Inside: A guide for the golden principle of respectful parenting, which asks your to WAIT before interacting with you kids, in order to give them and yourself an opportunity to understand the situation better!
There is one golden principal to Respectful Parenting, and I would like to introduce you to that. It’s almost like my secret weapon, something that I do every day and I’m very pleased and blessed with the results.
This was introduced to me by Janet Lansbury, it’s the article that I never forget, and I’m utterly charmed by it. It’s called The Parenting Magic Word.
The principle is “wait” before you interact with your child.
I know it sounds weird and submissive, but it’s far from that.
I assure it’s a very powerful parenting tool, that helps kids and parents alike and tremendously.
The WAIT Principle
So, where and how to wait? And for whom?
Wait for your child, of every age.
before responding to their frustration;
before showing them how to play with that new toy;
before interrupting them from what they’re doing;
before asking them questions;
before giving them instructions on “how to do it”;
before telling them they’re wrong or even right; and,
before responding when they’re crying, even for babies.
Okay;WAIT for how long?
Wait until you understand —
the reason for their frustration;
you’ve given them an opportunity or try and learn by themselves;
they’ve finished doing what they were doing and are now looking for your attention;
till you are sure that’s a right and relevant question;
till you realize — they’re just processing the ways to perform that particular task. And are not wrong, just doing it differently from how you would have done it
till you’re free of your judgment of right or wrong; and,
till you figure out the real reason for they’re crying;
What is the benefit of waiting for your child?
Your waiting is going to give them —
chance, to find her own comfort zone
understand their emotions by themselves;
it’ll skyrocket their creativity and critical thinking capabilities
confidence, that they can do things on their own by themselves.
the respectful way to ask questions, and not just bombard you with questions;
their preferred way to do a task, and feel proud of themselves, and boost their problem-solving skills;
they’ll trust you to tell you anything, and feel very comfortable with you;
opportunity to soothe themselves; *(I don’t mean let them Cry It Out)
give you an opportunity to be calmer and more grounded.
Most importantly — it’ll give your child the ‘respect they deserve’;
and teach them to give you the ‘respect you deserve’.
Related post: YES SPACE: Independent and Safe Play Spaces for Babies and Toddlers.
Related post: Why kids whine and what to do about it.
Develop Independence in Your Kids with this Practice
When you wait and give kids an opportunity to understand their emotions better, and to practice their skills and develop their preferences to do work, they way they like.
You boost their independence exponentially!
It’s like an obvious cause and effect, and you’ll see immediate results.
And the results look like; Calm babies;
toddler playing independently;
3 yr old respecting your limits and not testing you;
4 yr olds don’t back talk;
5 yr olds are very innovative.
You see this one principle is gold; I can’t stress it enough.
So much so, if there is only one thing that parents ask me to share about Respectful Parenting, I say do this!
Related Post: Six Tips to Calm Your Toddler
Related Post: Terrible Twos or Tough Twos?
Waiting for babies and toddlers
Developing a habit to wait for babies and toddlers is very important because it’ll set your habit to wait for them from the beginning.
When a baby cries, we should wait to understand why is the baby crying to help them better, don’t get me wrong I don’t mean to say let them cry it out, sure pick them up but don’t just assume their cry is for A B or C reason, be open to the possibility of crying to express.
Before interacting with them, Watch what they’re doing; are they contented and happy? are they concentrating somewhere? When you wait before making a connection with the baby and you let them finish their connection with that thing that they’re doing it helps them remain calm.
Like I talk in the psychology behind why toddlers don’t listen; when you interrupt your child by sweeping them in your arms while they’re busy in something you break their thought process and they get angry and frustrated. He/She might not express it then and there but you are going to have that mysterious fussiness from the baby, that you don’t know where it came from.
I know, it’s so difficult to not cuddle with that happy baby, especially since those moments come in far and stretched. But, you’ll learn to connect with their emotions without physically interrupting them; and I promise if you practice this “waiting for the baby to finish” often, those calm and quiet moments will increase exponentially.
If this concept comes in alien to you and you feel uncomfortable; let me ask you this what do you do when you see an adult struggling with something? Do you jump in to give your unsolicited advice, or you wait for them to seek your help?
You wait, don’t you! Because you realize, they’ll only buy your suggestion if they seek it, the exact same principle applies to kids too!
This really is an amazing respectful parenting principle, I can’t say enough about, it has helped me so much. I’ve seen it’s benefits first hand with both my kids, and it has helped me so much calmer as a parent, and the patience is reflected in my kids, as their calm and independent personality.
As always, please leave me a comment below, and let me know what you think about this, or ask any question you may have!