struggling with my 21 moI've not had time to read through the whole thread, just first and last pages, but I'm so glad I found it. I've read U.P. twice and loved it, all of it made so much sense to me esp in the light of my own lack of self esteem as a result of (I think) a very 'conditional' upbringing where my parents made very little attempt to empathically see my side to anything.
But I have to admit that I have really strayed from the path lately without even really realising it, mainly bc I've been struggling with a lot of mood swings, hormonal stuff going on, and feeling stressed out. I feel like many days (most days!), all day just feels like a battle of wills,with a few lovely moments of connection, and reading the last few posts I realise it is fear that has taken me over - fear that my child will get 'out of control', fear of what others will think of me, etc. I think a lot of this is rooted in the fact that a couple of months ago, my sister (who's not a parent and knows zippo about parenting, but somehow her opinion still really m atters to me) was staying with us for 2 months and she really disapproved of my parenting and basically reckoned 'if I bring up a brat, I'll just have to deal with it'. It was very discouraging to me. Also my partner is very much of the 'what the parent says, goes' school of thought, so what it ends up looking like , is mommy being the 'weak pushover' while he has the boundaries.
I did realise that I needed more boundaries, however - my only problem is I tend to go the other way and really insist on things, or say 'no' too much, bc otherwise i feel I am giving in. My 21 mo is extremely 'willful' (even for an average toddler, I feel) and will scream for half an hour after a transition that, no matter how well I try to prepare him for, needs to happen (going into the buggy for a nap/having to leave toys behind at a venue/leaving the park, etc). I also feel like his constant bossing me around and changing his mind every 2 seconds - sit here, no, sit there, no let's go outside (He's very verbal already) - is not the dynamic I want, but yet I also want to respect and support his budding realisation that he can control his environment to some extent. I guess, while I really agree with UP and the studies all made sense to me, I'm still struggling with a background notion, deeply embedded from my own hierarchical, spanking childhood, that while it's good to consider their needs and wishes, children DO at the end of the day need to understand that the parent has the final say. I am also struggling with balancing my own needs with that of my toddler - I find when I was being very 'GD', my own needs were just being suppressed and I'd eventually sort of explode in on myself.
How to undo this conditioning? I'm not even sure. But it helps to talk it out. Thanks for listening.