Tuesday, January 29, 2013

It Gets Better

Starting an unschooling/peaceful parenting journey with a newborn or toddler is vastly different than starting with a 7 year old.

By that age, Josh had become well versed in authoritarianism and all the aggression that comes with that lifestyle. He had been forced to submit to us. He learned to adapt himself to get by with minimal conflict, because he learned conflict meant punishment.

When we... first started this peaceful parenting thing, it went pretty well. And then it got really bad. Josh lashed out. I cannot tell you how many times he screamed "You're not the boss of me!" "You can't tell me what to do!" "Don't touch me!" "I hate you!" All the years of suppressed feelings came out.

I cannot tell you how often this happened in public. How many times we endured the judgmental stares of strangers and family members alike. How many times we were asked, "Aren't you going to do something about that?" "You're not just going to let him get away with acting like that, are you?" I can tell you exactly how it felt, because I remember vividly. I felt embarrassed, helpless, alone, ashamed.

 If you are starting your journey later, like we did, I'm here to tell you it gets better. It gets better. It will be hard, but it gets easier. People will stare and judge, don't mind them. You will slip up, remember this is a big change for you too. Stay the course. This, too, shall pass. It gets better.

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