Thursday, July 25, 2013

Back Talk

I'm really frustrated with my kids whining and back talk lately.  I end up sparring with them, when I should remain calm and demand respect.

"Be sure to emphasize the message that you will not listen to what they have to say until they are able to speak to you in a calm and respectful manner."

Whatev. This is hard.  Time to draw a parallel --in the same way we taught them as toddlers that it's unacceptable to hit, we should be teaching them that it's unacceptable to be disrespectful. Period.

Remain calm.  "Remind yourself that the calmer you are and the less you let yourself be affected by sassy back talk, the more your child will learn to use positive ways to express his opinions."

I'm *trying* to apply this right now and I can see it working, a bit.  The kids are reasonable.  My BFF is very good at giving people the benefit of the doubt.  What's behind the behaviour?  I don't instinctively do this, but with practice I know I will get there.  "Keep it together"  great advice from Eddie Murphy.

Saturday, July 6, 2013


I don´t think much about attachment parenting these days because it´s just something we learned to do ten years ago, because it made a lot of sense to D and I.  We consciously formed a close bond with our babies by nursing, carrying them and co-sleeping so that we could easily respond to their needs.  This hopefully made them feel secure that we loved them and would not abandon them.

But recently I stumbled onto an article on how attachment affects adulthood. It´s a good reminder of why this is so important.

  • Secures have a greater sense of general well-being -- they are more self-confident and more balanced and realistic in their expectations of themselves
  • Under stress, secures stick to the task better -- they don´t become either highly emotional or deny the problem
  • Secures are less likely to use alcohol for coping
  • Secures are happier in relationships and are less distant, defensive or distressed by feeling vulnerable
  • Secures are less frustrated with their partners, less ambivalent about their relationships and less jealous, clinging or fearful of abandonment
  • Secures become angry less often, but they see anger as more constructive, feel better during arguments, see less hostility in their partners´ intentions and expect more positive outcomes
  • Secure are more likely to see their partners as trustworthy friends and can accept their faults
  • Secures are less likely to show physiological arousal when separated from their partners
  • Secures are less likely to engage in sex without feeling love for their sexual partners
Well, there you have it.  I am not a Secure.
This is good information though.  I´ve done right by my kids.  I really hope this is true and that they will have great relationships because they are secure.

Rethinking Anger

I do not react well to outbursts of anger.  My heart starts beating fast, I tense up, I am afraid.  So rather than deal with issues, I often try to avoid the angry outburst that I might cause my partner to have.  But as I read ´The Highly Sensitive Person in Love´, it talks about ´moral anger´ which is reflective anger that is expressed when your partner has crossed the line.  For example, if you have a clear boundary (e.g. he must call when he expects to be late and he doesn't call) the anger is justified to underscore the importance of the boundary.  Otherwise you will get walked over.  I find that perspective interesting.  This is different from anger that is meant to hurt (attack, obtain victory, annihilate).
For me, I have to learn that I will give and receive anger at higher levels then I would like.  But that is okay.  I should ask my partner to express his needs and complaints without anger -- or to at least take a time out so that we can calm down.  Another tip is to try and see what´s behind the anger.  Have I crossed a boundary that I shouldn´t have?  Have I stirred a sense of shame somehow?  What does he fear right now?  Why does he need to be angry? None of this is my forte.  Good to know though.