I woke up this morning and scrolled through my facebook page and found a link to this blog, and the blogger is blogging about Gentle Discipline.
This is something that I can really relate to, and something that I definitely aspire to, and something that inspires my parenting. Yes, lots of very non-committal stuff. As a disclaimer, I definitely will never hit my children and I hope to be a stronger, better person and not loose my temper with the resulting raised voice and feelings of intense anger.
But, I am not a 100% perfect parent 100% of the time. And it worries me that at first glance Gentle Discipline can come off as holier than thou and give the impression of parents who have endless patience and time to handle the whims of babies and toddlers, while ensuring that their own needs are met.
Sometimes I do. Like this morning DS took my car keys as he wanted to press the button to unlock the car doors and then would not give me back my keys. He was strapped in his car seat, I was sitting in the drivers seat and he still would not give them back. Now, I was not in a particular hurry to get anywhere, we were off to the park to meet up with friends. So we waited. I patiently explained that we would sit in the car going nowhere until I got the keys and eventually (about 10 minutes later) he gave them to me. I decided that whatever his reason for needing to hold onto my keys, it was sufficiently good enough for me to not take them back forcefully. It was not in immediate conflict with my needs. Had I needed to be somewhere, I would not have been able to give him the time to decide to give me back my keys.
I never thought I would be a parent stuck in my car while my toddler won’t give me my keys. I was sure only the weakest parents would allow such a situation to happen. And yet, today, that was a perfectly acceptable experience for both of us. I don’t like power struggles with him, unless they are needed. Like when he is running around with a knitting needle that he has found, I will take it away from him. Or like when he wants to pull the keys off my laptop and I close to to protect the remaining keys.
However, I do not always have the time, energy or reserves to be patient and understanding. Sometimes I NEED to sleep, go the the loo, cook, get somewhere, etc. And those times I cannot entertain the same level of flexibility in my planning and response.
Another trick is that he is imitating his grandfathers smoking. Any long cylindrical object he finds become a kada-ran (his word for a cigarette). And he ‘smokes’ it. 😦 I know he is just imitating, and that he is not about to start smoking, but it makes me a little sad and a little angry that this is something he values (I know it’s his grandfather he values, but still).