Oh, the irony!
In Chapter 4 of my #currentread : Playful Parenting by Lawrence J. Cohen, Dr Cohen talked about the power dynamics in parenting and how to diffuse power struggles using a playful approach. He also talked about how children experiment with power. This was a very insightful chapter for me because there were a couple of examples cited here that really resonated with me. One such example, is a child calling a parent “poopyhead”. This is a common occurrence in my house, with preschool aged twin boys. We have tried quite a few things to stop this but every effort that we made to stop it only made it worse. Dr Cohen gave a couple of practical playful parenting strategies that actually worked for me right away. One was to joke with the kid and tell him that “poopyhead” is actually your nickname, but that it’s a secret nickname. The other one was to tell them that they can call any name (including poopyhead), but calling some random name like, for example, “bobblehead”, is not acceptable to you. Of course, the moment you say it, they only want to call you “bobblehead” and you have stopped them from using bathroom words. I tried both these strategies repeatedly with my boys with great success. It’s interesting how I was able to side step all the power struggles and instantly burst into laughter with my children. It’s all common sense if I think about it now, but I tend to complicate things in my head because of my own subconscious fear that I won’t be able to teach my kids right vs wrong. But, I forget that they know this already, which is precisely why they are doing it. They don’t do this at school or with outsiders, for example. It happens only with their parents. Why not let them experiment with power on people they feel safe to experiment with? They are kids, after all. .
Really enjoying this book, and how it is helping me prioritize joyful connection with my children by giving me practical strategies that I am able to apply successfully in my daily interactions with them 💕