it's easier to raise strong children than to repair broken men - frederick douglas
I am sure that I will come across as judgemental, but I truly do mean this in the most non-judgmental way possible.
I have been a parent for nine plus years. I have done research, talked with other parents, & used common sense to shape how I parent. I have done the whole spanking & hitting thing, often because of peer pressure or fear of judgement that I am not parenting "correctly." I know that sounds absolutely ridiculous but the judgement is real on that side. I spanked knowing that this wasn't how I wanted to treat my child & it has taken me a few years to learn that it's okay not to hit my kid.
I am fully aware that having more than one kid is frustrating as hell & it's hard to have patience, but your kids didn't choose to be here. So, you have to grow up & practice patience. Stop thinking of yourself as an authority, but instead think of yourself as their guide.
Here are some things I personally do as a parent. The main one is:
TREAT YOUR KID(S) THE WAY YOU WOULD WANT TO BE TREATEd.
1. DO NOT YELL/scream.
This is a hard one for me. I am a yeller & sometimes I still yell. But I hate yelling, so when I find myself wanting to yell, I have to remind myself that I am getting a bit ridiculous & I need to chill out. I don't like it when people yell at me, so why I would I yell at other people, especially my young child?
2. it's okay when your kid has a voice.
In fact, that is great! Your child should use their voice. Not everything out of their mouths is backtalk. It's okay if your kid expresses their anger, sadness, or frustrations. When you are feeling this way, you are able to express yourself so give your child room to express themselves. There is a difference between, "Dinner is gross" & screaming & throwing their food on the floor. Don't silence your kids. Let them speak their minds. Let them trust you & know that they can share with you without the fear of getting into trouble. You can't silence them all of their childhood & then wonder why they don't talk to you as teenagers or adults.
3. kids have bad days too.
Kids go through emotions just as adults do. The difference is, they do not have the tools to properly process their feelings the way adults have learned. Our job as their parent is to teach them the proper tools of dealing with their emotions. If my kid is upset, irritated, or sad I ask him if he needs a hug, if he wants to talk about it, or if he wants to be left alone. I don't expect him to be happy 24/7. Most times, he wants to be left alone & then he feels better soon after. Sometimes, I make him go to his room to calm down or to be in a quiet space. He always comes out happy.
4. Talking to your kids is better than hitting your kids.
As I said above, I did the whole spanking thing. All that did was make me & Christian feel like crap. Christian didn't actually learn anything from being spanked other than to fear me when I went to spank him. Once I finally gave myself permission to stop hitting him & start talking with him instead, things went so much smoother. He hardly ever acts out.
5. Accept that you are not smarter than children.
There is a difference between experience & being smart. Kids are so freakin' smart. I feel that we underestiamte just how much kids know or can learn. We end up holding them back because we assume they will not understand what we are talking about. Stop treating kids like babies & you will see that they learn faster & can make good decisions for themselves. It's okay for kids ot make mistakes from the decisions they make. This is how they learn & grow as people.
Christian mentioned a few days ago that he noticed I don't spank him anymore. At the time of writing this post, I haven't spanked him in probably four years. He said that he was happy about that because it hurt his feelings & he didn't learn anything from being hit. We talked about why spanking wasn't an effective method & how all hitting did was upset the both of us even more. I can tell that Christian is a happier, calmer, smarter person because of the rule I follow. Every year, Christian's teacher tells me that he is the nicest & most communicative kid they have had. I am sure there are some things I am doing wrong or missing or whatever, but I feel I am doing the best I can with what I know to help Chrisitan become a strong & confident person.
I chose this thumbnail picture because it's one of my favorites of me & Chrsitian together.