Parenting styles vary from house to house and from generation to generation. Our children learn about new things and ideas every day, teaching us about concepts that never even existed when we were their age. So much information is out there to process and download, that it’s amazing we have time for much else.
I am constantly learning, from my son and from simply observing, listening, and engaging in conversations that help me evolve. I have had the pleasure of being able to learn about myself, and see life – and people - through the eyes of a child since becoming a mother.
My son and I have an amazing relationship, and now, as I prepare (mentally) to celebrate his 6th birthday (Where has the time gone?), I am ever so grateful for the tools I’ve been able to implement from the Redirecting Children’s Behavior (RCB) course I took over three years ago. I am able to see too, how the methods I’ve learned have also had to evolve as my son has gotten older.
Since becoming a Certified Parent Educator, I’ve been able to help dozens of families (I’m not exaggerating) with temper tantrums, potty-training, sibling rivalry, dealing with divorce and all sorts of other issues that the average family goes through.
It all comes down to communication.
If I hadn’t been such a passionate parent from the beginning, I don’t think I would feel as successful right now, but in witnessing my son and having him now be old enough to understand, and express how he feels, I know we have been blessed with the greatest gift, having been and having the opportunity to share it with others.
Growing up, I had a rocky relationship with my dad. We still don’t talk that often, and when we do, it’s very much like a boss talking to his employee since we never really were all that close (yes, he was the authoritarian parent). My mom and I, on the other hand, shared everything – and still do (she would be the permissive one). She’s probably the only person who’s read each and every blog post here over the last two years (except for my ex-husband’s lawyer, but that’s a whole other blog post, entirely) and oftentimes I wonder if I share too much information with her (she’s on Facebook too).
The parenting styles of my mom and dad were the exact opposite of one another and I had a hard time figuring the two of them out – as I was trying to figure myself out.
At one point in my late teens, I announced to my mom that I was never going to have kids. I wanted to break it to her early, so she could be prepared and made sure to point out that she’d still have grandchildren, since my sister was there to make up for my lack of babies.
She just looked at me and simply said, “You’ll change your mind.” I was annoyed with her response and wanted so badly to prove her wrong, to be able to say, “I told you so,” because that’s what I did back then, rebelled against both of my parents.
They’re still married (nearly 38 years now). Somehow, having opposite parenting styles didn’t tear them apart, but I know that was a major reason behind why my ex-husband and I couldn’t make our marriage work. We parented from the opposite ends of the spectrum as well, and it wasn’t until after we separated (and both took the RCB course), that our parenting styles became more in alignment with what we both wanted to expose our son to.