For those of you wondering how my Respectful Parenting resolution is coming along, here’s a brief update.
We’re not even a week in, and my life feels totally different. I am more relaxed and at peace, and I have even noticed an increase in mutual affection between Evan and me! This makes sense, because we are fighting and butting heads WAY less lately. I took Evan to TWO restaurants this week and regretted neither decision. He was as pleasant as could be.
As far as meltdowns go, he has one to two per day, which doesn’t seem abnormal for his developmental stage. They are still VERY intense, but I just get down on his level and try to be an anchor for him during the storm. “You’re very upset right now. You really wanted to play, but you also wanted to eat that cookie. I wouldn’t let you do both because it would have made a big mess. That’s hard for you, isn’t it?” I still feel funny doing this in front of other people, because I feel like the societal expectation is to nix the fit, rather than allow room for healthy (safe) expression. I’m convinced that this approach is what my son needs, though, so I ignore that discomfort.
Nap time is hit or miss still, but getting Evan to sleep initially is no longer a dreaded event. We only had one wrestling match before a nap this week, and that was the day we were busy and didn’t get home until 3pm, so the poor kid was way too tired.
I still need lots of practice and more training on how to communicate respectfully. I find myself trailing off a lot of times because I can’t think of how to translate my blunt thoughts to respectful communication. And I’ll be honest- there is some joking in our house about the Respectful Parenting concept, because frankly, sometimes you just want to respectfully spank your kid’s bottom for something, no questions asked, no explanation needed. Sometimes, it’s much easier to just bark, “No! Don’t touch that!” The time and effort we are investing has already started paying dividends, though, so we know we are on the right track. For the first time in a long time, I feel like the positive moments outweighed AND outnumbered the negative moments this week. I’m so encouraged and grateful for answered prayers!
Friend, if you’re feeling discouraged about your parenting, don’t give in to despair! Get on your knees and ask the Lord for guidance. Listen and pay attention for His response. It may look different for you than it does to me. But I know He will show you the the way. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7