I've in the process of rediscovering my real self, and rediscovering my maternal instincts.
In doing so I've had to completely challenge my beliefs. In example; I believed that my son should sit square in his chair, and he should be able to control himself and not drink a while carton of milk, and he should go to bed when I think it's time, and he shouldn't ask for another story. When I questioned all these beliefs and many more, I discovered they weren't true. We live in a control dominated society without questioning the source or validity of our beliefs.
Most, if not all, of our beliefs are taught to us. For me many of them are self limiting so I have to really think what messages I pass onto my children.
If there isn't a good reason to say no, say yes! Always say yes - even if it's a no "yes I see you enjoy TV. I understand you want to watch more. I love you and want to protect you. It is not healthy so let us turn it off and do something else together".
Or "yes I know you want to stay here at the park. We need to go home so I can make dinner. Can we agree on how many minutes we'll stay until we go home?"
I've just had someone telling me how I should control my child. They say he's out of control because he expresses his feelings. That he has no boundaries because he helps himself to food out of the fridge. That I'm not a parent.
I considered this, and I believe that children learn through their own discovery. I didn't teach him to breathe, suckle, crawl, walk, eat, talk, say thank you, open pots, turn on TVs *grimace*, dress himself, tie string to toys to pull along etc etc he taught himself.
I could aim to control him, dominate him, quiet him to gain compliance or I could wait for him to learn himself. That doesn't mean being passive. I'm there fully for him, listening, supporting and guiding him. I stop any dangerous behaviour. But I know that the "I ought to stop him because what'll people think" parenting - that has to go!
I aim to LOVE him without conditions. Unconditional love is what every parent feels but few children feel loved unconditionally and therein lies the problem.
The problem was when I told him off all the time was that he quietly complied, and he seethed. He became underhand because he feared me. He became full of hate and I have a lot of rage to let him express and bridges to heal. I don't want him to learn anymore that you have to be scared, and anyone bigger scarier than you controls you. I want him to know himself, to not loose sight of it under the weight of the world's expectations without questioning why.
Today's Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for the test of faith today for it has taught me still. Amen.