TEACH through Love
This is what I will attempt to do as I make my way through tantrums, potty training and the general ohhs and ahhs of parenting.
Okay, so maybe sometimes they are more like ARRGHs and NOOOOOs! But hey, nobody's perfect!
I have to mention that I do happen to have an extremely intelligent, affectionate, playful and generally happy child.
Is that sheer luck? Maybe.
But I think it's more than that. I have worked in the pre-school trenches, done the research, earned the degree, studied my own parenting practices as well as my husband's and the habits of all my friends - but there is nothing like practicing what you preach and then BLOGGING about it!
So that is what I will do. I will write about all things parenting as they pop up in my world and as I challenge myself to put my parenting ideals into practice.
TEST CASE: 04142006: My daughter, an Aries, 27 months. She’s strong, demanding, active and independent.
And just so you don't think I have it too easy, she’s not one of those calm, push-over type kids who lets you do as you please to her.
Oh no, no.
She's got a mind of her own and not afraid to speak it. She’s been talking forever and has the vocabulary skills of an almost four-year-old. Her current favorite phrase is "I wanna do it by MYSELF."
And she will. Do it by herself, that is.
She will take the time to climb into the carseat and buckle up again before climbing back out of the car on her own.
And be forewarned, if you help or touch her in any way: BZZ. Sorry, you lose. She'll do it over.
So believe me, my husband and I are not without our share of dilemmas and stubborn toddler moments to contend with.
But, we have chosen to parent a little bit differently. My daughter was born naturally, at home.
She was "worn" a lot (aka in the baby sling) and enjoys extended breastfeeding. We had a family bed until she was eighteen months (yay for toddler beds) and we have never let her cry-it-out.
Our approach to teaching her the ways of the world as far as what's right and what's wrong is gentle.
We do not use time-outs, punishment or rewards and we limit our use of positive reinforcement for the sake of making her feel good so that she'll be good later.
She also has a mostly sugarless, organic diet and eats very little meat.
A semi-meatless diet which is by her own choosing. She’d rather eat blueberries (aka crackberries) than chicken or red meat.
Of course, she has the occasional lollipop, ice cream and she can smell chocolate a mile away but junk food is not a staple in her diet.
It might be hard to believe but we're not tree-hugging hippies either.
I love the city, staying in hotels and chocolate of any kind.
I need to eat more fresh foods, sometimes forget to recycle and would love to be a sugarless, vegan but the thought of no more meatballs, seafood or ice cream sundaes?
Nope, not an option.
We just do the best we can. We avoid junky, processed foods (and the chemicals and dyes that go with them), we never threaten or use harsh criticism, instead we practice gentle discipline and model the behavior we want our daughter to emulate.
We limit the sometimes powerful urge to control or manipulate her.
We don't punish and we try not to argue in front of her. I have found that the advice in Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason to be highly valuable resources in promoting the change of the current parenting paradigm into one that is more conscious and active.
Remember, our kids will change when we do!
What do you think? Post your comments below!