Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Operation Sweetness and Light

By Heather
That's what we've re-named the Fake it 'til it takes idea. It has a much better sound about it doesn't it. Tonight, Mum, Calliandra and I sat down and discussed how the past three days had gone. All agreed that life was more pleasant, and that it was worth continuing.

I surprised them by telling them how I knew whether they were practicing it or falling back into old habits, I told them I didn't even need to hear what was being said. I could tell from another floor simply by the undertones of their voices. Mum's would get deeper and angrier, and Calli's would get sharper and whinier. When I hear that I simply sing out 'Sweetness and Light, Sweetness and Light' and the voices change back into normal caring voices. Sometimes, If I'm close, I will suggest alternative phrasing so that the Sweetness and Light shines through better.

Interestingly enough, it seems to have opened up something in Mum. A storytelling bit that she hasn't used in years. She will start bringing up her past, stories about her Mother, and other relatives that she remembers from her childhood and young adult stage. I've heard stories I've never heard before, or if I've heard them I feel more able to ask questions to draw more of the stories out of her.

They've also discovered a commonality in their early lives, Calli lived in the foster home, and Mum in a boarding school. Because of this new peace, they were able to exchange stories an compare similar experiences. It was really nice to hear the excitement in Calli's voice as she asked questions and exchanged memories with Mum. Mum told her bits about the boarding school that she'd never told me, because I didn't know to ask about.

All in All, Operation Sweetness and Light has been a good thing. I'm now thinking about how to implement something similar with Acer, something he'll understand and like too.


Heather said...

glad that it is working! How nice for family harmony!

Jodi said...

I love that and may just need to steal it! I love it!

tiffany said...

I use "love and kindness" with our three kiddos. Like you, when I can hear things start to go downhill with them, I just have to say those three words and they are simply and easily reminded of how they mean to treat each other. Although we just mostly use it at home, I think its great to have sort of a code like this as it is very usable in public without making a big fuss or taking a lot of discussion.