Welcome to day 3 of the Carnival of Gentle Discipline. Did you read day 1 and day 2? Did you enter the drawing for an art print by kmberggren and a deck of parenting tool cards? There is more to come too – tomorrow’s posts are all about love, patience, and cooperation and we have one last giveaway that I’m so excited about! Don’t forget to register to enter the drawings.
Today’s posts all had wonderful Aha! moments in them. Whether realizing what childhood moments shaped your parenting or an in-the-moment realization that your kids are reflecting you, these posts show how we become the parents we want to be.
- “The earliest one I can think of is I was not even two years old and I was crying, crying, crying. The warning phrase that came was “This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.” and then the swat on the bum. I don’t remember the spank hurting or having the anger and frustration come over me that I later would feel when being spanked. All I remember was being confused. How had that possibly hurt this person more than it hurt me? My bum was the one that got the swat! Being so young (and yet well within the window of “acceptable spanking age”), I had no idea what had just happened or why. To this day I look back on that, not with bitter feelings, but as a perfect example that children benefit much more from connection and logic than with punishment.”
She shares several more stories that shaped her approach and I particularly like how she learned to change herself and her approach rather than always finding ways to “manage” the child.
- “I realized I’d become that mom, the one I’d sworn to never become. Don’t you hate when that happens??I had been short-tempered. I was snappy. I was…well..mouthy, bossy, and aggressive. Of course, I wasn’t growling or biting or hitting anyone, but my tone was aggressive, my anxiety made me moody, grouchy and fatigued. I was barking commands from across the room instead engaging like I should have. AHA!My children weren’t being defiant. They were being me.”
What a wonderful realization that I’ve definitely had myself! I won’t spoil the ending but read how that realization changed her parenting for the better.
- “When we decided to commit to gentle discipline, I only thought in terms of my children and their behavior. I had no idea how deeply it would change me. I have been forced to deal with a lot of things that I would have preferred to cover up. Things like pride. Anger. Unhealthy boundaries. Self-centeredness. I have had to do some major weeding in my own heart…Gentle discipline is a lot of work. It requires intentional parenting. I have to get off my bum a lot. This is NOT passively sitting by while floundering children terrorize everyone around. It takes effort. I have had to develop a lot of new discipline skills.”
It is one of the hidden benefits of gentle discipline – a peaceful, gentle spirit in the parents.
Our last post today is from Dionna at Code Name Mama (have you see her beautiful new blog design?) talks about The Problem with Expecting Children to “Cooperate”.
- “How often do parents expect kids to respond immediately to their demands? We might even say “I am asking you to cooperate with me to get the house clean (or get ready to leave, etc.).” But the error in this sentence is the word “cooperate.” If we expect kids to respond immediately, we are asking for compliance, not cooperation.”
Dionna gave me a little wake up call when she pointed out that we parents don’t give immediate compliance so why should children? (I’m embarassed to say this scenario could have been written about my house exactly!)
- “I am finishing a blog post, and Kieran asks me to play with him. I tell him “not right now.” Over the next twenty minutes, Kieran and I frustrate each other, because neither of us is willing to budge on what we want to do (I want to finish writing, he wants to play right now).”
Stay tuned tomorrow for her follow-up on how we can model cooperation for our children
Welcome to the 2nd Annual Carnival of Gentle Discipline!
Please join us all week, June 27-July 1, 2011, as we explore alternatives to punitive discipline. We have collected a wonderful array of articles and essays about the negative effects of punitive discipline methods, like spanking, and a myriad of effective alternatives. Please visit our other writers each day of the Carnival. Click on the links below to see each day’s posts – new articles will be posted on the following theme days:
July 1 – Gentle Discipline Resources