I have been listening to No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind… it’s on audio book via Audible, one of the many Amazon companies that make up my daily routine. I wouldn’t say that I enjoy listening to these types of books. I don’t look forward to pressing play, and yet… golden nuggets stream through my headphones that I can’t wait to share with anyone who will listen. They also help me to be a better parent (for about three days).
There’s this one part in Dan Siegel’s book where he talks about listening for the shark music… and this TOTALLY got me! I am a product of a continually-rewatching Jaws family. I have watched this movie so many times that I had lines memorized way before any Disney movie. And yes, the iconic 1975 was an amazing year, and Jaws was, and will continue to be, a favorite of mine for the years to come. If you don't know what I'm referring to, please stop and go watch Jaws. Right now. Seriously.
So here it is… the most amazing combination since almond butter and jelly… Jaws & parenting. Duh Nuh… Duh Nuh…. Duh-nuh, duh-nuh, duh-nuh-duh-nuh! Shark music!
Do you hear shark music… When you find your 16-month-old spewing the contents of your purse all over the waiting-room floor while eating her 2nd chapstick of the day?
Do you hear the music, when your toddler has decided to chew and then spit his food under his chair for the dog… who just happens to be the pickiest eater in the whole wide world (seriously wth, we need a lab)?
Do you hear the music, when after the 10th time you have asked your son to PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ANYTHING HOLY to stop pouring water of his sister’s head?
Do you hear the music, when…. …. You open the car door every day for the past year and shit falls out? Shoes, cups, snack traps, toys? I don’t swear, but this time I really need to. Thank you for your understanding. …. You can’t be on time to save your life because no one knows how to put on and keep on shoes? …. Because the only words you’ve muttered with any passion have been “SIT DOWN” and no one’s listening to those anyway.
I only have toddlers (super little yogis)… so my apologies for only the 1 & 3 year-old examples. As the youngest of three (two older brothers), I know for certain that the music plays loud and clear for those who have grade schoolers and beyond.
So back to Dan and the amazing Jaws music…. This is perfect, right? In yoga we work quite a bit on inner calm equaling outer calm, and if we can be mindful and aware of our inner landscape, especially during times of challenge, then we can control our outer responses with the world. So parenting for me, well, it’s been tough. The inner calm is often shattered by the emotional roller coaster that is caring for two incredible human beings. In a five minute span of time, I can have one moment of everyone crying “Mammmmma!” and clutching at my legs to the opposite of having a coaster thrown at my head. And it’s just like yoga. Work to create space between the stimulus and your reaction, if you can. But when you’re walking over to teach, guide, redirect – whatever… ask yourself, do you hear the music? Are the sharks circling? Is this an effective type of environment, inner or outer, where you can be the caretaker/teacher you want to emulate? The shark music has helped me this past week, and I hope that it will help you too. It’s a fun way to label your current state and increase your awareness while providing you some levity... and maybe a fun game to play with your kids.
Think I found my Halloween costume!
And if you haven’t already… and if you have the time… No Drama Discipline is worth your time. I know… loaded statement right? Happy parenting yogis!
**originally posted 9/1/17