In my heart of hearts, I wasn’t always a positive parent. I started out believing that people who don’t discipline their children are absolutely crazy. It’s just like life to laugh at me and turn me into one of the same types of people I used to argue against! I was pretty sure I was going to be a spanking parent even after my son was born. I remember telling someone when he was around 4 months that my child would never be like so and so because I would straighten him out.
As he got older, my opinion on discipline quickly changed. I could not imagine myself physically hurting such a young child. I learned more about positive and attachment parenting and decided that was me. That is not to say that it hasn’t been a struggle from time to time! My son is very opinionated and strong-willed and loves to test limits. Sometimes it’s just funny or a slight annoyance. But other times, it’s enough to make a person want to yank all their hair out, scream really loud, or do some other crazy thing.
But, he is also very loving, kind, and if I can brag for a moment he is absolutely brilliant. He is full of questions and wonder and spirit….it would be a shame to crush his little soul. He learns his lessons in his own time, with patience and gentleness and loving guidance from the adults in his life including myself. Support is often difficult to get when you do not parent in a mainstream way, and everyone is a critic. But thankfully, now there are many books and articles online to support positive parents in their journey.
I am thankful that the resources and support for this style of parenting is consistently growing. The Head Start program in Florida uses Conscious Discipline which I think is just amazing. I have no doubt in my mind that the extra time and energy spent now will lead to adults who are confident enough to be themselves, but also self-motivated and emotionally aware.