My three-and-a-half year-old son had a friend over to play and we were all sitting outside in the garden for morning tea. The two boys weren’t getting along very well and were fighting over who would get to sit in a particular chair. The mother of my son’s friend and I tried to help them out by setting limits, but it wasn’t shifting much. After a minute I decided to see if I could diffuse the tension by being silly, so I said I was going to try the chair they both wanted, only to find that whenever I sat on it, I would fall off very clumsily onto the grass, to much laughter!
Then both boys proceeded to jump on me, and tried to push me and the other mum over, which of course we let them do! Then I went to sit on the chair again, this time getting thrown off to a loud “boom!” More laughter followed, then they played their own version of the game together for a while before heading off to do other things, leaving my friend and I to chat for a while uninterrupted!
The type of games we had played all allowed the boys to work together to be the powerful ones, and us adults the clumsy, weak ones. I think this really helped each boy to feel more confident and in control and not so tight and stuck in being able to share the chair and other toys with each other during the playdate.
Lyra L'Estrange is a Certified Parenting by Connection Instructor in NSW, Australia. She has two children and has seen the transformative effects of the Listening Tools within her own family, and with those to whom she has taught the approach. She feels that having this knowledge empowers parents with valuable skills and information from which to draw from when challenging situations arise. You can connect with Lyra through her website or find her on Facebook. Or join Lyra for her next online Parenting by Connection Starter Class.