Yesterday my 10 year old son called me from the bus asking if I would pick up from the bus stop (it's 1mile from our house).
I said no.
It's windy and cold but I still said no. Why? I must be a terrible mother.
Nope. Here's the back story.
For 4 years I have driven to the bus stop at 3pm to pick him up. 2 months ago my son and I had a conversation about why he should start walking home from the bus stop.
We agreed on these key reasons:
Walking is good for his body
The 15 minute walk is good for clearing his mind
It allows me to focus on my workday for a little longer each day
So even though we agreed to these reasons and the new plan, every day for 2 months he has called me to come get him. He's very persistent.
This child of mine is very feisty. He's one of 4 boys in our house and he struggles to find his place. We have a lot of emotional conversations. Like a lot.
In the past I have been scared to hold my ground with him. I give in because I fear his wrath.
Most parents can relate at some time or another.
But over the past year I have been applying my coaching strategies to my parenting habits.
Here's how yesterdays call went.
M- Come get me. My legs are tired and I have baseball practice tonight.
Me- A little walk may be good for your legs then.
M- Geez mom, come on.
Me- We agreed that the walk is a good idea.
M- Please mom.
Me- No response
At this point I imagine him rolling around on the ground and strangers coming to his aide. But I hold my ground.
M- MOM. Are you even there???
ME- Yes, would you like me to make you a snack? It will be ready when you get home. We can spend some time together then.
He walks in and goes straight to his room. 5 minutes later he emerges and kisses me on the head. He sits down to eat his snack.
Since I have practiced my commitments to my children over the past year I have been so pleasantly surprised and how often they respond just like this.
They show me love and respect in response to holding boundaries.
I know. I sometimes think WTF-- did that just happen????
It happens. I can teach you how to do this too. I can hold you accountable when you want to quit.
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