We all imagine parenting as this wonderful fantasy in which we know exactly what to whenever issues arise. That our family is one always exuding love, happiness, and utter joy. We never have to raise our voices, there are no hateful words spoken, and everyone gets along. However…., we are wrong, terribly wrong. In actuality we as parents have no idea what we are doing starting from those first days with our newborn. As our baby cries and we are sleep deprived and desperately trying to comfort him to no avail and we end up holding our screaming (sometimes thrashing) newborn and crying ourselves. It’s overwhelming. It’s tough. It’s an adventure. It’s nothing like we have ever encountered before. It’s HARD!
I have been in the midst of my own battle with parenting. With an (almost) 9, (almost) 7, and a 3 1/2 year old, ALL boys, they give me a run for my sanity. My husband and I have tried so many things. Not one thing works all the time for every situation. I have read several books, all of which fail to give me the tools for the particular and even common situations we all parents deal with. So, it never works. Sure, I can understand concepts and ideas but without the tools I am left floundering and end up resorting to the yelling, screaming, take all their toys (anything fun) away, and yes even sometimes spanking (it’s how I grew up, I do not use it all the time and wish I never did or feel like I have to). I have also watched the shows, my favorite is Super Nanny ( I just LOVE Jo!). However, the show shows the worst family situations, no structure, no consistency, no discipline. We don’t have that problem so that never works for me. Now, let me say quickly, I do use the naughty step and out of all my children, it has only ever worked for the 3 1/2 year old! So I do still use that. Bottom line is that I do a lot of the yelling and we are all miserable and I still have no tools that I feel, as a parent, that I can use and feel good about. This has led me to the current parenting book I have picked up. The book is Parenting with Love & Logic. I am half way through and I understand the concept that the authors outline in Part 1 and so I have moved onto Part 2 where EVERY thing in part 2 is the tools you need for specific situations, laid out alphabetically!!!! Heaven right?! I sure hope so. I have only started implementing these actions and though they make sense, it’s hard! When you are use to a particular reaction that seems ingrained, you have to mentally and physically be aware ALL the time and stop yourself and redo how you interact with your children. It hasn’t been a week and I feel tired from it plus, my kids have no problem pushing me until even I think I will just bust and yell for that release of frustration.
I have good feelings about this one and I have heard lots of god things about it as well. I hope that this will help me make the change from the always yelling, threatening, miserable parenting I’ve been using to a much calmer interaction with my kids. I think the hardest part for me will be giving up control. I like things a certain way (my way, obviously) but I know my children are their own person and they will learn the best by making decisions and living the consequences.