I have to admit that there were times when I felt a bit tired of my son needing me too much too often. Like when he would always want to be carried or needed to hold my hand. Or how he would make me drop everything and sit and cuddle with him after his every nap. You know, little things that are perfectly fine unless you are also trying to take care of another child, and/or catch up on some other things.
But I never realized that it wouldn’t be like this forever, and one day he would need me less. I didn’t realize it until a couple of days ago when he didn’t run to me after his nap to get his hug. And then on our walk he didn’t hold my hand, but walked in front of me. You’d think I would be happy, right? Instead, I wanted to cry, I felt so sad that he was getting older and needed me less now. Now every time he runs to me for that hug, or wants to hold my hand, I enjoy every second of it, because NOW I know it won’t last forever.
Photo: Paul Joseph (Flickr)
I am always confused when I hear how some people claim that spanking children works in their family and with their kids. Note, it workS, not it workED. Every time their kid does something, he/she gets a spanking. There, problem solved. Then a child does that something again, and he gets spanked again. Problem solved again, right? Well, actually, if you really, really open up your mind and try to think about it, no, problem isn’t solved, and it doesn’t work. If it worked, you wouldn’t need to spank your kid for the same thing over and over again. You know why? If it really worked, your kid would only do that something once or twice, and THEN the problem would be solved.
You know what works though? Not trying to threaten, intimidate, and physically hurt your kids as a way of trying to get them to listen to you, but actually trying to make sure they understand what you are trying to do here. And how do people understand you and feel like cooperating with you? They do when you are being understanding, respectful, calm, reasonable, setting age-appropriate expectations, and patient. Not easy, I know, but oh so effective. Much more effective than your regular spanking method. Don’t believe me? Try it. 🙂
When, out of desperation, I cried out to my kids to give me some sort of privacy when I am using a bathroom, at least once in a while, and try to use a different room for their games instead of always hanging out there when I am in there, my 3 y/o son had a puzzled look on his face. Then he proceeded to explain to me how he didn’t want me to be alone, because I could get lonely and sad, and might even cry, and he definitely didn’t want that for me.
I guess “No privacy” in my world means “Mom, we love you” in theirs. Well, if you put it that way, hmm, ok, I love you, too. After all, privacy is so overrated…once you’re a parent. 🙂
So, we are having a picnic in our backyard, and then I notice that my 3 year old son is very articulately reprimanding our cat, shaking his finger in front of her nose and telling her to get her act together or she will get punished. No idea what happened between them, but I feel my heart starting to sink. You know how they say kids are always watching and listening, and then they repeat the pattern? So, here I am frantically rewinding my actions for the last couple of years trying to remember when I went wrong and promised to punish my kids. And…I can’t remember anything. I then turn to my son and ask if I ever promised to punish him, and if that is why he is talking that way to the cat now. His answer made me smile. Turns out he remembered that time last week when the cat was being very mean to a new kitten in the neighborhood, and I was not too happy and tried to explain it to our bully. I guess I might have used the words “punish”, not actually meaning it, of course. But hey, what do you know? Few days later and my son is talking to the cat in the same manner I did that one time, ONE time. I am not sure he even knows what “punish” means, but he uses it correctly now.
And here is the moral of today’s story:
Never forget that you are being watched by your children at ALL times and, with time, they will mirror what you say and do. Be mindful of the way you treat not only your kids, but others as well. So, yeah, be more careful next time you talk to that damn cat, ok?
I think I cried for the first time today while watching my positively-parented kids interact with each other. And those were happy tears, believe me.
My 5 y/o daughter is sick today and is having a mild fever. She is in bed, and my 3 y/o son decides she is cold and starts looking for a blanket. Once she is safely tucked in, he decides to keep her even warmer by hugging her feet and promising that she wouldn’t get cold now that he is here to take care of her. At which point I feel I could actually cry. But then my daughter takes his hand and kisses it, just like that, without saying a word. I guess it was her way of thanking him.
And…tears alert, yep, I cried. I just couldn’t believe what I was witnessing.
Moral of the story: Never believe people who say we, positive parents, are raising spoiled selfish brats who will have no respect for anyone, will be unable to love anyone but themselves, and will probably end up in jail. If anything, we are raising the generation that will change the world for the better, and will bring more kindness and peace to those around them. Because this world could use a bit more love, don’t you think?
When I was a kid I overheard a conversation my younger brother had with my mom…about me. They were in the next room, so I could still hear them. I guess my mom didn’t know that, and she chose to handle the situation the way she did, unfortunately for me. He asked her if she thought I was pretty. I guess he was very little then and didn’t have his opinion about things yet, so he asked a lot to learn about the world. Well, my mom did answer his question, but her answer haunts me even now. She paused for a second or two, I remember that, and then she told him that she thought I was…interesting.
Another deep message today. Sounds simple, yet not many people give it enough thought.
Do you want love or blind obedience (also mistaken for”respect” by some parents) from your kids? If you want to be loved, then be the person worth loving. Would you love someone who constantly intimidates you, yells at you, spanks you, doesn’t respect your opinion, and only wants you to follow everything that person says, all the time? Would you, honestly, be able to love someone like that? Then don’t be that way with your own kids. Be someone they would look up to because they want to, not because they are forced to. Be someone they would enjoy spending time with, someone they would feel like they can trust, because they know you won’t harm them, and will understand and support them. Be someone…you would love yourself if you were in your child’s shoes. Be someone who deserves love.
Photo: Dani Venn (Flickr)
Today my 5 y/o daughter woke up in the morning, and first thing she said was how much she loved me. And she kept repeating it and hugging me throughout the day, randomly, for no reason. I guess it was one of those days for her.
Is it a big deal? It is for me. I am a Peaceful Parent in the making, and this just shows me that I am on the right track with my kids. Why? Because I wasn’t peacefully parented myself, and I don’t remember saying and doing things like that as a child. I didn’t say them, I still don’t say them, I don’t feel like saying them, sadly.
I wish my relationship with my parents were different, but it is not. And while I can’t change my childhood at this point, I can help my kids to have a childhood I always wanted for myself. This way I still get a shot at having an amazing relationship in my family, even if many years later, and even if I am a parent and not a child anymore.
And while I won’t know what it is like to be this kid who shares her love with her mom so easily and so frequently, I am honored and happy to be this kid’s Mom. I really am.
My Positive Parenting Surprise of the day:
We were goofing around before bed with my kids, and decided to give each other funny names based on the way we looked. My son ended up being a “Bun”, my daughter a “Sausage”, their Dad a “Pickle”, which made me laugh like crazy. And when it was my turn to get a funny name, my 4 y/o daughter called me “Heart”. And I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry. It was very out-of-the-blue and beautiful at the same time. All I could do was hug her in return.
As usual, peaceful/positive parenting brings such unexpected and wonderful results, and when you least expect them, as well. No regrets here for choosing this way of parenting. Yes, it is hard at times, but then you get called a “Heart”, and you just melt. 🙂
My positive parenting moment of the day:
My 2 y/o loves throwing things on the floor. A lot. Sometimes I get tired and don’t find it cute anymore. Yes, it might be tempting to yell and punish for doing something like this. Or…
Today he threw his Dad’s towel on the floor in the bathroom. Asked him to pick it up and hang it back. He laughed at me. Took a deep breath and explained how the towel is clean, and the floor is not, and now when Daddy washes his face and then tries to wipe it, his face will be all dirty again. That’s ALL I said.
My son didn’t even need to think about it, he immediately picked up the towel and hung it back.
That’s it. I am still amazed at how effective this positive parenting thing is. Everyone should try it. The sooner, the better.