I've been wishing and hoping a copy of Parenting for Social Change would turn up at my house somehow. I went onto Teresa's website yesterday, and read an article hoping it would fill my need but I got so excited it made me want it even more!
I read one of her articles about how to have more empathy with your child. And I had a surprise because for all these years I thought I had empathy but I didn't because I was acting. Or seeing it from my side. No wonder it stopped working.
So last night I walked into the babies' room and he'd mixed a load of dirty washing with the clean I'd put away and drawn on the carpet with a pencil from a case he'd found and then emptied onto the floor. I started to get really angry, I'm so tired I don't need this! I have enough to do. I started to clean up the pencil and it wasn't coming out. "Why did you do this?" I said angrily knowing I shouldn't but unable to stop myself - perhaps I should have done a count or left the room? But either way, the point about seeing it from the child's perspective came to me.
I started to think and talk:
"Why then. Let me think, so you saw the pencil case and you thought wow that's bright, what's in there? Then you opened it up and there were so many pens! You couldn't wait to see how they looked so you tipped them all out. Then you saw the pencil pen and you wondered - does it work? And it's so far and long away to get paper so you thought I'll write on the carpet. I'm so excited to see if it works I have to do it here..."
I looked at my son, his eyes were alight. "Tell me about when I made the nest with the sheets." he said "tell me about that."
So I did. And then I realised I might have tried to sympathise, but empathy not so much because you have to be there on the floor looking through their eyes.
Today's prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for giving me more clarity, for showing me more truth. I am strong enough now to know. I am ready to know you.