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I’m a parent who’s extra hard on myself and sometimes I worry I’m too hard on my children (and husband!) in terms of expectations for them and the effect I have on them later in their lives. One night, my mom offered to watch our 3 children by herself, on the fly. I was completely worn out from the days past and worried I didn’t prepare anything for her to set her up for success with 3 children, oldest being 3, at their most needy hours of the day- 3pm to 8pm, but I left it up to my Faith. We came home at 9:30pm, expecting Mom to be 3 times as worn out as both of us combined. We found Mom with the 3-month old soundly sleeping in her arms, the almost 2-year old and the 3-year old in their beds completely knocked out. Mom was so eager to tell me how easy it was for her to give them both a bath, they knew what to expect and seemed to have an order to their nighttime routine; she was shocked that our girl knew where to go to pick out their pajamas and helped her brother brush his teeth. Mom was shocked that my boy had the initiative to ask for a nighttime snack and was kind enough to invite his sister and save a piece for her; even pointing out how the kids knew which color chair to sit in and each corrected the other one to stay at kids table. The next day, I shared Mom’s story with my husband and he was so happy and shocked at the kids’ milestones because they’re not always easy to manage during those hours. He said “See! That’s all you, Jess! Must be all that Positive Discipline stuff you always talk about.” I didn’t know what to say but verify he was correct and said “Yeah!! I guess it does pay off to practice the Positive Discipline techniques I learned, on you!
I think with learning about the Positive Discipline method, my relationship with my two daughters became even stronger, more peaceful in many situations with a greater understanding of each other. Many situations are getting more straightforward, because with PD tools, that I mentioned, I can prevent specific behaviours already before they would start escalating (as they did with conventional methods).