Yes, I am being played. I know it. But my heart melts EVERY TIME he says I love you. Or I smile ear to ear. Or laugh. He knows how to break my will to discipline. He knows how to soften my anger. He KNOWS! How does he play me, a professional negotiator, who has made grown men beg for mercy?
We want to raise children who are resilient to adversity, loss, and addiction and mental health problems. But spanking is not the tool that is going to achieve the desired result.
I'm not proud of myself for yelling. In fact, I start each day with the notion that I'm not going to yell... ever again. I'm going to be "easy-going" and "keep my cool" and impress upon my children that their mother is peaceful, serene and just.
In the past three months, readers have asked what's coming next. After reading a series of gems, and hearing the buzz about others, here are the spring and summer arrivals that I'm eagerly awaiting.
As parents, we are going to have human moments of raising our voices, but after we should own up to our lack of self-control and model for them what taking accountability looks like. Children who have been disciplined have been given loving and firm guidance and they show the following character traits, which last a lifetime.
Regressions are normal, especially with toddlers. Every time your child takes a step forward toward growing up more (whether that is using a toilet, sleeping in a bed, starting school, or mastering the jungle gym on the playground), they are also reminded of how much they need you.
I imagined a bird's eye view of myself, where my son is pulling me by the nose first one way, and then the other, and then back again. I simply could not give in. This was not a behavior I wanted to reinforce. Who was in charge here, anyway?
It is time for a new way of constructing childhood. One where the child is the constructor and we are simply the providers of the bricks and mortar.
We will know what kind of parent we are by how we see our children get along and interact in the world. Love should be the foundation of parenting. It is also important to know that discipline is the highest form of love.
Self-discipline is something we learn for ourselves, not something that can ever be imposed effectively by someone else.
Effective parenting celebrates who a child is, reinforcing the child's true self -- loving the child for who she or he is, just as she or he is.
Place your hand over your heart right now... and just listen for a minute. That is the universe's confirmation for you. That sound, that life force, ...
Our children are the lights of our lives. We all start off as parents envisioning nothing but success, love and happiness for them. However, these dreams often do not manifest because they are not getting the important things they need to become disciplined, mature and motivated adults.
I may not abandon my child in the wilderness, but I do want to cultivate in her the desire to challenge herself, and part of that is my challenging her. Pain is an unavoidable part of life, and something my daughter needs to learn to deal with.
Kids need boundaries and limits to feel safe. But setting and enforcing them is tricky, especially if you are trying to avoid coercion, threats and bribes.
If, as parents, we are not taking care of ourselves, but are taking care of everyone and everything else, we are teaching our children that love comes from the outside and/or only comes through "doing" for others.