When you wean there is a bit shift, a wave washing over you, and acknowledgment that all women, everywhere carry a bit of sadness at some point in their feeding journey. Yet that tells me that the truth, that you can begin to focus on other things. Working towards something new, whether that be reading, potty training or learning from consequences. With my daughter weaning was sad. Like a stop you had to put a halt to. But when she was free I felt free too.
As my 34th birthday just passed and I realize that I am one step further along on this parenting journey, I decided to review a parenting book that I read and I really liked called the Danish Way of Parenting by Jessica Alexander and Iben Sandahl. Writing has been a bit of a stretch for me so far, and helped me to feel as though I am sharing with others and I think that actually it is causing me to shift from feeling shy and worried about sharing my writing to noticing a shift with weaning in an ability to think about other things. I want my children to be confident happy people and mostly I care about that in reference to learning in school. I have always been a writer kind of person but also I would really love to consistently master and hold on to little bits of information. When a mother embraces gentle weaning one thing that is nice is that you can begin to shift your focus onto other things…
This book is based on multiple different principles but my favorite is to not over praise you children in order to help them to develop intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is very important but it also helps people to accomplish things in life. I like intrinsic motivation because it is more pleasurable than other types of motivation.
It is so hard to not over praise your children because praise can be instrumental in helping children to develop a skill or behave but do you ever remember as a kid feeling a bit robbed because someone said good job, almost like they took responsibility for your actions. The thing that I like about this book is that the book colored this information in a way that does not have to be completely black and white. I have found that I absolutely have to praise my children when they have good behavior almost because it can even help my own self esteem. However, I think that the important thing is that you recognize and consciously honor why you are praising them for what they are doing… is it because you are proud? Is it because you want them to learn or because you want them to feel a certain way?
I have noticed as a parent two things. The first thing is that it is challenging as a parent to be tuned into yourself as a parent because you are tuning into your children and sometimes even loosing yourself in the process. The second thing is that there is almost certainly a nonverbal connection. I have noticed this and become passionate about this especially with my newborn son Daniel. I truly treasure the nonverbal connection especially as his senses are developing and so new to the earth including sight. I think that when we tune into how we are starting to praise our children and why it can change our relationship to praise and it can be a positive and fun game for your child. Amazingly I have noticed that no matter how much you make a mistake, you will always desire a relationship with your children and children do often crave your love. It is okay to honor the energy behind your praise and that was my take on this books suggestion or encouraging instrinsic motivation. Other examples include incorporating a sense of family cozy time, an important part of the culture of this book and other tips such as encouraging play.
As a parent I have savored quick fix gimmicky type things but when you begin to see similarities and differences manifesting within trends of parenting you can begin to create your own vision of parenting because you have got to start somewhere, and step away from trends to create your own parenting filter and way of life.