In continuing my reading of 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families , Covey talks about the space between a stimulus and your response. He explains how much freedom we have there to choose how we want our family to interact. And it starts with me!
He explains that as the moment of the stimulus (or when something happens or someone says something problematic), we have the following at our disposal before we react…
Self-awareness: I need to monitor my own patterns of behaviour, my motives, my anger, my communication, my tendencies to use tactics and manipulation.
Conscience: Evaluate your tendencies and make a judgement.
Imagination: In that moment when we feel incapable of doing anything other than what we always do, we need to take a risk, get energized, use our creativity and give your child an escape route from the confrontation that is about to happen. Do something silly, crazy, interesting, distract, diffuse the moment, and then realign each of you towards the vision you have for your relationships.
Independent Will: We are not animals right? Let’s choose to do something different than our family members, church, friends, etc… You do not have to parent the same way the people around you parent nor consent to their values. Be indepenent and make the decision that is best for your family.
This is what I’m trying to put into place right now with my kids. I think in a lot of ways we have some vicious cycles happening that I want to break up. I’m not very happy with the circles of frustration going on with my kids. We need to create some off-ramps for our communication.