Monday, September 10, 2007

If You Can Predict It, You Can Prevent It...

Posted by Lisa

Many months back, Lynne Reeves Griffin, my generous and gifted friend in our Writers' Group, asked Amy, Hannah, and I to read Negotiation Generation. "It's not fiction, but would you be willing..." Of course we were happy to offer what help we might on Lynne's path to success as a parenting expert.

It turns out she didn't need much help; Lynne has over twenty years of experience lecturing, writing, and consulting with parents and teachers. It turns out Amy, Hannah and I were the lucky ones.

I have two young children. Juggling a part-time day job, writing, and household chores is trying at times. My parenting skills can be less than stellar. The great thing was, reading Lynne's book has changed the way I parent. I've learned to work toward being a "proactive" parent.

My daughter, was two when I read Lynne's first draft of Negotiation Generation. At the time, my challenge with my child was blanket management at nighttime. Let me explain. In active moments in the wee hours of the night, she would kick off her blankets and then wake me up, calling for help. Rearranging her blankets two, three times a night left me feeling tired and cranky - you get the picture. Well, I learned from Lynne that if you can predict it, you can prevent it. I stopped being a "reactive" parent and I started being a "proactive" parent. I decided to teach her how to pull on her own blankets.

In the mornings, when my daughter was well rested and pleasant, we played a game with her favorite doll. We covered the doll with a blanket, then...uh-oh...the blanket fell down and we showed the doll how to pull her blanket up. Then it was my daughter's turn. Wide awake, she learned how to pull her blankets up herself. Two nights later, I slept through the night. A wonderful bonus was that my daughter was proud and independent. I was well rested.

Thank you, Lynne, for Negotiation Generation. You will help so many children and parents. Congratulations, too!


Lisa said...

Great point and great anecdote. Hmm -- so if I can reliably predict that my early drafts will have to be continually edited to increase the stakes and the tension, do you think it would be possible to prevent all of those tweaks? :)

kristen spina said...

I think I'm really going to like Lynne's book...

I like to think I am a proactive parent, but a few more tips and tricks is never a bad thing. Staying one step ahead of my son has been, perhaps, the biggest challenge of my life!

Can't wait to get a copy, Lynne!

Lynne Reeves Griffin said...

Lisa, thank you so much for representing Negotiation Generation as a book that shares a positive active approach to parenting. I love your daughter's "blanket management" story.

Lisa, not only does the approach have implications for how to work on first drafts and revisions, but I'm told by parents that it works with husbands/wives and mothers-in-law too.

I'll bet you are a proactive parent already--in so many ways. Let me know which tips and strategies work well for you--we all need to be adding to our parenting repertoire.


Larramie said...

Finally, Lynne commented that being "proactive" can work with all types of relationships. Of course. All you needs do is accentuate the positive!