Before I found Teaching Self-Government, building relationships used to be a mystery to me. I remember about 5 years ago I began to learn that building relationships was a good thing to focus on. I used to think that building relationships happened through eating ice-cream together, watching movies, or by doing fun things together that we all enjoyed. Certainly relationships can be built that way, but I didn’t know any other way.
My relationships with my children were strained. One daughter used to pout quite often and even go into a sulking emotional cave. She would completely stop talking to me and it frustrated me. I really wanted to have a good relationship with my children but I didn’t know how to build one.
Today, after two years of working on Teaching Self-Government, my life is different and my relationships are different. We’re still working on it, but we are world apart from where we used to be. I feel connected to my children and husband. The other day at bedtime my oldest daughter, who is now 9, came up to me and gave me a hug and a kiss before bed. I had already sung her a song and said goodnight, but she came back to give me a quick hug. As she walked out of the room with a content little smile on her face it warmed my heart. I thought back to the times when our relationship was falling apart and I didn’t know how to love her even though I really wanted to.
I have seen over the past two years of studying Teaching Self-Government that our relationships have grown stronger. Not through eating ice-cream or watching movies together, but by good solid assertive communication. During my time as a student of Teaching Self-Government, I have seen myself grow in my power to be calm. I have also seen how my children are so much happier and free because they can choose to follow instructions and accept no answers. Not necessarily because they want to, but because they know they need to.
It really does work, but it does take work. I know that changing myself is the most important thing I can do to help my family, and that helping my family is the most important thing I can do to make the world a better place. The family really is the basic unit of society. Strong homes make a strong nation. When we are calm at home, we can be calm anywhere.
Here is your Audio Gem for this week on building relationships, parent child roles, and balance. Here is thewhole call from 8-5-11if you are interested. This is a little longer than the usual Gem simply because I didn’t know how to cut out part of the story without making it get out of context. Happy Listening =)
In this Gem, Nicholeen talks about an exercise she did with a 16-year-old on a home visit with a family. This is what to help him realize that he was out of balance and that he needed to spend more time connecting to family and less time with friends. By writing down where he was spending his time, he became aware. By becoming aware, he was able to believe and adjust it. Is it any wonder then that Nicholeen teaches us to describe behavoir so others will become aware enough to change their own behavoir?
To the victory of your family,