Sometimes, having kids is just the pits.
Particularly when you’ve made the commitment to an upbringing that abhors violence and uses communication instead.
Violence is just so damn easy!
Your kid ain’t doing what you asked? Slap him across the face!
Your daughter is talking back to you? Smack her on the bottom and send her to her room!
Your son is tantruming, screaming and crying over some nonsense? Scream and yell back at him, getting in his face with emotionally violent language about how he’s ridiculous to feel like he does, perhaps calling him a girl for crying!
See? Just so easy!
Unfortunately, I’ve committed myself and my wife to methods much more difficult. We are living the middle path between a violent or neglectful adult-centric lifestyle, and a permissive, child-centric one.
The Hard Way.
What is the Hard Way?
The Hard Way is taking a step back, assessing the situation from an altitude of 50,000 feet.
The Hard Way is letting go of your ego, which is really a video flashback to how your own mum and dad parented (if it was good enough for me, it’s GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU).
The Hard Way is creating connection with your child at all times, but especially when they are upset, regardless of whether they are sad, angry, tantruming, or any uncomfortable behaviour.
The Hard Way is letting your kids be sad or angry, as long as they are not hurting anyone else.
The Hard Way is not letting your kid have everything they want.
The Hard Way is being flexible, sometimes giving your child what she wants.
The Hard Way is ensuring your kid has regular screen-free time, even when you need a babysitter.
The Hard Way is coaching your child through success and disappointment, rather than being a cheerleader.
The Hard Way is finding and spending Quality Time.
The Hard Way is prioritising family over work, and Quality Time over money.
The Hard Way is loving your kids, loving them hard, and loving them always, even when your ego is reaching for a backhand.
The Hard Way is hard work. It’s a damn sight harder than the bullshit “Good-Enough Parenting” style that gives parents a guilt-free out every time it gets tough. But if you want to grow happy, satisfied, loving and unspoiled kids, the Hard Way is the only way.