Friday, February 11, 2011

Draw how you feel

I haven't read a lot of parenting books. But I really like Siblings Without Rivalry and How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, both by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. Their writing style is a bit contrived and hokey, but their advice is spot-on. One of their suggestions in helping young children deal with their feelings without hurting other people is having them draw how they feel. Drawing gives children a creative outlet for feelings of anger, fear, frustration, or sadness. It also validates their emotions.

I tried this the other week with Zari. She and Dio were sitting at the kitchen island eating pretzel sticks. I think Dio grabbed Zari's pretzel and broke it. She got very very mad at him and was gearing up for a temper tantrum. I quickly diverted her anger away from Dio by saying, "Zari, run get a piece of paper and draw how mad you feel!" She disappeared into the dining room and came out a few minutes later with this:


She explained the scene to me. You can see the island, Dio's step-stool, Dio holding the pretzel, and Zari looking quite unhappy with Dio. Her anger was successfully defused, I had acknowledged how upset she was by looking at and talking about the picture, and best of yet, Dio emerged without being hit or pushed.

Success!

What are some of your favorite parenting books or tips?

18 comments:

  1. That is a great idea! My kid is still too young to draw, but I will probably utilize this in the future (and check out those books).

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  2. This is a great idea. I hope I can remember it for when my son gets older. (He's only 19 months.)

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  3. I love those same books you mentioned. I also love "A Joyful Mother of Children" by Linda Eyre Great story about Zari! :-)
    JULIA

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  4. I hope Margaret gets to a stage like that soon. We really need it.

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  5. Lisa in Canada2/11/11, 8:01 PM

    The most amazing "parenting" expect is a developmental psychologist who specializes in attachment theory. His name is Dr Gordon Neufeld and he is simply amazing. I'm currently taking one of his highly praised courses called "Power to Parent". I would recommend this to any parent, teacher, caregiver of any sort. I simply cannot emphasize the insight he has given me into how attachment actually works and how children grow and learn. He has one book called "Hold on to your Kids". It's actually only part of his work, but it's a great start. You can take his courses online, as well. He has a section of "Power to Parent" starting in March. It is worth every single penny and then some! www.gordonneufeld.com

    I can't wait to hear of the safe and happy arrival of Freeze baby #3!!

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  6. Ooo...I'll definitely try this! Thanks!!

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  7. I love the ones you mentioned too, but I will second the recommendation of Gordon Neufeld. "Hold On To Your Kids" is incredible. As a parent myself I was able to watch the transformation of my own parents as they adopted Neufeld's ideas with my younger sister. The youngest of 8, she was very lucky to have my parents read and know that book. Love it!

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  8. I'm reading "Simplicity parenting," best book I have ever read on parenting, if not in general!

    Anais

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  9. I haven't read these books, but I've used this method with one of my students at school. It works well.

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  10. I love those books, and I ask my DD to draw her feelings all the time! In fact, we have a drawing very similar to the one you posted. Little brother took Big Sister's juice and poured it on the floor.

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  11. My favorite parenting tip is this:
    When your child has been hurt and is crying (but you can tell it's not so bad), ask them to squeeze your fingers to show how much it hurts. With my son, it stops the tears immediately, and he stays calm, putting all his energy into a super-tight (and sometimes not so tight) squeeze with both his little hands wrapped around my fingers.

    Oh, and to teach your child to cough/sneeze into their sleeve, show and tell them to "make a triangle" with their elbow, and then cough into the triangle. Very public healthy and polite! :)

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  12. I love how big she drew herself in this picture. BIG feelings!!

    Thanks for sharing this...

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  13. Oh what a great story! I got such a laugh imagining Zari drawing this! I will have to remember this for Lizzie when she gets older. Fortunately Reed and Sarah are old enough to use words, and tattle! I also found the comment about the squeezing the finger awsome! I'm gonna use this with Reed for sure! He is quite the ruff and tumble boy!

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  14. I'll have to try that with those that can/are willing to draw....

    Sometimes emotions are hard to express in words....

    My favourite books are listed here: http://paxye.com/blog/re-post-my-favourite-parenting-books/

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  15. My favourite is "Happiest Toddler on the Block" by Dr Harvey Karp. I still use the techniques with my older kids!

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  16. "Hold On To Your Kids" is definitely worth reading - I will second(third?) the recommendation, although I found the tone a little condescending at times, he has great ideas. It was co-written by Dr. Gabor Mate, who is also super interesting and I would recommend his other books as well, though they are not strictly about parenting.

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  17. Oh! And I almost forgot one of my absolute favorites. It doesn't really have any "techniques" or anything, but "Magical Child" by Joseph Chilton Pearce has been a big influence on how I think about child development, I read it way before I had a kid and thought it was incredible. Come to think of it...probably time for a re-read.

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