A few months ago our family started to call our home “The House Of Love.”
This nickname happened one evening by accident, while trying to get our almost-5 year old son (Ari Salmansohn) to go to sleep at bedtime – a time which has earned its own moniker – “badtime” – a name we’ve been trying to get un-stuck.
“I don’t want to go to sleep! Sleep is booooring,” Ari has been known to say at bedtime/badtime.
Admittedly, I’m happy to know my son loves life soooo much that he doesn’t want to miss a moment of it by going to sleep.
But… I’m not so happy about all the many excuses my son concocts to stay awake.
Eventually Ari gets very direct about what he really wants.
Quarrels can happen.Before Ari was even born – while I was pregnant -I decided very affirmatively that I wanted to discipline my son without doing lots of yelling or giving time outs.
So I read a range of Positive Parenting books – and came up with Positive Parenting strategies.
Since Ari was born, I’ve done my best to keep yelling and punishments to a minimum.
(I’ve written about some of these strategies before here – and here – and also here – plus in many other essays on my site!)
I always try to bring whatever starts out feeling like a quarrel-about-to-erupt back into a lovefest of sorts.
“We all love each other here – and treat each other with love,” I reminded my son. “My wanting you to go to sleep is all about love.”
I then hugged Ari – and – eureka – off to sleep he went.
Ever since I blurted “This is a House of Love” this phrase has become a repeated mantra in our home – a powerful incantation for lowering cortisone levels during stressful times.
When I utter this phrase it helps to remind Ari that we’re all on the same team: The Love Team! We all want the best for each other.
The phrase “This is a House of Love” quickly brings Ari’s thoughts and actions back to what matters most in life (even more than toys, ipads and ice cream!): LOVE – along with love’s best buddies – peace, joy and kindness.
“Mooooom,” he says, “Why can’t I play app games at dinner?”
“Which is more imporant?” I ask him, “App games or people?”
“People,” he sighs – then smiles.
“This is a House Of Love,” I remind him. “At dinner it’s important we show love for each other by looking at each other – being with each other – catching up with each other. So, please do the loving choice, and put down that ipad.”
Now whenever any of us are getting cranky pants (which includes us parents too), we each remind the other, “Yo! This is a House of Love.”
Instead of raising our voices, we rise up to be our best, most loving selves.
Want to learn more about the concept of “Positive Parenting”? I’ve written about Positive Parenting strategies here – and here – and also here – plus in many other essays on my site!)
Share below! What insights come to mind when you read about Positive Parenting – and the strategy of motivating with love instead of nagging?
Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.