Parenting Tips Shared on Facebook and The Implosion of a Million Emotions

7 Feb

Tips for Talking to Children

On Wednesday evening I shared the above infographic* that I created on my Facebook page, The Joy of This. Within a few hours it was quickly shared over 600 times.  A lot of people seemed to really love the tips, but also, not surprisingly, a lot of parents were outraged by the tips. Tips which I gleaned and compiled from two different books, Secrets Of The Baby Whisperer for Toddlers, and How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk.

But some people just didn’t care that these tips came from recognized experts in the field. Some folks were down right angry – at me – for suggesting these tips.

In fact, I even had one mother attack me personally for posting it on my page, making mean-spirited claims about me and my children. I chose not to respond to her comment, but rather ban her from my page (along with a few other miserable beings who had really uncouth things to say). Mean parents who don’t know how to express a differing opinion without using verbal attacks get banned – that’s just how it goes!

Joking aside …

There was one comment that really soured my milk, it was this:

fits are unacceptable

“Number four is out of the question in my house. Fits are unaccepbtle [sic] under any and all circumstances and will not be rewarded with a hug.” 

Yowzers,“any and all circumstances” you say? How very authoritarian of you. That’ll teach ’em!

Last I checked it was “liked” 18  times, and that just seriously bummed me out. But, got me thinking…

On further reflection, and seeing that a lot of people just weren’t getting it, I came to the conclusion that the infographic did a poor job explaining the reasonings behind the tips and the importance of using these tips with our children; unless you are already aware of the concepts behind this advice you may not understand the value of these suggestions.

So I wrote a lengthy and heartfelt response and shared it as a status update on my Facebook page in hopes to shed light on the issue. That “status” has now been shared over 180 times from my page, gained more than 1200 likes, and has been viewed by more than 10,000 people. Holy smokes! This tells me something I need to remember: when we open up and share our parenting failures and victories with authenticity and vulnerability, it impacts our hearts in a way that an idealized infograpic just isn’t able to.  (Another lesson learned by yours truly.)

I’ve included here below the status update I shared on my Facebook page:

My Parenting Lesson

I learned a valuable lesson when I weaned my two-year-old daughter from her pacifier. The first nap time without her pacifier she cried hard at not having her (life-long) established comfort method, but I felt like she would just have to learn the hard way, and without thinking I shut the door and walked away from Zoe because I thought there was nothing {else} I could do – just rip the Band-Aid off and get it over with.

As I stood alone in the kitchen trying to wash dishes, I could hear my daughter screaming painfully through her confused tears.  That moment, lightning struck my heart, and I thought to myself, “What am I doing? I would never walk away from a friend, or my spouse if they were miserably crying like that alone in a room! Why do I think it’s okay to do this to my own child?”

I turned on my heels, and rushed into her room. I got in bed with her, and held her close to me. I told her first that I was sorry, and then I told her that I could see how hard it must be to have to nap without her pacifier, but that I was there to hug her and hold her until she felt good enough to go to sleep without it. With great relief she quieted and sank into my arms and fell tenderly asleep.

After that nap, she NEVER asked for her pacifier again.

That day I learned that a mother’s compassion will lead her child to acceptance far easier than a mother’s silence.

Make no mistake, I am a momma bear with my kids, but I’m one mamma bear that always strives (often imperfectly) to consider the feelings of my children in the moment of their learning.

A-mother's-Compassion

Please be gentle with me and this personal experience I just shared with you. This is my story, and my learning experience, shared with vulnerability and honesty. Please do not attack my parenting skills, and feel this is your opportunity to use *MY EXPERIENCE* as a platform to teach *YOUR LESSON.*

There was a lot of gentle weaning that happened prior to weaning from naps. I did approach other ideas, (giving her paci away, etc.) and I did speak to my daughter over the course of a few weeks and months about how we would say good-bye to her paci at nap-times.

*A line of the “Tips for Talking To Our Children” infographic was edited  based on a Facebook commenter’s suggestion to say, “When you’re done eating…” instead of “Once you finish eating…”  Thanks for the tip, smart momma!

