What Are Your Successes? Part Two7 min read

The variety of stories we’ve received is amazing! Teaching Self-Government works in all situations. These people have put it into practice and utilized it. Let’s see how!

My daughter is sitting beside a boy at school who likes to taps his foot and push on the leg of her chair. She finds this distracting. I asked her if she disagreed appropriately, to which she scoffed and said I wouldn’t say that to him. We were able to talk about how she could used that skill, without the “may I disagree appropriately” words, to communicate with this boy. We practiced the conversation together, and I could see she was amazed that this stuff we do at home could work at school too! How incredible for this little 9 year old to have an assertive way to communicate with respect including seeking to understand another person’s perspective! -Colleen

It is difficult to put into words the success we have seen in our family since implementing TSG. Our youngest three children (5 y/o boy, 8 y/o boy, and 11 y/o girl) embraced TSG with open hearts. They are wonderfully self-governed and even expressed dismay and confusion over the resistance their older brothers displayed.

Upon introducing the four basic skills our 14 year old son fiercely determined this approach would NEVER work. We expressed our confidence that if he tried the system, we felt certain he would see the value not only for himself, but for the entire family. He agreed to give himself completely to the effort for one month if we promised to reevaluate at the end of 30 days. Again, with complete confidence we agreed to his terms.Within two dayshe humbly admitted what a blessing this is and will continue to be for us. Success!

Our 17 year old son nearly had a panic attack as he detailed how TSG was like a nightmare from a dystopian novel where all who don’t fall in line are ostracized and/or eliminated. Reluctantly, he too agreed to try and he too witnessed the value almost immediately. Success!

Above all, however, I think our greatest success can be found within the hearts of my husband and myself. Prior to TSG he has always felt justified in whatever reaction he felt in a given parenting moment. This has been challenging in every aspect of family life. I have been amazed at the loving, calm, controlled way he has been able to respond to daily challenges. His commitment so far has surpassed anything I have seen in our nearly 20 years of marriage. He has shared his concerns with me openly as on day five or six he said, “They don’t tell you how you have to give up so much control. I am struggling with that. It is hard.” For two decades I have tried to initiate conversations about his need for control! Never has he been so open, aware, and disciplined. Success!

For my part, I have worked hard to overcome the challenges of my dysfunctional upbringing and have established a calm, loving presence in our home over the years. However, I did not realize how often the stresses of each day became excuses for me to be impatient with my children. I am so much more aware of the damage this causes to my most important relationships. I am now able to be more engaged and present in each interaction, taking whatever time is necessary to recognize teaching moments and focus on what truly matters most. Success!

I am grateful for the changes we have made and look forward to additional delights as we continue to become a more self governed family. Thank you!! -Beth

We have gone from a disconnected, ear buds in the ears, faces in front of screens, friends before family, family– to a family that enjoys playing, talking, and connecting on a heart level because of implementing the Teaching Self Government principles and skills in our family.

One of the biggest pieces for our family in getting us to connect with each other was identifying and embracing our own roles and honoring and respecting each other’s roles. The other huge piece of TSG that has transformed our family are the three meetings, couples meetings, family meetings and mentor meetings! My youth especially look forward to his and her weekly mentor meetings with dad and mom. They enjoy the individual time to plan and talk about their life. The accountability they feel toward the goals they have set with us for the week is also motivating. I really can’t say enough about the meetings, do them consistently! With the right tone, of course. They will strengthen your family. The meetings, along with the four basic skills and the five teaching styles, have helped so much to create a safe, harmonious and peaceful refuge from the world. -Sariah

I want to share a day that was successful. We have been trying to implement routines with our children about 10 years and it was so hard to follow through with my children. Now after 2 years working with implementing theTeaching Self Governmentprogram our work was rewarded. I had to learn and then teach my children that the routines were instructions and the positive effects of following them and the negative effects. Then my husband and I had a really good couples meeting. We discussed a step by step reasonable routine with clear and specific goals. We also talked about the principle learned from Ghandi, do what we ask our children to do. So one of the tasks on the list is to fold the # of clothes for your age. So my youngest folds 6 pieces of laundry and my oldest folds 15. Mom and Dad fold a lot more but our laundry table is clear for the first time in a long time. Wow!! I was able to praise my children and identify the feeling of helpfulness and it is exciting. The children are happier too. We were not rushed to get to school or work. We also found extra time to do fun activities together. -Rachel

So we finally all sat down to talk about the family vision. We went out to eat and we were all outside but in a private place. We began describing our family vision and talking about the feelings, smells, what we might be like in 20 yrs, maybe have children… It was all going so well. Then my 8yr old blurts out how when his little sister gets to the door he is going to “totally prank her”. He is going to throw a rubber snake at her and teach his neices and nephews to prank their mom. Then it was downhill from there. Then my 5yr old started yelling about how she was going to kick him out of the house if he did that and then Dad says that maybe he wont even be invited to the family get togethers…ughhh…I’m face palming and trying to correct and find the positive family vision again. It didn’t really end well…we will have to re-visit the vision. HOWEVER, later that night my son told me he is really starting to love disagreeing appropriatelyand I caught my 5yr old telling my 3yr old in a super calm voice “I’m going to give you a no answer.”. It was really cute and my 3yr old said “ok” and they just played nicely! Sooo not all is lost…still some work ahead of us but thought I’d share. It’s a bumpy road but I know it is supposed to be in the beginning. We’ll get there! -Lizzy

I am a mother of two boys (5&10yrs old). We have been working on TSG with our children for one month. The honeymoon stage is over. My 10 year old just had his first 24-hour loss of privileges (we were surprised he didn’t have one sooner). We were shocked at some of the responses we received from our son:
Cry
I’m gonna lose my privileges until I’m 18!
This is fun
I like this
I’m gonna die
Attitude

We successfully made it through and we learned a lot in the process. He actually told his aunt that he is going to use TSG when he is a Dad.

Other good moments we have had with our boys:

My older son told my five year old that the book he was reading was his and had to be returned. My five year old asked to “disagree appropriately,” and then requested he be allowed to look at the last few pages. It brought smiles to everyone’s faces as our 10-year old shared this experience.

I have struggled with my oldest for at least six years. Our relationship has not been good. We have a lot of history to overcome. As of right now, we both feel our relationship has improved and I feel that respect has started to develop. TSG brings me hope and developing confidence as a mother. -Pam

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