Growing, Not Dying

Welcome to my insights, ponderings, and experiences. Hopefully they will enrich you in some small way, or at least make you laugh.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Parenting Style Changes

It is interesting how we grow and change. Perhaps the hardest stuff to change are the unconscious programs we run. Even when we do finally figure out that something needs to change, until we have something to change the way we see things, it can still be an impossible task. I catch myself yelling at a child, while the voice in my head is reminding me this is not how I want to handle the situation. Yet, I don't know what to do instead and the behavior has to stop!

This is where my parenting has been for about a year now. I knew it was not the best way. I went for getting the results I wanted right now, usually through intimidation and punishment. Yesterday I heard a wonderful woman speaking about a parent's role, especially mothers, to 'nurture' their children. For some reason that word caught my attention as it hadn't before. The word brought a new picture to consider.

Then I happened upon a parenting show. One woman and her husband had very different styles, he was more the traditional firm type, like I have been. They spoke about learning a new way and how changing over was a process, not an instant thing. I have often thought I needed to be different now! Permission to take time, to practice, seemed uncomprehensible. A Dr. spoke on how we teach our children to read in steps, learning the letters, their sounds, that they can be put together, then how. Yet we expect them to learn social behaviors instantly. We do not hand a child a book and say 'read.' How can social skills be different?

Then today I came across a wonderful post on the current epidemic we seem to suffering , a lack of common sense! I was reading about these teenagers trying to build a fire with full size logs and gasoline, totally wondering what happened to "common sense." Toward the end of the article the author was talking about our need today for instant results. We loose the process trying to get what we want NOW, regardless of the sacrifices made on the way.

Suddenly, everything from the week-end came together. I could see how how I have been raising my children looking for instant results, rather than understanding it is a process. Each fire is different, depending on the weather, wood, location, etc. Still, there are some fundamentals that remain the same. I am a unique parent and each of my children is unique, but there are still basic principals that can be applied. Obviously, time. Apparently there is a reason kids take so long to grow up, and it is suppose to be an advantage to me! So, these ideas of nurturing through praising the positive, teaching slowly exactly the behavior expected, possibly multiple times, praising again, and again, for desired behavior so both of us can practice...the idea of it being a process rather than"I told and showed you what to do so now you should be able to do it!" The idea of nurture versus punish. These are all in my head, planted like seeds. Now we shall see what grows from it.


Blogger Bottles Barbies & Boys said...

Sometimes the whole process makes you wonder who is raising who! Our children teach us so many things

Mon Apr 07, 03:44:00 PM MDT  
Blogger mmm.chocolate said...

Hey, it was so fun to see you last week. I really related to this post. I recently had the same epiphany -- we want quick fixes for everything in life including behavior problems with our kids and it just isn't going to happen that way. Just like dieting, or exercise, it takes a lot of investment, nurturing, and communication. It seems a lot easier to throw a kid into a time out or start to yell than to actually work through the problem. We've got to work harder and think about it more and move away from complacency.

Wed Jun 18, 10:18:00 PM MDT  

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