I love the relationship we are building. We have a mutual respect for each other and we try to make each other happy.
The techniques I try to follow from Parent Effectiveness Training have significantly reduced the UGLY power struggles we used to have. Now we:
1)Try to calmly listen and take turns calmly talking about what we each want in situations where we are at odds. We have to do this before it gets too heated or we get too mad and can't communicate. If either of us is too angry, we both must cool down first, stop crying and approach the subject later. Once we are able to calmly talk about what we want, we sit down and:
2)Try to think of a solution together that we can both be happy with. (To get him thinking, participating, and learning, I pretend to be thinking of a solution and wait for him to come up with one)
3) When he can come up with a solution that we both can be happy with, I generously praise him for helping us to find a solution. I enourage him to apologize and clean up after any verbal or physical damages, which are usually directed at me. When he awkwardly tries to repair and apologize, I sincerely forgive him. I apoligize for anything I did that may have hurt his feelings, (whether I feel my behavior is justified or not. If I hurt his feelings, I need to apologize for hurting his tender feelings). We hug and can happily move on with our new solution.
What used to take all day to horribly fight over can now possibly (I add to keep it real) be resolved in minutes!
I am trying to summarize a whole book that I really believe into a brief and interesting blog post. I need help to make it better. Please share your thoughts, I'd love to hear!