The dictator on his knees

Hello, it has been ages since I put a “pen to paper” for my blog. I have been busy with a number of things and have been frequently thinking about what should be my next blog. The theme in my head was almost always parenting. With every day there are so many experiences and with every phase there are so many thoughts to share, it is so easy to get lost in the clutter of ideas, emotions and experiences and lose focus. Which made it all the more harder to put together an article. And here I am again attempting.

Some of you may have read my previous blog “Living with Giant Dictators” where I pictured the parent to be a dictator oppressing the little one. Since then I have been constantly looking at my parenting style, and my relationship with my two kids, especially my son who is the eldest (3 years +) I am constantly assessing how I talk to him, how I react to his actions and words, how I discipline him etc. most recently I have also been assessing the space I am allowing him to grow, questioning how much of my “instructions” or “dictator like behaviour” corrupts that space and how much of it fosters an environment for learning and growth. Conclusion is I am not a perfect father, in fact, far from it. It really isn’t easy. But then I discovered I don’t need to be a perfect father, I just need to keep learning and applying what I learn. It is a growth journey for me as much as it is for them.

Today I finished a book called “playful parenting” by Lawrence Cohen. Though I find the book in many ways heavily American and loaded with cultural influences that I don’t relate to nor identify with I still found the book extremely beneficial to my relationship with Ziad (my son). The basic idea is about getting the child to express his feelings, struggles, excitements, frustrations, fears etc. through play. The caregiver, parent or the play partner is supposed to help the child by offering the play medium and or creating a game that addresses the need at hand and then let the child take charge so they can channel these emotions.

About a week ago I have been allowing Ziad to express power and be in control initially by basically falling dramatically and funnily on the floor after a light touch from him. In another game I play scared asking him to give me comfort when he makes pop sound with his mouth. I was showing him it is okay to be scared. He has been expressing fear when he hears fireworks. none of the games are pre-planned. they are mostly spur of the moment with him and what he is feeling as the lead for it. And basically getting on my knees, getting on the floor at his level and having fun.

Since I started doing that I noticed a significant change in the way he interacts with me. We have a better connection. A connection that gives me leverage when it is time to ask him to do something or refuse something he asked for. On couple of occasions he cried when I denied something he asked for and it only took seconds for him to calm down after I acknowledge his upset. I say “aww Zuzu, you are upset because I said no? I understand! come I will give you hug, we can do this tomorrow but now we have to…..” it has only been a week and I am seeing great results, we shall see how it goes.

Will stop here and hopefully the next blog is not a year later hehehe.

Thanks for reading, leave your comments below and let me know your thoughts and experiences.


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