When I was little, the only idea I knew about parenting was observing my parents & experiencing how my parents parent me. When I became a parent and was responsible for the little people in my life, I didn't really know what parenting was all about except through the Parenting with Confidence (PWC) course I've sat for. Even then, the idea about parenting was vague because parenting is a process and I simply cannot appreciate nor comprehend fully all that I've learned until I've been put through the "grind" myself.
I've set out to be a good parent, that was why I signed up for the PWC course even while I was expecting Tim then. I've envisage to be the "perfect" parent to the children I've been bestowed with.
I must admit, after 4.5 years I'm still not even near - the "perfect" parent. Contrary to being a better parent each brand new day, I find myself "locking horns" with my children on a day-to-day basis - nagging, screaming, threatening and all the works of being a sergeant major parent, you name it. It was exhausting and neither the kids nor I enjoyed my presence at home. Hubby reminded me that the kids are still docile at this age but how long more can I use this method of parenting and if I wish to drive them out of the home eventually.
It was an awakening moment for me as I reflect on my ways and if I really wish to see my kids run away from home at a young age. They are blessed gifts from my Heavenly Father, and what have I done to truly deserve them.
Interestingly, just recently while surfing the Amazon.com for another parenting book I was given a recommendation to this book "Playful Parenting" by Lawrence J Cohen. For a person like me who emphasize or believe so much in learning through play, why didn't I even thought of using play to parent my kids?
I've gained many insights just by reading the introduction and chapter one. Decided the very next day, after reading the book, to bring down my guard as a sergeant major parent and just "play" as I parent my kids.
The morning was a pleasant one (peaceful with no screams, tears and fights). The kids were ready for school at half the time they used to take (especially for Tim). There were more laughter and I didn't feel as exhausted as the many mornings before.
Some asked what did I do to make playful parenting work for me. Nothing out of the norm, nothing spectacular, just simply to put in more patience and love. I spoke in a friendlier tone, consciously smiled more and played tickle with Tim to make him get out of bed (giggling away)... while I sing songs and talk loads of nonsensical stuff with Little Missy... the dreadful morning routine has become a breeze... the kids left home for school happy and I felt a breath of fresh air around me...
It still takes conscious effort for playful parenting to work for me... but I truly do hope that in time to come it'd be ingrain in me that it's out of habit and not a conscious act. Not sure where this might lead me to, meantime, I've learned to enjoy my kids better... ;)