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I have this really cool iPhone App which lets me access all 52 of the Positive Discipline Tool Cards. You shake the phone and one of the cards pops up. Sometimes I’ll be thinking about a parenting problem — for myself or a client — and I’ll shake the phone and see what pops up. Here’s one I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.
My oldest child just started kindergarten. She is smart, outgoing, lively, and so courageous. She impresses me every single day with how she embraces life. She’s in a challenging school and this is her first year of full-day school. And she has been doing just wonderfully.
Of course the adjustment to kindergarten has not been without struggle. For one thing, my little genius has been wetting her pants almost every day at school. Every day she comes home with her wet clothes in a bag and every day I send a new bag of dry clothes. I have talked to her teacher about it, and she is unconcerned. “Some kids do this,” she said. “That’s why we have them keep a change of clothes at school.” Aislin herself is unconcerned “accidents happen, mommy! And that’s OK!” So obviously I am the only one worried about this. I scolded, I begged, I encouraged, I bribed her with ice cream, I made a sticker chart, I praised her when she made it home with dry clothes. I psychoanalyzed the situation and asked my friend, who is also a child therapist, what I should do. But really, nothing I did made any change.
So I shook the iPhone App and read what came up and here’s what it said:

Empower Your Kids
Share control with young people so they can develop the skills needed to have power over their own lives.
1. Teach life skills
2. Focus on solutions together
3. Have faith in your children
4. Let go (in small steps)
5. Increase self-awareness: How do you feel? What do you think? How does this affect what you want in your life?

The first thing that jumped out at me was that I was making something my problem that is NOT MY PROBLEM. My baby is in kindergarten now living a whole part of her life that doesn’t involve me. Of course it does involve me in the sense that I’m here for her no matter what and it’s my job to make sure she is safe, protected, and cared for no matter where she is. But she needs to learn how to handle things in school when I am not there. I need to LET GO (in a totally age-appropriate way).
The teacher is already on board with focusing on solutions and teaching life skills. When Aislin has an accident at school, she gets her own clothing bag and goes into the bathroom to change them herself. She puts the wet ones in the plastic bag and she washes her own hands. Aislin is in charge of solving this problem.
The real question here is why do I care so much? And of course the answer is not about my daughter but about me. I care how it makes me look when my child is the school pants-wetter. {Here’s me focusing on the problem}
{And now here’s me, focusing on the solution} I decided to say no more about the wet clothes or dry clothes or clothes at all. When they come home in the backpack, I wash them. She always has a change of clothes at school. I don’t praise dry clothes, I don’t make a disgruntled noise when the wet clothes come home. If she wants to talk about it, of course I am willing (hasn’t happened). But for the most part, this issue is between my daughter and her teacher. And so far….so good…..

I have this really cool iPhone App which lets me access all 52 of the Positive Discipline Tool Cards. You shake the phone and one of the cards pops up. Sometimes I’ll be thinking about a parenting problem — for myself or a client — and I’ll shake the phone and see what pops up. Here’s one I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

My oldest child just started kindergarten. She is smart, outgoing, lively, and so courageous. She impresses me every single day with how she embraces life. She’s in a challenging school and this is her first year of full-day school. And she has been doing just wonderfully.

Of course the adjustment to kindergarten has not been without struggle. For one thing, my little genius has been wetting her pants almost every day at school. Every day she comes home with her wet clothes in a bag and every day I send a new bag of dry clothes. I have talked to her teacher about it, and she is unconcerned. “Some kids do this,” she said. “That’s why we have them keep a change of clothes at school.” Aislin herself is unconcerned “accidents happen, mommy! And that’s OK!” So obviously I am the only one worried about this. I scolded, I begged, I encouraged, I bribed her with ice cream, I made a sticker chart, I praised her when she made it home with dry clothes. I psychoanalyzed the situation and asked my friend, who is also a child therapist, what I should do. But really, nothing I did made any change.

So I shook the iPhone App and read what came up and here’s what it said:

Empower Your Kids

Share control with young people so they can develop the skills needed to have power over their own lives.

1. Teach life skills

2. Focus on solutions together

3. Have faith in your children

4. Let go (in small steps)

5. Increase self-awareness: How do you feel? What do you think? How does this affect what you want in your life?

The first thing that jumped out at me was that I was making something my problem that is NOT MY PROBLEM. My baby is in kindergarten now living a whole part of her life that doesn’t involve me. Of course it does involve me in the sense that I’m here for her no matter what and it’s my job to make sure she is safe, protected, and cared for no matter where she is. But she needs to learn how to handle things in school when I am not there. I need to LET GO (in a totally age-appropriate way).

The teacher is already on board with focusing on solutions and teaching life skills. When Aislin has an accident at school, she gets her own clothing bag and goes into the bathroom to change them herself. She puts the wet ones in the plastic bag and she washes her own hands. Aislin is in charge of solving this problem.

The real question here is why do I care so much? And of course the answer is not about my daughter but about me. I care how it makes me look when my child is the school pants-wetter. {Here’s me focusing on the problem}

{And now here’s me, focusing on the solution} I decided to say no more about the wet clothes or dry clothes or clothes at all. When they come home in the backpack, I wash them. She always has a change of clothes at school. I don’t praise dry clothes, I don’t make a disgruntled noise when the wet clothes come home. If she wants to talk about it, of course I am willing (hasn’t happened). But for the most part, this issue is between my daughter and her teacher. And so far….so good…..

09:12 pm, by christinewhitley