I love what you're saying and do really want to parent with deep compassion too... I do not like being a tut tutting parent at all, when I am I feel like it does create a distance between myself and DD. And yet I don't know how to realistically parent in the way you have described. I have become stricter with DD because I used to go too far with the compassion....I was understanding to a point where all my boundaries were being crossed, and then I'd finally get angry, and I'd yell, and of course, feel horribly guilty. So I hear what you're saying... I just need concrete strategies too. But I'm interested to hear how you might deal with intensely fussy behaviour. Or what you might do now, in hindsight, with a child who is given a gift (even one that she likes) then throws it on the floor and is rude.
Often I wish I could take a break, but cannot. I'm just not sure that taking a break is a realistic strategy.
I find it hard to be compassionate without feeling walked on similarly, and often find myself acting from a place of frustration instead. My friend, on the other hand, is a model of compassion and I don't know quite how she does it. She might find meemee's advice as obvious and simple as well, but for some of us it has to be a conscious act, and sometimes a very difficult one, over our simmering frustrations. I am basically a compassionate person, but I can struggle with patience, especially when a problem crops up over and over and over and we've tried different ways of approaching it and the time passes and it just doesn't seem to be sinking in! I am not a person who thinks kids are diabolical creatures with ulterior motives of total parental domination (you laugh, I laugh, but some people do think that) but the years of working through something can make a parent like me mull over the possibilities in our pessimism.