Mirroring Monday – “Stop Stealing My Clothes” Edition

Start the week off right with examples of mirroring from the team at Connected Parenting. If you’re new to Connected Parenting and want to find out more about mirroring and the CALM method, check out this podcast by Jennifer Kolari (courtesy of Penguin Group USA).

This week’s Mirroring Moment is from Kelly Parisa. Enjoy!

kellyparisaI am the mother of two teenage daughters. They love each other dearly, but they also love their clothes.

One afternoon, Aubrey (our oldest), came storming in: “She keeps stealing my clothes! Look! She took these pants and now they are all dirty when I want to wear them tonight! She does this all the time!”

So (torn between thinking… ”How many times do we have to have THIS fight?!” and “Oh my gosh, like I have time to battle this out again, in the midst of cooking dinner, paying bills, feeding the dog and doing laundry!”) I took a breath, and mirrored instead…

“Again? She went in your room and took those pants and you want to wear them to dance class tonight! She does this all the time! What should we do?”

Aubrey already had a more relaxed body and the hint of a smile on her lips. “Go kick her butt!”

“Okay! Let’s go! We’ll go kick her butt!” “Storming” off together I could already feel humor in the air and a change in attitude from furious to feisty.

We made our way to Sydney’s room and I gently put my foot on Sydney’s bottom… “We are here to kick your butt” I declared! Sydney laughed.

As Aubrey began to reiterate her claim to her own clothes, Sydney chimed in with the old familiar, “She does it to me all the time! She comes in my room and takes stuff and doesn’t ask me either!”

“So it happens to you too! You have things you want to wear and she’s taking them from you! It’s happening up and down the hall!”

“Yeah, so she does it to me, and I do it to her!”

“You both do it…and you both get so mad and can‘t find the things you want to wear, when you want to wear them! She does it to you and you do it to her and she does it to you…”

At this point, they began laughing (probably realizing the on-going futility of this fight) and I was able to leave them to their own devices (wrestling and giggling). Smiling down the hall I was thinking, “This isn’t the first time they’ve battled this out and it won’t be the last…”

The next week, while running errands with Sydney, I said, “Hey, isn’t that Aubrey’s jacket?”

“Yeah.”

“Does she know you’re wearing it?”

“Oh we worked all that out. We decided we can borrow each other’s clothes (except for a few things) and it’s okay.”

“How’d you guys arrive at that?”

“Oh, we just decided we fight too much about it and it’s not good. So we worked it out.”

A little mirroring and a little humor, mixed with some time and trust to resolve their own issues…a recipe for self-reliance, with a dash of sisterly-bonding thrown in.

Share your own favorite mirroring moment in the comments below. Or are you stumped? Feel free to leave a comment describing a situation you encountered where you couldn’t figure out how to mirror. We’ll try to incorporate it into a future Mirroring Monday post.

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Please remember that the advice given on this blog is not meant to replace medical advice or the direct advice of a mental health care professional.
"Connected Parenting advises us not just how to parent, but—far more important—who to be as parents. The therapeutic methods suggested by Jennifer Kolari are based not on simple-minded behavioural solutions, but on building warm, nurturing relationships with our children, with insight and compassion not only for their little flaws, but also for our own larger ones."
—Gabor Maté, M.D.

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