Have I confused you yet?
“I didn’t do a DON’T; I did a DO!“ is what I said to Walter when I wrapped up my explanation of an interaction I had with our son Gregory this week. Walter complimented me for R2A2ing a specific situation within moments. It was way cool!
For those of you who may not know what R2A2 is – it is an acronym from the teachings within Go90Grow, the Master Key Experience and Mark J. It means to “Recognize; Relate; Assimilate; Apply”. Not always an easy task – especially on the fly.
In order to fully grasp the “do” that I did, allow me to share the shift currently in process within our family interaction. For years now, but more defined within the last 6 months, we have been guiding ourselves and our son regarding the use of “positive” phrases as opposed to “negative” phrases.
Example: Greg and I had gone to a café after school for hot chocolate (with real whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles) – a treat while we did his homework together. When we were leaving I said “Greg, don’t forget your backpack.” He immediately turned to me and said “The universe doesn’t understand the word “don’t” Mommy”. I smiled, noticing a number of other patrons chuckling behind raised hands, and responded: “You are right. Greg, please remember your backpack.” He picked it up and said “Much better Mommy.”
We had explained the “universe” (the all encompassing energy which surrounds us) listens to what we are saying and provides based upon the verb or action word – not the qualifier (not the do versus the don’t).
However, phrasing words in the most effective way is something many of us need to work on regularly. Old habits can creep back in unless you first recognize what you are doing, relate what you say with what you are doing, then assimilate how it could be rephrased and apply the new directive. AND then most importantly, practice continuously!
Most recently Walter, Greg and I are working on removing the word “don’t” from our family vocabulary. I must say Greg is totally on board and all over this; He is really fast at the entire R2A2. I have encouraged him to correct me if I don’t catch myself, explaining he would be helping me to become a better me. In essence he has become my Jiminy Critcket.
So back to how I didn’t do a don’t, I did a do!
Gregory requested to stay home for this summer rather than being enrolled in any type of formal summer camp program. We agreed, thinking it would allow him time to enjoy summer – and since we both are self employed, and are able to work from home, we figured it would allow us to be more flexible in doing things together as a family.
At the beginning of the summer (was that ONLY last week?) we had a discussion where I suggested we have some agreed guidelines as to how much time could be spent on electronics (ie: computer games, Minecraft, Wii). We discussed the available personal time in a day, broke it down into ways to spend self directed time, removed time for eating, walking the dog, etc – and then divided the remaining time into 3 other areas: a) inside time other than electronics; b) outside time which does not include electronics and c) time for electronics.
Mid week Greg comes into my office to ask me whether dancing to “Just Dance 2014” on his computer counts as electronic play time since technically this would be exercise. I contemplated his reasoning, figured it was interesting enough to allow the stretch and agreed that it did not count.
Having been a creative child myself (I was the youngest of 7, so to get away with anything I had to be rather inventive) my old blue print way of thinking considered saying something along the line of “Don’t go onto any other sites though…otherwise they count as your computer time.” I stopped myself and had the following discussion internally.
- Greg is his own person
- He understands rules
- He also understands if he does not follow the rules there are consequences (cause and effect has been taught)
- He asked to dance / exercise and I have to trust that this is what he is doing
I hugged him, give him a quick kiss on his head as he was starting up his computer and said “I trust you Greg so I know you will do what you’ve said you will be doing. Have fun.”
Rather than saying “Don’t” I turned it around to be a “Do”.
Greg cracks me up. I thoroughly enjoy when he gets his reasoning going and he comes up with his own plan. I believe we actually learn just as much (or more) from him than he does from us. What a great way to be a parent!