I am rethinking my parenting style
now that I am a single,working mom!
I have received feedback from bloggers in the past,
that has caused me to do some thinking.
and now as I look at what is not working..
I need to find what will!
I was raised in a strict but loving home.
There was parental authority!
My siblings and I were polite and well behaved.'
I believe in authority in the home.
and the children's father,
while no longer in the home..
seems to still garner their 'fear of consequence'
when he reaches a place of feeling enough is enough!
I, however, sometimes feel like I am talking underwater..
and talking..and talking..and talking...!
When we were in the home together
I was the boundary setter!
But, I don't think I have ever really been the disciplinarian.
I am too inconsistent and soft!
But, I did enforce the boundaries and require respectful behavior..
and then there was always "Its time to talk to dad."
But, I tend to react and then realize that grounding them
until next Christmas might be extreme..
or I know that what is needed is missing out on an event;
but I don't have the heart!
Or, I see the heart behind what they did and understand and therefore
struggle with a consequence as I know they were hurting too..!
In many ways,
their dad and I balanced each other,
he was laid back but they knew when he reached that point,
that he would say what he meant.
I was more tolerant of some things, he of others.
But, together not as much slipped through the cracks.
so, now what??
I know some believe in ultimate authority
and some believe that if you give your children their own choices,
they will ultimately make the right decisions!
I wonder if as a mom..
who is smaller in frame then my son and soon my daughter..
inconsistent... really more reactionary then angry...more soft then strong..
and the only adult presence in the home...
ultimate authority is not the way this whole thing should go..
Yes, I believe I should be the final say!
and yes, I believe I should define boundaries and enforce consequences..
but what about the way we live?
if they are fighting.
do I punish or let them figure it out?
if their rooms are not clean...
do I punish or leave it, letting them live with the result?
how much leeway do you give them?
what does 'lenient' parenting look like?
how does one learn a 'self governing' style of parenting?
where does one begin?
I take parenting seriously, I do!
BUT, its a lot when you are alone to do it..
when they are with their dad, he is on his own with this as well!
this is what our life now is..
I have many friends with children,
but few who truly are where I am.
As most of my friends are remnants
from a life I once led..
I can admire what they do..
but I can know that our lives are too different
for it to work for me..
I need to pick my battles!
I need some guidance however...
I feel I spend so much time
dealing with the fighting, the cleaning of the rooms, the chores...
and I wonder how else could I do this?
what are my options?
because this is just not working out so well!
I have good kids..
they are top students, well behaved in school, kind to their friends..
and sometimes nice to each other!:)
They are 'reasonably' responsible, caring for their pets
and helping around the house!
I am often complimented on their behavior....
BUT, sometimes they do not listen!
sometimes they fight.
sometimes they do not clean their rooms,
or pick up after themselves,
sometimes they chase each other in public,
sometimes they use really ugly tones with each other...
and while this may not seem THAT bad..
knowing how to deal with it,
when they are not seeing me as the ULTIMATE end all be all
has me stumped!!
is it time to let them have the reigns a little?
and what does that look like?
I have 3 kids..12,10 and 8.
I have always given my all as a mom!
but my dynamics have changed!
What worked when I was a stay at home mom,
with home schooled children,
and my whole focus could be on them..
does not work now!
Now they spend 8 hours a day in school,
and learn things that require 'un'learning.
I work 40 hours a week,
and come home tired.
They spend every other weekend and a night a week with their dad,
this is his time to be with them
not my time to pour into them...
so time is limited!
Dynamics have changed!!
My dad has a saying he uses;
when the paradigm shifts everything returns to zero!
Well, my paradigm has shifted in a really big way,
I am at zero..
eager to hear and learn..
and knowing that being willing to change
and accept that things could be done better,
is what sets us apart as human beings!
I owe my children the reflection
and I thank you for your thoughts!