I’ve spent much of the last year filming parents as they learn new skills to cope with their children’s misbehaviour or behaviour disorders.
We filmed in several Triple P Positive Parenting classes throughout the lower mainland of BC. The whole idea of Triple P is to get out in front of problem behaviours and to remain positive. As I sat in on the first class in Mission, my mind swept back to another lifetime, the early 80’s when I too had small children…and big hair!
I sympathized as parents shared their experiences of “losing it,” because I too lost it on occasion, especially when I’d ask my girls over and over to do the same thing and they took forever to act on my instructions. As the Triple P class progressed, the facilitators shared information I wish I’d known back then. For instance: do you know it takes a 3-year old about 8 – 10 seconds to process what you said, before they can act on it? Stop and count out 10 seconds. That’s quite a while!
So when I was saying to my eldest daughter, “Erin, put away your toys, put on your boots, find your mitts and meet me at the back door, we are going to the Super Store”, I was still nattering away and she hadn’t yet processed, “put away your toys.”
I came home from that first class, burdened by regret. I picked up the phone and called my now 33 year-old daughter to apologize for being so impatient. She laughed, assured me she wasn’t scarred for life and suggested I put my Triple P knowledge to good use, being the best grandmother ever! That’s my new grandson!
– Maureen Palmer