Accountability Example #2
Should I wake my child for school?
I know the feeling. The clock is ticking and my child is sound asleep. 😴 Am I enabling them if I wake them up? Am I setting them up for failure if I let them sleep in?
Here's how I answer that tricky question:
Step 1: I call upon my mindfulness training to calm my heart, let go of baggage-induced panic, set aside harsh judgements, and embrace both my child and the moment AS IS.
Step 2: Once my heart is in the right place, I choose a mindset to use. I ask myself, "Where’s my child at on the accountability pyramid with this particular issue?" Or "Which mindset would be most helpful in assisting my child's development in this moment?"
My child’s general developmental age is a huge help in answering these questions. I rarely treat a struggling 5yo with anything but the following or attachment mindsets. Teens often crave the self-discipline mindset. But I also consider my child’s personality and experience in a given issue. I have a 9yo who keeps track of her own schedule like a CEO, so most of the time I’m thinking self-discipline or even independent mindset with her when it comes to punctuality. Then again, if she suddenly struggled for whatever reason, I’d likely be pretty quick to acknowledge her vulnerability by using the attachment and/or following mindset and then we’d reflect on the incident later using the accountability mindset.
Step 3: Then I do ONLY my part based on the mindset I chose.
Step 4: Afterwards, I reflect on whether the incident was successful.
For example, at 7:35 am today, I wondered, “Should I wake her?” when my night-owl 13yo hadn’t emerged from her room at the time we normally take her to her friend’s house for virtual learning. But as I paused to ponder for a second, I distinctly felt that given her age, our relationship, and her previous experiences, the self-discipline mindset would be best. So I peacefully planned to not wake her...even for her first class that started in just 15 minutes.
30 seconds later she wandered into the kitchen with a messy bun and a blanket wrapped around her shoulders and uttered, “Can you take me to my friend’s house now?”
“Of course,” I said cheerfully. And off we went.
When I asked her if she’d feel weird about me sharing this example, she laughed and said, “Nah. I’ve just realized after 2 weeks of school that I really don’t have to spend much time getting ready when it’s just zoom.” The fact that she is her own ⏰ = self-discipline success. But the word 'realized' is another sign of success that I was really hoping to hear. Yay that HER brain is actively and consciously figuring out a balance that works for her! I give her 👍👍