Isn’t it great when you see your kids implement what you have been trying so hard to teach them. Sometimes I seriously wonder if they even here me when I talk. Cause no matter how many times I say “Don’t leave your toothbrush on the counter, and put your dirty clothes IN the dirty clothes basket” I still find this items left out.
Well, I really like the value based parenting methods, which it’s probably good that I like them seeing that I teach them. Haha. But seriously part of the value-based parenting concepts is teaching your kids to learn to govern themselves. If you teach your child to govern himself and learn to listen to his/her own discernment, then when you aren’t around they are more likely to make wise choices on their own because they believe in them, not for fear of getting in “trouble.” The idea is helping your child see who HE/SHE wants to be and making their choices accordingly, teaching them to feel their heart and listen to the truth in their OWN discernment.
So as my kids have been getting older and more independent I have been talking to them about being aware of safety. I have been encouraging them to always listen to their heart in situations they are in. If they are somewhere with friends, or at school, or even at a friends house and they get the feeling that they aren’t safe, then they need to trust their guts and get out of the situation. And at that point it isn’t about being right or wrong, it is about trusting your own discernment and learning to follow it.
Well we were at a school playground the other day and Jess and I decided to walk the little boys over to another playground across the street and across a softball field. My older kids wanted to stay where we were. They asked if they could stay on their own. I told them no because there were people here I didn’t know. Actually, there was one teenager there shooting hoops. But he gave me a feeling that wasn’t safe, so I too had to listen to my own discernment and take my kids with me. I didn’t tell them he didn’t feel safe I didn’t want the guy to here me. They didn’t ask later so I didn’t bring it up.
After playing on the church playground for a while my kids came back up to me and said “Look, mom there is no one down there now, can we go?” I knew we were only going to stay 10 more minutes so I told them to stick together and go ahead. When they were about halfway there I noticed the teenager was back shooting hoops again. So I kept my eye out figuring I would just cut the trip even shorter. But just as my kids reached the road by the playground they turned around and headed back.
When they arrived back I asked why they changed their mind. “We just got a funny feeling, like it wasn’t safe.” Josh responded, “Ya, I felt it to and agreed with Josh.” Kate chimed in. “Oh” I replied, “Was it those boys riding down the street on their bikes?” I was trying to fish out the details of exactly what they felt. “No, it was that guy down their playing basketball.” Said Josh. “Yeah, we saw him before we left the first time and he looked and me and his eyes looked mean. So we decided to come back.” I told them that was very responsible and then I asked the question to bring the whole experience home for them which was, “How did it feel when you listened and trusted your heart?” “Really good.” They responded. It is great to help your kids tune into how things feel for them. Obviously there is much more to this technique than I can put in this post, but there are some pieces for ya.
Anyway, I was excited to see them being responsible and tuning into their own discernment. I am not always going to be there to tell them when they are safe or not. So I am glad to see they are learning what I am teaching them!