A lot of moms (myself included) start to see their child as the adversary when bad behavior persists. One of the most helpful visuals that I learned when becoming a parent trainer was to stay on the same side as your child. Instead of imagining you against your child and his aggression, think about you and your child fighting the aggression together. It's a subtle, but powerful shift. It allowed me to keep some semblance of compassion toward my child instead of feeding the resentment monster.
"We need a common enemy to unite us." ~Condoleezza Rice
Here's a letter I penned to trauma (our family's common enemy) a while ago. It has a lot of great reminders that I still need.
I’ll have to admit, you took us by surprise. You caught us off guard. It’s a pretty clever disguise you have–”pretty” is the wrong word. Don’t take this the wrong way, but you are probably the ugliest thing we have ever encountered.
Anyway, we’re on to you, and we’re here to help you change your ways.
When you feel the need to steal, we’ll be here to remind you words are a more effective way to meet your needs–and we will always meet your needs. Our sincere apologies in advance for when we do something to make you feel otherwise. We’ll learn together.
When you feel the need to lie, we’ll go searching for the truth together. We won’t hold it against you. We know your reality may be too much to handle on your own, but remember, we are in this together.
When you feel so insecure that you turn mean and nasty to feel in control, we’ll help you with kindness and unconditional love. We’ll share some of our control to prove that we’re trustworthy. That should kick that nastiness in the butt.
When you are loud and active and obnoxious, we’ll do our best to find an activity that organizes all that sensory input (or lack thereof) so you can find your calm, contented place.
When you just can’t seem to learn one more concept or memorize one more fact, we’ll give you some space. When you are Trust instead of Trauma, we’ll try again. Trust will have a much better ability to learn.
The road to your new identity will be bumpy but let’s stick together. Sometimes you’ll be able to fool us, but we're on to you.
One Smart MamaHelpful #parenting tip: Stay on the same side as your child. Go after a common enemy together. #momhack Click To Tweet
It's so easy to forget this simple concept of staying on the same side as your child. Grab a printable copy for your fridge, bathroom mirror, and as a reference for your tatoo artist when he puts it on your forehead.