Thursday, January 31, 2013
A Bit of my Background
A little bit of my background- I was born to teenage parents. I am actually in my mom's high school graduation picture with her. My parents practiced authoritarian style parenting. They were always right. My younger brother and I were often told, "Do as I say, not as I do." My dad kept a wooden paddle hanging on the wall in the living room for easy access for spankings. I got grounded. I had my t...hings taken away. I was shamed and ridiculed. When I was 10 my parents divorced. Things got better with my mom, and worse with my dad. There was no trust or communication in either relationship. Life was full of rolling eyes, yelling, and slamming doors. That is, when I had a bedroom door. As a teenager, at one point my mom thought taking away any aspect of privacy would help things. I had a limited amount of time in the bathroom with the door closed. I wasn't allowed to go anywhere with friends without parental supervision. Fast forward- I graduated, took some college classes, got pregnant at 19, lived an extremely stressful life for the next couple of years, and finally Josh and I moved to our own place when he was 2.5. (It was around this time I met Papa Bear, we married, he adopted Josh, and here we are.) I knew I wanted to parent Josh differently than my parents had with me. I didn't want the resentment and anger in our relationship that I had with my parents. And things went well for the first 3-4 years just going on instincts. Then Josh started to become "challenging". Not that he actually was challenging, but it was inconvenient for me to accept him as his own person. *I* needed him to eat this.now. *I* needed him to go to bed.now. *I* needed him to wake up.now. *I* needed him to do what I told him without question. Not having armed myself with any new tools for effective communication or parenting, I resorted to what I knew. Spanking, time out, loss of privilege, threats. I said some utterly horrible things to him. Life was stressful, our relationship was strained. Here I was trudging down the very path I wanted to avoid. Until 1 year ago, when I watched "The Facts About Spanking" on Freedomain Radio. It opened my eyes to how my relationship with my parents contributed to my anxiety, teenage drug use, promiscuity, etc. I was seeing the start of these things in Josh (anxiety). It was an emotional awakening. I could not continue this cycle. And so began the journey of learning to be a better parent. Undoubtedly the most difficult undertaking of my life thus far.See More "