The title is stolen, I will admit it, they are words I have heard and read over and over again on unschooling websites and on discussion groups. But I have truly begun to take those discussions and readings into my own life. When reading a thread on another group that I belong to and listening to how I actually used to think about parenting coming from other people, some days I cringe. Then I run and hug my kids and kiss them. The love and trust that we are developing with our kids is amazing. By letting go of many traditional parenting ideas, theories, methods, what have yous, we have begun to live happier lives.
As it was pointed out to me and others, it is the moments that count, not the days. Every moment is precious, not all are good, but they are precious. More and more of our moments are peaceful. There are still times where I find myself reverting back. I will actually announce now that I am having a “moment” and need to walk away. Sometimes it is just 5 minutes to regain my cool and my patience, sometimes it is longer. But walking away now instead of yelling, ranting, and raving is working so much better. Kids do not feel safe when we yell at them. They do not feel loved, trusted or respected. I remind myself and anyone who asks, they are little humans with the same rights as us big humans. They may not have the years of experiences that we have but that is part of our job is to share those experiences with them, to guide them through life.
Life for a child shouldn’t focus on being an adult. They will get there when the time is right. It should focus on the things that mean something to them. They will learn what they need as they need it. I used to think that the only way for a child to learn responsibility was to give them some. Then the fight was on, the battle to get them to do what I wanted them to do. It has finally dawned on me that just as I have the right to say no so do they. On the occasion that I cannot give them the choice that they want (such as staying in bed in the wee hours of the morning because we share 1 car with 3 grown ups and there are scheduling conflicts) I find I am getting more cooperation because they have been given plenty of times where they can choose alternatives. I do not have to fight with them to get the have tos done, because they know and understand the difference now. When there are choices they get them.
There was an excellent article passed around on a couple of my groups today from the NY Times. http://www.nytimes. com/2009/ 05/03/magazine/ 03wwln-lede- t.html. I love the part in there where they compare Slow Foods to Slow School. It is an insight into how we are making kids overly stressed and really about limiting their choices by sending them to school earlier and earlier. Definitely well worth the read.
Well we are changing our routine slightly and it is time for me to go snuggle with my babies and watch a movie. Morgan will drift off to sleep with me and Claire will slowly extract herself from the snuggle and slip off to her own bed. On the nights that Morgan decides to sleep in his own bed, Claire will remain in bed with me for quite some time, though she eventually goes to her own. The nights that DH are home there isn’t necessarily much difference. Imagine our surprise to find out there was name for what we do and we weren’t the only parents completely spoiling our kids by holding them when they cried as infants and allowing them into our beds.
Light and Love!