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How a few simple shifts changed behavior
We all know that kids can have meltdowns when things don’t go their way.
This morning was yet another one of those days.
The kids were out of school and I had just started to make breakfast when my daughter came into the kitchen. She immediately saw what I was making and before I could even turn around she screamed in horror. “I HATE English Muffins!”
Wow. Really? Who hates English muffins. only.my.daughter.
Immediately after screaming she ran to the pantry and grabbed a box of cereal. Just then my husband walked in and said, “We just had English muffins and now you don’t like them? Your mom made breakfast, please put the cereal back.”
You can guess how that went over.
The screaming and tantrum began immediately. She ran into the living room and threw herself on the sofa.
I waited and watched for her cues. Once her body settled slightly I went over and told her I knew a SECRET. A special secret about English muffins. She looked at me curiously.
I gently took her hand and we walked into the kitchen.
I picked up the top of the sliced English muffin and made it say “Hi, my name is Peter. What’s your name?” My daughter giggled a little. I then did the same with another muffin “Hi Peter. I’m Rosey.” And from there the English muffins began a dialogue. Sharing about their day and the experience in the toaster before arriving on the plate.
My daughter had immediately shifted from having big feelings of wild emotion to curiosity.
As a mother, silly and playful were never part of my parenting. I didn’t even really know how to be playful. A year ago, I began studying how to bring greater connection to families. Without a doubt, it has been the greatest tool to rebuild connection when things fall apart and even prevent things from falling apart.