Monday, April 8, 2013

New Phase of Appreciation

My unschooling journey (because let's be honest, I am the one being unschooled) is seeming to develop phases. There was the "I'm so angry at the system!" phase, then the "settling in" phase, and now I'm entering into the phase where I really appreciate how difficult parenting is.

Don't get me wrong, parenting was difficult for the 8 years before now too. Yes, things have gotten easier in a sense, now that we're parenting peacefully and learning naturally. But even with all the peaceful parenting tools I've armed myself with, even with all the books I've devoured, even with all the support I find from other families, our family dynamics are still not sunshine and rainbows.

This parenting paradigm doesn't magically make life perfect. The kids still do things that drive me nuts, we still fight, doors still slam. At times it is much more difficult for me to take that deep breath and work out the issue than to raise my voice or spout off threats. Even though I slip up at times, I know I will never stop striving to be more peaceful. While it may be difficult and doesn't magically make things perfect, we have seen a dramatic decrease in the frequency of fights and arguments. Even when I know I didn't get things quite right, I don't end up with the pit in my stomach that yelling, spanking, and punishing gave me. There is still love and understanding in our relationships, even when momentarily clouded by frustration or anger.

Parenting peacefully may be difficult in the here and now, but I can feel and I know that it is helping me foster a lifelong loving respectful relationship with my children. I am more than willing to put in the time now to have that relationship with them later.

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