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standing on the shoulders of giants

2013 April 12
by Rachel Turiel

Attachment Parenting is so tiring.

Happy Friday Everyone,

First, giveaway winner of the painting/writing super set is Nancy Walters. Email me with your address and I will send, forthwith.

Second, ever since I was asked to contribute to the website, 3 things for mom, all my thoughts are coming packaged into Tips and Truths, including: A pot of beans equals dinner!  Or, those first carrot sprouts, flashing their green, 2-fingered peace signs in the sun mark the official start of garden season. Which, I realize, may only be truths to me.

The carrots! They’re here!

I did want to share a tip which is helping me immensely. I recently read that children laugh 200 times a day. 200 times! (Adults: a paltry 15). A fair portion of my kids’ laughter surrounds fart jokes and the post-dinner mosh pit of wild careening of bodies, both of which crinkle my forehead up. But now, I remind myself: they have a laugh quota and I’m not going to stand in their way of reaching it!

What are your Truths and Tips?

Finally, this:

I like to surround myself with inspirational people, with mentors in my various disciplines. When I visit flourishing gardens, it inspires me to love and care deeper for my own. When I attend the talks at the Durango Dharma Center, I am reminded of my own potential to wake up. Many of my mentors don’t know me, like author, Anne Lamott, who, in her 500-word Facebook posts, manages to be both completely human and completely uplifting. I count her among my spiritual and writing advisors.

i don't know4

I have a circle of parenting mentors as well, of course. I constantly stand on their shoulders to get a clear view through the trees of parenting. Kathleen Hennessy of PeaceWorks Coaching is one of them. Dan and I took her Positive Discipline Workshop last fall, which was a powerful, hands-on experience of practicing the parenting philosophies I’d been delivering in 2 minute soundbytes to Dan as he’s falling asleep. (FYI: the real practice works so much better than the soundbytes. Also to break it down: this workshop provided some HUGE insights into my kids’ particular style of getting needs met, which can look like misbehavior, and how to address these needs/behaviors in a healthy way).

Positive Discipline is my parenting language, or at least the language I am trying to become more fluent in daily. The reason this style (de-emphasizing praise/punishment, emphasizing cooperation and personal responsibility) resonates with me is not just because it works, but also because it feels better. Of course this is hard, it’s a muscle that needs exercising, which is why I am grateful for opportunities like this workshop.

PeaceWorks Coaching is offering 2 workshops and a free talk in May in Durango:

Talk: The Top 10 Tools for Raising Responsible Kids: Friday, May 3rd 7:30 – 9pm FREE

Workshop: Why Children Misbehave and What to do About It: Saturday, May 4th 1-5

Workshop: Expanding your Positive Discipline Toolbox: Sunday, May 5th 1-5 (this is an advanced course, for those who attended the workshop last fall, or are familiar with Positive Discipline)

Cost: both workshops are $55/individual $85/couple

* 10% off registration if you register by 4/22

* An additional 10% off if you type in 6512andgrowing into the “promotional code”

All workshops taught by Kathleen Hennessy, Certified Positive Discipline Educator. They will be held at the Rocky Mountain Retreat Center, 848 E 3rd Ave. (Except the advanced class, location TBA). Appropriate for parents of children up to age 18.

The tools and concepts of Positive Discipline include:

  • Mutual respect. Adults model firmness by respecting themselves and the needs of the situation, and kindness by respecting the needs of the child.
  • Identifying the belief behind the behavior. Effective discipline recognizes the reasons kids do what they do and works to change those beliefs, rather than merely attempting to change behavior.
  • Effective communication and problem solving skills.
  • Discipline that teaches (and is neither permissive nor punitive).
  • Focusing on solutions instead of punishment.
  • Encouragement (instead of praise). Encouragement notices effort and improvement, not just success, and builds long-term self-esteem and empowerment.

For more info and/or to sign up go here and click on the orange E.

See you there!

And if you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

And have a very lovely weekend!


16 Responses leave one →
    • Rachel Turiel permalink
      April 12, 2013

      Thanks Carrie! Love it when science backs up my wacky practices.

  1. April 12, 2013

    you have carrot seedlings already!! wow! are they just mulched with straw or are they in any sort of greenhouse, polytunnel etc?

    I’ve been exploring the positive parenting approach since my daughter was born (she turns 3 on monday!). I was raised in a home full of anger and it’s amazing the re-programming you have to do to not react in the same way you were raised. My patience has soared and I find the attachment/peaceful parenting approach is so neat as it gives you more of an in depth point of view from the child’s perspective and how they need to explore the world.

