Peaceful Salsa Gigolo, Happy Salseras (Peaceful Salsera, Happy Salsa Gigolos).

5 Dec

The following references are from:
Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids - How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting
by Dr. Laura Markham ».

This book presents ‘Three Big Ideas’ for peaceful parenting: 1. Regulating Yourself, 2. Fostering Connection, 3. Coaching, Not Controlling.

Part One: Regulating Yourself, Chapter 1: Peaceful Parents Raise Happy Kids, Page 8:
“… The truth is that virtually all of us were wounded as children, and if we don’t heal those wounds, they prevent us from parenting our child as we truly want to. If there’s an area where you were scarred as a child, you can count on that area causing you grief as a parent — and wounding your child in turn. …”

Part One: Regulating Yourself, Chapter 1: Peaceful Parents Raise Happy Kids, Page 8

There will be times when a salsa gigolo won’t want to dance. Sometimes the reason is simple, such as injury or lack of spare time. Other times the reason is complex, like ‘not feeling it’, or ‘not in the mood’. Rather than thinking about what he can get by dancing with a salsera, a salsa gigolo may want to think about what he can give, and if he is feeling truly toxic, a salsa gigolo may want to stay home or ‘sit this one out’.

Part Two: Fostering Connection, Chapter 2: The Essential Ingredient for Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids, Pages 40-42:
“… our children need to know that we take joy in them or they don’t see themselves as worth loving. In fact, your ability to enjoy your child may be the most important factor in his development. That’s what prompts you to do — automatically — all the things that help him thrive, from cooing during infancy to rough-housing at age three and chatting at age five.

That deep connection is also what makes peaceful parenting possible. Children freely, even enthusiastically, cooperate when they believe that we’re on their side. When they don’t have that belief deep in their bones, our standards of behavior seem unfair, contradicting what they perceive as their own best interests …

… Here’s how this works during the normal back-and-forth that parents automatically engage in with babies. Your baby gazes at you. You smile and coo. She smiles back and kicks her feet in excitement. You coo and smile with more excitement to match her exuberance, and the two of you “dance” together emotionally, feeling increasingly loving and delighted. After a while, your baby has had enough excitement. She needs to calm herself, to return to a lower level of arousal. She looks away. Some parents would get in her face to coax more smiles, but you’re tuned in. You realize your baby needs a break. You speak more soothingly. She glances back at you: Is it safe to engage? Yes, it is. You are smiling gently, having ratcheted down your energy level. She snuggles down, content. You picked up her cue. She learns that she can make her needs known, and you will respond by helping her. It’s a delicious, safe universe. There’s excitement and there’s soothing. With your help, she can handle whatever comes. …”

Part Two: Fostering Connection, Chapter 2: The Essential Ingredient for Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids, Pages 40-42

For me these days, ‘feeling it’ is mainly about the music. If the music doesn’t fit my mood and doesn’t fit the available salseras, it would be like asking me to fake or make-believe a connection.

Even if there’s a trophic level 2.0 or 4.0 salsera » available, I’ve found it better to wait for the right song before asking her to dance, especially if it’s to be our first dance. This may require waiting weeks or months before dancing with a particular salsera, or even missing out altogether when she disappears from the scene before I can ask.

When the song is right and the salsera is right, it’s hard not to ‘feel it’, and it’s easy to give something to a salsera. 1 good dance and a salsa gigolo moves from the jerk column to the not-such-a-jerk-afterall column; from the I-didn’t-want-to-dance-with-him-anyways column to the I-hope-he-asks-me-again column.

Part Three: Coaching, Not Controlling, Chapter 3: Raising a Child Who Can Manage Himself: Emotional Coaching, Pages 94-95, 100
“… The primary developmental task for an infant is learning to trust. It sets the stage for all that lies ahead. Albert Einstein said that the most important question for each of us to answer is “Is this a friendly universe?” Infancy is when we answer that question.

Almost a hundred years ago, psychologist Harry Stack Sullivan originated the idea that infants pick up anxiety (which is a form of fear, or lack of trust) from their parents. Research confirms that a parent’s touch, voice, and movements can either soothe a child or stimulate anxiety. Babies’ stress hormones shoot up in response to angry voices — including those on TV — even while they’re asleep. Our calm voice, loving eye contact, and secure hold as we care for our baby gives her the message that the world is a safe place where she can relax and trust. …

… Soothing your baby not only helps her to learn to self-soothe, it helps her become a more calm, friendly, happy person, not just as a child but throughout life. Many studies show that babies who receive above-average levels of affection, attention, and soothing from their parents grow into adults who are more relaxed, emotionally regulated, and happier. … This ability to self-soothe is the precondition for emotional intelligence. And he’ll develop it as he learns to trust that you’re there to help him whenever he needs you, that you can read his cues and help him regulate himself. That’s the foundation of secure attachment. Based on his first year with you, he’ll conclude that it’s a friendly universe, and that he’ll be okay in it. …”

Part Three: Coaching, Not Controlling, Chapter 3: Raising a Child Who Can Manage Himself: Emotional Coaching, Pages 94-95, 100

I have to admit that it’s a real salsagigolomojo buster when the wrong salsera asks to dance to the wrong song. Salseras must get this all the time, when the wrong salsa gigolo asks them to dance to the wrong song. On top of this, salseras have to deal with the 101 salsa instructor wannabes, who try to teach on the dancefloor.

101 salsa instructor wannabes will try to teach a salsera 101 different ways on the dancefloor. Who does a salsera trust?

Salsa Gigolometer 80


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