Thursday, 22 October 2009
Becoming a Guide - Setting limits
We are in a stage in our RDI program where we are trying to become effective guides for our son.
This means establishing our role as the teacher and communicating that to the child. You cannot teach unless you an assert some level of control on the environment and transfer that competence to your apprentice/student. The apprentice needs to accept you as a guide before they can learn anything from you.
I have put two presentations in the LINKS section of this blog, that I attended online. Download from here as well: Setting limits Power Point 1, Setting limits power point 2.
I found these very helpful but I attended it live so there was a lot of explanation of all the points. The best part was knowing I already do a lot of these things with K in terms of setting limits. It comes with my inherent nature of not putting up with any one's crap including my child's!
The things I need to modify in my behaviour are:
-my emotional reactions to certain things that upset me a lot such as getting slapped in the face
-staying CALM (not even close right now)
-not being obsessed about finishing a task but focus on being a guide (so if it is taking 2 hours to do the laundry because K keeps running away from his role, then set aside 2 hours to do the laundry!)
Since I am more aware of K's problems, I react increasingly in a more confident and proactive way to his breakdowns.
If he bangs the fridge door. He does not get told off, but is asked to do it again but gently. Sometimes we have to close the door 8 times to achieve this. If there is a tantrum in the middle, then I slow down, get to his level, make a face that conveys that this is the way it is too bad, so he can emotionally co-regulate with my facial expressions, and then when he is calm we do it again.
The currency of this exchange is time and patience. Most of the time it is impossible for me to be calm. For that I need some kind of Zen-like experience where I can go outside my body and tell myself to calm down. They say it gets easier.