Welcome to the Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival: Week #4 – Slow Down
This post was written for inclusion in the 10 Week Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival hosted by Prenatal to Parenting. This week our participants have written about Slowing Down. We hope you enjoy this week’s posts and consider joining us next week when we share about a week of Practicing Presence.
Several years ago I became a Certified Gottman Educator and while at the training to become a Bringing Baby Home Instructor I learned about a few things that have served me well this week in my efforts to slow down. As I mentioned in this week’s challenge post; when we are too busy doing things to accept our child’s invitation to play, to truly listen to our partners or to simply be with our family we miss out on the beauty and connection that those moments have to offer us. Learning what those invitations look and sound like and examining my responses to them has been very helpful in building stronger connections with my family.
The first thing I learned in the Bringing Baby Home Instructor training that came in handy this week was about bids and how to rsvp to bids. Bids are basically the way a person expresses a need for connection. Bids can be subtle or very clear; they are expressed in a variety of ways each day. For instance, “hey look at this article” is a bid for attention or interest, while “can I have a hug?” is a bid for affection. Kids may just tug on our pant leg or cry but they are still bids.
There are three ways to respond to a bid;
1. Turn toward –by listening, responding, asking questions, showing interest and love helps our partners and children feel valued and important. Here we are accepting our child’s invitation to play, proving comfort when they are upset and really listening when they are speaking to us.
2. Turn away – by ignoring the bid. We often do this not out of spite but because we are on autopilot. Although this response is often mindless, it does the most damage.
3. Turn against – using a sharp retort or criticism. These reactions often come when we’ve been triggered.
You can see that by understanding what a bid looks like and paying attention to the way I rsvp I can make a conscious decision as to the impact it will have on my relationship. However, just because I know this it doesn’t mean I always put it into practice. For instance on Monday I was preparing for our departure to Ontario on Tuesday and my mind was spilling over with to-do-lists. I had little time to accept my family’s invitation to connect. We do the best we can with the time we have.
Which reminds me of the other thing I learned in the training that has had an impact on my week, well really my life; the motto of the Bringing Baby Home program is Small Things Often. It has become my personal mantra.
Life is busy and it is hard to fit it all in. There are so many things I want to do, so many things I want to remember to do, so many skills new and old that I want to remember to use. I want to be present for my children and my partner. I want to take time for myself. I want to do it all. The desire of mine to, as my husband says “to have my cake and eat it too” can be rather overwhelming. I put a lot of pressure on myself to do it all. And when I do I remember small things often. I repeat it to myself, over and over again. I wear a necklace with those words stamped on it and a small chime that makes a small noise when I move. It helps me remember that I don’t have to do it all, right now. That taking small steps in the direction I want to move each day makes a large impact. That giving my family many small moments of my time throughout the day is achievable. That someday I’ll look back and realize these small moments are the ones that mattered the most.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
Stop, Amy Stop. Amy from The Connection We Share accepts her family’s invitation to slow down and finds that life will not be “better” when items get crossed off to-do lists. Life is perfect, right now.
August 2nd, 2013 · No Comments