Sunday, September 9, 2012

let's climb up the Mill Bluff

 Two girls needed a little convincing to come on a leisurely family hike.  Until we got there,

 a rare three-headed turkey gobbling and flapping by the trail side 

and then, two adults needed a little convincing to climb those stone steps, up, up, up....  So there was singing by the originally reluctant girls, "Let's climb up the Mill Bluff, the Mill Bluff, the Mill Bluff.  Let's climb up the Mill Bluff.  La la-la la-la."
 Who can deny that?  Not me.
 There were rests halfway up, waiting for littler legs to catch up.

 There was a view...

 and more bluffs in the distance.

  And a descent, with the occasional rail slide.  Wheeee!

Sometimes reluctance is best overcome by gentle encouragement, or by a joyful repetitive song.

I don't generally push my own parental agenda (even 'for their own good' in most situations), but there are times when I know that a little gentle encouragement will bring about a better outcome.  How do you gauge the difference?

With bedtimes, I don't dictate, "It's 8:30 (or whenever).  Time to get ready for bed."

I prefer to say (not at an arbitrary time, but when it's true), "You look sleepy.  Let's go brush our teeth together.  Then if you're still not ready, you could watch another episode, or we could snuggle and read together, or watch a nature movie in my bed...."  There's lots of options and very minimal stress and struggle this way, but it means that I can't count on everything being quiet in my house by 9.

It's a fine balancing act to gently guide without using coercion, but positive relationships can be nurtured this way.


  1. This is such a beautiful post, Nikole. What an amazing hike! I would have LOVED to join you. (Though I'm sure I would have needed that gentle song to help me up and up, too). What a lovely connection you've drawn, between your walk and the ways you helped each other get to the top, and the way you parent your beautiful girls. Just lovely.

  2. Helena, It would have been such a joy to have you with us :) Thanks, as always, for your kind words. They mean a lot to me.


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