Parenting: Back to the Drawing BoardAugust 24, 2016 at 1:51 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
We’re hitting the summer doldrums here, those last few weeks before school starts when every parent starts to despair. Children are bored and driving us crazy. We haven’t done any summer reading and their brains have atrophied. Can’t the first day of school come any sooner? I’ve been wallowing in complete hopelessness at the state of my house, the lack of discipline in my kids, and my confidence as a mom. Where did I go wrong? And I why can I not summon the motivation to actually do something about it?
Then, sort of randomly on Facebook, I came across a free webinar about parenting, and I hastily signed up. Now, this doesn’t come easily for me. For some reason, I sort of bristle when I’m getting parenting advice. I birthed these children — shouldn’t I just instinctively KNOW how to raise them? When other moms offer advice, even rational, well-intentioned suggestions leave me feeling inadequate. “That’s a great idea!” I say, while I’m thinking, “I’m such a failure!” Even when I come across ideas that I could really use, I rarely stick with them. I’ve read books about overly sensitive children, about “spirited” children, lapping up every word, then following the suggestions in the book really well…for about a month. We have seen progress over the past few years with eating, bathroom issues, getting along with others at play dates, dealing with transitions — but I can’t help feeling a lot of the improved behavior has come with maturity. This stay-at-home mom thing is essentially my full-time job…and almost eight years in I still feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m sure the Bobs on Office Space would be questioning my qualifications. I have People Skills, dammit! People Skills!
Enter Positive Parenting Solutions. I was a bit skeptical at first. Why should I pay these people to give me parenting advice that I could probably figure out on my own? Except…clearly I’m floundering. And if Stay-At-Home-Mom is truly my job title, wouldn’t it do me some good to get some on-the-job training? So I signed up. Amy McCready, the woman who runs this outfit, claims she can bring peace to my family with her discipline approach. No time outs, no spanking, no undignified punishments. It’s using human psychology to train our children to be better behaved. I’ve only just begun the sessions, so no telling if it will work. There’s a 30-day money back guarantee I’ve got in my back pocket if need be. But at this point, when I’m screaming at my oldest to do what I tell him or else, and my youngest is running around the house like a free-range chicken (and rapidly approaching terrible two), frankly, I can use all the help I can get.