So I've set down to write several times...and my mind goes blank. Yet, in the wee hours of the night when I'm struggling to sleep, I have wonderful thoughts of elegant, poetic, intelligent words. But alas, I awake in the morning and all these have drifted away in the night with my dreams. *sigh*
I am new to Gentle Parenting. Well, mostly new. I breastfed all 3 of my biological children, I even co-slept (mostly for convenience and comfort), and I'm a very lovey-dovey mommy (to the point of people saying I was babying them *rolls eyes*). Even with all that, I've also been modern in a lot of my "discipline" (actually punishment). I've done time-out, rewards with good behavior & punishment with bad behavior, yelling (and saying things I regret) when I get frustrated, and yes even spanking on occasion (again out of frustration, not love. I don't know how spanking can ever be done out of love.) So I'm now at a point where I'm trying to figure out how to take the good things I'm already doing, get rid of the bad, and move fully to Gentle/Graceful/Peaceful Parenting (or whatever you want to call it.) I think this would be a much easier transition if my children were all small, however, I have 2 different age groups: two teen boys, ages 15 & 14, and two younger children, a 6 year old boy & 3 year old girl. (I will talk more about them individually in a day or 2) I guess what I'm getting at is, HELP!! What do I do, and where do I begin implementing these parenting techniques? Do I need to let them know that we're doing things differently? We've already began implementing a lot of it and I find myself apologizing to them often when I do something the "old way" and I'm afraid I'm confusing them. Mostly, how do I help my husband in this transition? I am a SAHM, so I find the time to read up on this subject and also on all the research out there, but he's exhausted when he gets home and only gets the replay version from me. He is doing much better and I was very proud with him the other day for sitting down with one of the little ones and talking it out rather than scolding. He still uses time-outs and occasionally gives them a little pat on the bottom. I'm finding it a lot easier to stop time-outs and have completely stopped spanking. Also, I'm doing pretty well at setting them down and talking to them about whatever the issue-at-hand is and working it out. The thing I'm having the most difficulty with is my frustration. The yelling comes out of me, often before I know it's going to, and I find myself apologizing for my mouth A LOT!! (Not cussing, but things like, "what were you thinking!")
I've been feeling a bit lost. Mainly because the websites, blogs, FB pages, etc. all seem to be relative to babies and young children. Where are the resources for parents of older children and teens? How do I transition parenting my teens to gentle discipline? Do people give up when their children hit the teen years? Or perhaps their children are so perfect they decide not to post anything? (I joke) Am I the only parent who has found this information a bit late in the parenting game? Surely not, so where are all the other parents? I've thought about posting on some of the afore mentioned websites, blogs, etc., but I'm afraid of the feedback from some of the parents. I've been following a few specific groups and though the information from the group itself has been very helpful, I find some of the responses from the parents to be absolutely horrible! They treat other adults in the same ways their fighting to NOT treat their children (but I digress.)
I realize I only have one follower at this time, so I'm not expecting a plethora of feedback. I would, however like to give a big "thanks" to my dear friend in the virtual world, Dulce de Leche, who has helped me in finding this information. I know you may not realize it, but through our friendship on facebook and my following your blog, you have been an extraordinary help to me and my family!
Blessings and Grace to all!