Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Patience and Positivity-Day 1

You all know I have been struggling with my ability to be patient.  I regularly struggle with keeping my cool when things aren't going as I had planned.  I don't know if I was always this way, or if parenthood has brought it out in me.  All I know is that I need to let go a bit.  To not take it all so seriously.  And to try and see things through my kids eyes. 

Last week I was struggling with both my patience as well as my positivity.  Parenthood was feeling too heavy for me and I wasn't exactly appreciating the bright side of it all.

To help me get to this land of patience and positivity, I enrolled myself in an 8 week parenting course.  It is 2 hours a week and they have childcare down the hall from the classroom.  We had our first session yesterday, and I was quite pleased with how it went.

Not only did the little guy have so much fun playing with all his new friends, I got to sit in a room full of Mamas and talk about our common struggles and hopes.  As I am pretty candid with my Mama blogging, I wasn't holding things back when I spoke, and it felt good.  In fact, one of my class mates thanked me for being so honest when I introduced myself and told my "story."  A few women were nodding as I spoke and commented that I had just summarized thier lives and that they didn't think anyone else felt the same way they did.

We sit on couches and drink crappy instant coffee with powder creamer and talk about how challenging our kids are (it is a class designed for parents of preschoolers age 2.5 to 5) and ways we can make things better.

The only problem with this course is that we are embarking on a movement towards "positive discipline."  This term means many things, but the biggest challenge for me will be to stop using "punishments" or the threat of punishments when the babe misbehaves.  There's a whole bunch of positive stuff I can do instead, which I'm not going to get in to here, but it appears as though I'm going to have to make some changes if I want to get to the place my instructor thinks I can get to.

Today was Day 1 of being patient and positive with my kids.  Not that I was never those things before, but I am making a SERIOUS effort to not give in to all the opportunities where the babe and I could get into a verbal throw down with each other.  I am walking away from opportunities to battle with her by using compassion, humour, and understanding.  I am trying to get to her level, look her in the eyes, listen to her, give her more hugs, and not yell.  WHOA.  As my husband said 45 minutes into the day, "Wow, I guess being positive and patient takes a whole lot of energy."  And indeed, it does, but it feels so much better than giving into the easiness of yelling at the babe and threatening her with our roster of punishments (no desert, no bath (just a shower) and no story time at bed).  

By bath time tonight I was toast.  I wasn't doing so great with the patience (I'll admit I was on my own with bath and bed time for both of them), but I managed to bring it back by cuddling up with my 2 yummy clean little kiddies and reading a story and singing some songs before bed time.  It felt good.

For the next 8 weeks prepare to read about my serious mission to learn, grow, and be a better, more patient, and positive Mama (and wife, for that matter).  I have 5 chapters of "homework" to read in the next 6 days!  Can't get more serious than that!

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