So remember, we (I have lumped my husband in with me on this project) decided to follow a couple of other bloggers as they go through the 52 Positive Discipline Tool Cards, one card per week!
The first tool we practiced was LISTENING! (for a peek at the card check out Mary Tamborski's blog) Listening, sounds pretty easy huh? I know that as a parent and teacher having your children listen to you is very important. Parents always say that their kids just don't listen. I think Jane Nelson would say that what they mean is they don't do what you want them to do. Either way, the first tool we practiced in our home this week encouraged us to listen to our children first, with the understanding that children who feel listened to are more likely to listen to you.
What I found was that I don't always listen to my children, imagine that! Listening takes time, patience and humility. Some of my daughter's explanations run quite long, so sometimes listening means giving up some of my time doing something else to listen. Other times it is necessary to listen at inopportune times, it takes a lot of patience to listen why the purple knee socks that are at the bottom of the hamper are the only thing that will complete my five year old's outfit before we can go to the grocery store. Sometimes, often while at said grocery store, listening requires humility. Getting down to your child's level, eye to eye, and having a respectful dialogue about why we do or don't need bunny shaped pasta in the middle of the pasta and sauces aisle isn't the "norm", it sometimes gets you some pretty strange (mostly impatient) looks.
Overal, listening has been a great tool to focus on. It diffused a few heated moments and made me more aware of how well my daughter communicates! It is a fairly easy tool to bring respect to your relationship with your children.
Now, on to the next tool: Encouragement!