Often, we’ve heard stories about how Little Heroes children go home and in various contexts, the words that pop out of their little mouths are, “Mom, you aren’t making a very good choice.“
The question is – why are our children saying that?
Because they hear it from us – a lot – and they’ll hear it from those of you who have done the parenting course we run Parenting for Destiny based on the book Loving Your Kids on Purpose by Danny Silk, or from those who have read some of the material we recommend.
Why do they hear this particular thing from us a lot?
Because at Little Heroes we value freedom and we value empowering children to make good choices in life. We do this by starting with empowering them to make good choices in the everyday situations which they encounter at school. When people hear about empowered children, they immediately think of children who are allowed to be in charge and not do what they are told.
In a roundabout way that is actually true, except the idea is that children are taught to be in charge of themselves and make behaviour choices from the options set before them intentionally by parents and teachers in order to teach them the skill of making good choices.
What does a safe, free, loving environment look like?
- Freedom whenever possible to choose
- Taking responsibility for your mess
- Love that looks like safety, peace and trust
- Connection and understanding
- Teaching children that they are capable
- Good questions become a good tool
- Risk and failure are encouraged
Freedom Whenever Possible to Choose
We are intentional about giving opportunity for choice wherever possible, whether it be about their attitude, their behaviour or tasks they need to perform. The important thing about giving choices though is that the choices offered must all be acceptable to you the parent, or to us the teacher!
We’ve taught our children that having self-control is being in charge of themselves – it is telling themselves what to do and then doing it. This goes for us as adults and for them as children. As their parents and teachers it’s important that we model self-control.
Danny Silk often says, “It’s not our job to control others. In order to begin training yourself to respond in love, the first thing you need to accept is this truth; you cannot control other people. The only person you can control – on a good day – is yourself.”
Maybe we want our children to talk to us only in a calm voice that is not whiny, or maybe we don’t allow hitting as a way to communicate frustration. Whatever it is, there are plenty of opportunities for children to practice and see the necessity of self- control. After all no one wants to be around a grownup who has no control of themselves and in order to avoid this we must work with our children to learn to control themselves now.
Join us for Part 2 of The Safety of Freedom in a few weeks time!
By Barbara Cooper