Thursday, January 20, 2011

...and then I laughed

Today was one of those days.  The kind that makes you want to hide under your covers until tomorrow.  The the kind that obligates you to lock yourself in the bathroom so you can have just 5 seconds to yourself.  The kind that overcomes you and forces you to sit in the middle of the kitchen floor and cry your heart out.

Yup, it was one of those days.

The girls took turns having their difficult times.  Joe wasn't feeling well...and I wasn't feeling well. I feel as if I have hardly seen my husband this week, with both of us working now.  I was losing patience, fast.  Z was making me so frustrated and I found myself ready to just quit.

Instead, I gave in.  I stopped worrying about controlling when my daughters sleep (or don't sleep), when they listen to me and do "exactly as I say".  And I played.  And I laughed.  And it was great. 

Joe and I are reevaluating the way we approach discipline.  We decided pretty early on we were not going to spank our children.  There are lots of reasons behind this decision that I won't get into here.  But we are taking it farther.  We want to be very intentional with our parenting.

I've been reading up a lot on gentle discipline.  Here is what one blog had to say:
"Gentle discipline follows directly from the core ideas of attachment parenting. We seek to guide our children in a way that strengthens the parent-child bond, fostering connection rather than disconnection, relationship rather than opposition. We probe for the need that our child is trying to meet through the problematic behavior, and help him meet it in positive ways. We empathize with his feelings and respect his point of view, taking both into account as we look for a solution. Gentle discipline seeks to build a parent-child team for solving problems and moving forward together."  (from Peaceful Parenting)
I have found that when I try to listen to what my child is trying to say through her actions rather that just react I have a much easier time solving the problem.  If, however, I simply react, the situation usually escalates and gets out of control.  I have to admit, when I'm tired and impatient, it's much, much easier to react.  I have to humble myself and realize that the goal in my parenting isn't to control my children.  And if I take the time to listen the situation has a much better outcome.

So, today began as one of those days in which I simply react.  But then I took a step back and remembered that I need to be intentional.  That one decision changed my entire mood.  I was able to play and laugh with my daughter and not worry so much about what she was doing wrong, but be in awe of what she was doing.

Even though the day turned around, I asked my lovely husband to go to the store for me.  He's returning with this:

I may or may not share :)


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