Moment by Moment

I think we can be our kids guides not their rulers.  We can’t always know what will stick so I choose to focus on my own self-development and my ability to stand strong in the waves that childhood can bring.  I do believe that being a positive role model is the best I can do.  I deeply hope the next generation will keep striving for a better world and I think having social emotional strength will be a big predictor of this success.  I want to remind myself of this kind of discipline, it's a personal path and I know it's not for everyone but I choose not to "put" my kid in time out or punish her.  I neither give rewards, threaten, nor take things away to "teach her a lesson".  I don't really believe in my heart of hearts that is how lessons are learned.    

There are exceptions, when she plays instead of doing her bedtime routine and then the natural consequence is less reading time.  I really dislike when that happens because I love to read to her and I mention this at the time.  Often just this gentle and honest reminder is enough to get her moving a bit more quickly.  I will say this path is not easy.  I end up processing a lot of my own frustration when faced with a 6 year old that is not "doing as I say" or even as I ask.  I have detailed conversations with my husband about her feelings and how she worries she does not have a talent (one of her more recent worries).  I am not sure where she got the idea she needed a talent but nonetheless it's there, the failure to add up (in her mind) at such an early age.  Dance my husband interjects, hoping I had helped her feel better by reminding her of this pursuit.  No, I say, I did not do that, I just kept following the path to see how she feels when she dose not think she had a talent.  Or how that must feel when you don't think you are any good at anything, ugh, I have felt that before I share with her.  I realize this sounds pretty "therapist like" and yes I am a therapist so I guess that would make sense but I feel good about giving her the moments of exploration, these moments to be not ok because by walking through those moments with us our kids will come out the other side much stronger.  There are many more I catch her feeling proud and I notice the big smile on her face and say something like, you look proud of yourself.  Give yourself more moments where it does not all have to be ok and be ok with your kids not always being ok.  Walking through pain instead of resisting it is a path toward less suffering.