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13 Responses to “Parenting Tips Shared on Facebook and The Implosion of a Million Emotions”

  1. Lindsay February 7, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    Wow, I’m sorry that happened! I LOVED the tips, and tried them out on my 2 year old daughter before and during dinner, and she responded WONDERFULLY. It was amazing. Thank you for sharing this, and please continue. I also loved the pacifier story. My daughter still nurses to sleep, and most of the time I still love it. When it’s time to change that, I will remember this. Again, Thank you.

  2. Mary Jane February 7, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    This is the kind of parenting that teaches makes a child feel valued and secure. It also teaches without causing a child to question being loved. This is how we teach empathy and if there were more empathy, we would have more kindness, less self loathing, and less violence. It is most important for a mother to “tune into” her child’s feelings and try to lead him/her to something else. Nothing makes any human being feel more valued than love.

  3. persnicketyjones February 7, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    This was a really great blog! Thank you so much and please know that your blogs inspire me ALL OF THE TIME! So you go with your bad self! Xo A new mommy

    Fearless ideas inspire social change Sent from my iPhone

  4. Jessie Roberts February 7, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    I also appreciated your post, and it surprises me that anyone could interpret it negatively. “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen” is a wonderfully positive book that completely changed the way I teach and parent. I’m sure if these parents implemented the tips they would see much more cooperation and emotional regulation from their kids. It’s sad that they won’t even give it a chance. My daughter is not quite two and I get so much better results when I validate her emotions and am compassionate with her big toddler feelings. Many people were treated with disrespect as children, myself included, and that is a big part of their treatment of their children, but it can be overcome. Thank you for your post.

  5. Kelly S February 7, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    I agree wholeheartedly with you. In my experience, if my son is having a tantrum it is because his emotions are too much for him to handle. If I give him a big hug and some consoling, he is fine in no time. It doesn’t encourage him to have tantrums, he is very well-behaved. I think some parents are afraid to respond with love to those situations for fear of encouraging the behavior, and that kind of thinking seems like it comes from the belief that a tantrum is a deliberate way for a child to manipulate her parent. That can be true in some cases, especially with an older child, I would guess. But you have to know your child and know the situation in order to find the right way to respond.

    If nothing else, maybe your tips will give parents ideas for something else to try, if just ignoring isn’t working for them.

  6. tanyetta February 7, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

    Wow! Sorry you were verbally attacked! Well, I appreciated the tips and took it as just a reminder for all of us to be aware of our tone when responding to our children. I didn’t feel judged or talked down upon. I felt free that I am not the only mom on this planet trying to do the best and open to improving my parenting skills with tips and reminders. Lease! Keep on posting your thoughts and input and next time, post a disclaimer of where you received the inspiration for the tips! This way, people can get mad at the parenting experts also! LOL! People are funny.

    • tanyetta February 7, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

      *Please!

  7. Lisha February 10, 2013 at 6:55 am #

    Hi there, my name is Lisha Azad and I run a parenting page on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ConsciousParentingApproach – please do say Hello to us and check us out!

    I found your weaning from the paci story very inspirational and as we’re currently going through weaning from bottle/breast as part of our monthly Challenges in Childrearing theme, I was wondering if I could share part of this blogpost with my fans on my page.

    I also hope to share your infographic on talking to children (with proper credits, of course) as I have read and totally agree with the book ‘How to Talk So Kids will Listen…’.I would like to have your permission to allow me to post the picture with the credits mentioned as ‘Image courtesy http://www.thejoyofthis.com‘ enabling my fans to share it directly from my page – would this be OK with you, seeing that the picture is already credited to your website and FB page on it itself?

    Please confirm both of the above. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you and warm regards,
    Lisha

    • Joy February 11, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

      Hi, Lisha! Of course, you’re welcome to share that story (with proper crediting – as you mentioned, thanks). I visited your page and appreciate all the great stuff you’re up to!
      xoxo,
      joy.

      • Racheal Primm April 22, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

        I love your advice and have gotten away myself from these very lessons. Trying to get back so I can feel like myself and at one with my children instead of the constant battles of everyday parenting. I am having a hard time finding your Facebook page though. Could you please direct me so I may get on it?

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Talking with Toddlers – Making Requests | Brett Johnson - February 10, 2013

    […] I found some other tips for talking with young children on thejoyofthis.com. My favourite is instead of saying “Don’t slam the door!” Try “Please, close the door gently. Would you like me to show you how?” Check out more in this article. […]

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