Yesterday, Maurie was in her carseat and the babysitter was going to help her get out, but before she started she asked, “Maurie, can I help you get out of your car seat?”
I was nervous about how Maurie would respond, but she said yes. Even though seconds later she changed her mind and gave the babysitter trouble, her initial response was yes. Maurie’s boundaries and rights as a person had been respected when the babysitter had asked for permission first. If you force Maurie to do something she will fight, and I mean literally. She hits, kicks, screams, spits, pinches, bites and the list goes on, but if you ask her to do the thing you wanted to force her to do, she complies with sweetness.
I have thought about Maurie’s responses since yesterday’s incident, and I have been filled with some guilt. I tend to demand things of people instead of asking.
Cody, come and do the dishes, please.
Jane, pick up the toys.
Brooklyn, sit still.
Most of us are not trying to be defiant, but when someone expects something of me, or demands something of me, my first response is to run the opposite direction or do nothing, just to show them that I have a choice.
Everyone wants to be recognized as an individual with choices to make.
Cody, will you help me with the dishes please?
Jane, will you pick up the toys please?
Brooklyn, will you sit still so you can stay safe?
When we ask, we are saying, Yes, you have a choice and I will respect that choice. Of course, with kids, we have to keep them safe and sometimes that requires doing something against their will because they don’t understand, but generally, it really does make a difference when we ask instead of demand. The Golden Rule really is the best way to live life. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
Here’s to showing respect for the best in each other!