    • Rachel Turiel permalink
      April 12, 2013

      Mulched with straw and in polytunnel.
      Yes on everything you said about peaceful parenting: it’s a win win, because if children are heard and their real needs are understood and met, their desires to “act up” decrease dramatically, which reinforces the parenting style, which creates more peace, which…

  2. Andrea permalink
    April 12, 2013

    most of my parenting mentor’s dont know me either (wink wink)!

    • Rachel Turiel permalink
      April 12, 2013

      We’re in it together.

  3. April 12, 2013

    I love that sweet picture of the attachment parenting, too cute! Also, I mentioned to you before that my husband and I were starting our very first garden this year. And…Rachel we are growing things! I have beautiful kale, squash, zuchinni, strawberries, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes and cucumbers! It’s really growing. I.Am.Stoked. You inspire me, Rachel!

    • Rachel Turiel permalink
      April 12, 2013

      Holy moly! You’re about 5 months ahead of us here. Yay for you! Sounds like you’re off to a great start!

      • April 12, 2013

        We live in Mississippi, so we’re a bit warmer here. And mostly, just the kale is edible at this point (that and tomatoes are the only things I didn’t start from seeds) and everything else is just growing big and strong. But still, seeing little green shoots popping up every where is so fantastic.

  4. April 12, 2013

    Rachel, so glowing and I can only thank you.

    Annie Lamott is also a favorite of mine and I am very happy to know of her facebook posts.

    Thank you, great woman.

  5. April 12, 2013

    Can I ask you a parenting question? To stand on your shoulders so to speak) I like your parenting style and wondered how did you tackle potty training. I had no probs with my oldest but my youngest is 3 and a little delayed talking wise (improving every day) but he just wont use the potty. Sometimes he sits and tries but nothing happens. I never want to be negative when he wees on the carpet or make an issue of it but he is weeing all over the house all the time. I feel the pressure of grandparents, other mums, his age to hurry him up, mind you I would if I could. I’m at a loss, any suggestions. Sticker chart and chocolate buttons are not working.

  6. April 15, 2013

    Dear Sian,

    Thank you for sharing your question so openly and honestly. I am a Positive Discipline Parent Educator and would like to respond to your concerns from that perspective.
    I sense from your description that you would be comfortable allowing him more time, because, as you have perceptively noted, he is somewhat delayed in his talking, although here the range of normal is very wide indeed. Perhaps it is more the external pressure which is pushing you to go against your inner wisdom of what is right for this particular child, whom you know in a way no other does.
    Potty learning (as Dr. Laura Markham calls it which I like very much) also has a wide range of normal. Does your 3-year-old demonstrate signs of readiness? The following is one resource and there are many more.
    You could check some of them out and see which seems to intuitively suit you and your child. Remember that starting to potty train before a child is ready usually leads to it taking much longer as well as creating stress in the relationship between the parent and child. It is also essential to consider other change factors in his life such as a new sibling, move, nursery school or other changes that may be big for him.
    You can also find very helpful tools in understanding your child in Positive Discipline for Preschoolers by Jane Nelsen, Cheryl Erwin, and Roslyn Ann Duffy. It could be useful to consider what your child might believe he is achieving with his behavior which the book addresses. This alone has proved to be invaluable for countless parents, as it gives the parents a whole new way of understanding their child’s behavior.
    In any case, it is most helpful to convey your confidence in his ability to learn this new skill and to try not to give it too much attention. If he makes a mess in the house, say “Oops. Oh well, maybe next time you can sit on the special potty. Let’s clean this up together.” You may want to let him sit on the little potty to look at books, to sit there when you sit on the big potty (I know this can be precious alone time for moms, however brief, so you decide). Then praise him when he does do something on the potty, but not too profusely. Continue to note all the other ways he is developing and encourage other acts of age-appropriate independence such as choosing between the green or the blue shirt, and dressing himself, putting his dishes away, helping in the kitchen, etc. All of these tasks build self-confidence and self-sufficiency which is what potty learning is about.
    He will get there and your instinct to allow him time is surely right for your son.

    Happy parenting!

    Kathleen Hennessy, CPDPCE

    • April 17, 2013

      Thank you so much for you advice! When you wrote

      ‘Perhaps it is more the external pressure which is pushing you to go against your inner wisdom of what is right for this particular child, whom you know in a way no other does.’

      I was like yes! Everyone is pushing me saying I need to be firmer with him instead of gently encouraging him all the time. I think I needed to hear that its okay to listen to myself. I have been doing some of the things you say like letting him read on the potty and saying ‘oh well never maybe next time’ so I feel encouraged. I rang my health visitor recently (she knows him well) I was expecting her to say I need to push him but she said the same thing as you. That he isn’t showing signs of being ready, not to listen to everyone else and keep going positively. Its so easy to get worn down by the opinions of others as a mum.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write to me I’m very grateful. I shall be reading up on the people you suggested.

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