I have fallen too far into punishments, threats and rewards and (most shamefully) withdrawal of love. I feel guilty and disempowered about my parenting over the past couple of years, and I am changing it effectively to the best of my ability.
Where I struggle most at this point is with DS, age 5. He is so spirited and sensitive, though many of his sensitivities he tries to cover or won't admit to feeling bad about things that bother him. I'm hoping to repair his trust and confidence in me as quickly as possible without slipping into permissive parenting. I am struggling to be heard by him at all during our many moments of chaos. I take some responsibility for his difficulty focusing and listening to me due to my own issues with communication.
What have you found helpful if you've chosen to indulge such a paradigm shift in your parenting strategies and philosophies?
I feel very good about a specific incident today, and I want to share that to shine a little light here, as well. DD (age 2) had a little Lego train constructed on the floor where DS wanted to play. He kicked it and disassembled it to get it out of the way as she shrieked in dismay. Instead of saying something like "that was really rude. Why would you do that?" I simply said "I noticed what just happened to DD's train and she feels upset about that. What were you trying to do?" He said "it was in my way and I wanted to play there". I repeated his words and added "I bet we could figure out a way for her train to stay there and you could still have all the space you need. What if we move thus game over just a bit so you have enough space?" He seemed agreeable and not stuck in any negativity, so I proceeded to move his stuff over just enough. Then I asked him if he would help rebuild her train before starting his project, and he happily agreed. He even mentioned a few times how happy DD was playing with the train while he played his game. I wanted to avoid any sort of "I told you so" type responses, and was glad to see he noticed on his own. I hope to have more scenarios like this from here on out. No one was shamed or victimized or punished, and everyone got their needs met. Yay!
Your turn! Share your experiences, please! Let's help each other help ourselves!