Hello space! It's been too long and I owe you several posts. Life has been hectic and TIRING.
noun ⎮ Par・ent・hood ⎮ \per-ent-hud\
the state of being a mother or father
I found this Ted Talk when looking up positive parenting solutions. What she has to say about parenting really struck a chord in me. To look at our children as equals, more than that - greater thans. That they are OUR awakeners. It's much more tiring and difficult turning the mirror on myself as a parent. That I am the one that needs 'fixing', not the kids. But worth every minute of introspection. I feel more whole as a parent and the kids more peaceful and content.
If only it were that simple. But it's not. We are parents of three amazing, rambunctious 5-year-old boys trying to figure out where and how their little lives are functioning each day. This isn't terribly dissimilar to developments with any 5-year-old, boy or girl, blended family or not - but the thing is, our kids ARE boys, IN a blended family and ALL the same age (although in different grades. Soren's November b-day puts him in Pre-School and the Twins in Kindergarten. This, too, has been confusing for the wee ones).
Whether or not the kids see things differently in this way, I do. I'm always second guessing myself and mentally documenting each parenting decision (although my husband reminds me constantly not to be so hard on myself - 'Just look at them fight to sit in you lap! You're doing great!'). Are they confused by the differences in homes? Are they trying to find consistency? Is this a power or attention tantrum? Honestly, most times - I don't know, or at least it feels that way. Since they are all the same age and incredibly active kiddos our household can become a Royal Rumpus (they are all Maxes from Where the Wild Things Are). It's easy to lose your cool, which I've learned is either a play for attention or power.
I am NOT a yelling fan. I don't like losing patience and more than anything I want to raise children with strong coping skills. I don't want them to run or bury emotion. I also don't want them to have outbursts and tantrums as adults. When conflict arises, I want them to reach for a calm, pragmatic response. I found this great, FREE webinar through one of my favorite Montessori websites (Modern Parents, Messy Kids) by Positive Parenting Solutions. Wow.
Of course after the brilliant FREE webinar comes the sales spiel for the rest of the program - which in all honesty seems pretty fantastic if you have the dough to spend. But if not, the initial webinar is a great place to start. She goes over the reasons children act out and their needs (power and attention). How to supply these things without a tantrum BUT they will inevitably happen - so how do you deal with them when the outbursts occur WITHOUT yelling and encourage responsibility and good decision making?
The 5 R's. Be Respectful and CALM, be sure the punishment is Related to the misbehavior, it is a Reasonable duration to age and maturity, Reveal in advance and Repeat it back to you.
Trying new parenting solutions is great and this one definitely has its rewards. I really like these methods - BUT it's tiring. Fatiguing. Trying new parenting techniques is like starting a new work out routine. Day 1 - free weights, Day 2 - sit ups/push ups/burpies..., Day 3 - Cardio, Day 4-7 Repeat. Except with kids - it's every hour of every minute of every second of EVERY DAY. Even once their sweet heads hit the pillow I am up with Trent going over our day and things that work, things that don't - my new concerns and how the old ones have diminished and are no longer issues but resolve. It can be so fatiguing.