurotic feelings (shenpa in Buddhist teachings)
- Children (almost from birth) are great at noticing what gets a reaction out of their parents. Often better than the adults themselves.
- Just what wonderful scientists and experimenters babies and children are!
Through these podcasts, I have learnt how difficult it is to find and receive parenting advice – because there is so much room for misinterpretation when interpreting it into daily life. This is really well demonstrated in the episode ‘Can mom’s empathy be patronising?’
This is why I am grateful to Janet for taking the time to record these podcasts, where she role-plays how to implement her advice.
You can connect with Janet via her website http://www.janetlansbury.com/ or via one of her books:
Where do you find parenting advice?
And where do you find the confidence to implement it?