Thursday, December 5, 2013

Learning How to Ask for Help

We've been unschooling and learning to live a NAP life with our kids for about 18 months now. Something to consider though is that while I stay home with the boys (ages 9 and 2) Papa is traveling for work 6 days a week. I have had considerably more practice at this than he has.

And so it came to pass that I learned something about myself this week in regard to how I ask for help. For whatever reason I let myself get to a point with the kids when I just can't be patient anymore, and I ask Papa to step in and "just get him to do xyz" or whatever it is I can't work through in the moment. I don't want to be the one to "make" the kids do anything, but subconsciously I want Papa to step in and be that person. That's a very conflicting message to send my partner in parenting.

The situation which opened my eyes occurred last weekend. Bug (2y) had a sit-and-push scooter in the house. Josh (9y) kept playing with it without permission. Meltdowns and arguments were happening often. I had talked with Josh, I had talked with Bug, they would work it out just to have it happen again. My patience was worn thin and I called out to Papa to come help me. He responded by taking the scooter outside. Logical enough, right? Now no one can fight over it. Problem solved.

I asked Papa, "So Josh can't take Bug's scooter without permission, but you can?" to which he said, "Well, no, but what did you want me to do?" and that's when it hit me. I've been putting him in a tough position, wanting him to parent respectfully and lovingly (something he did not experience in his childhood and is having to learn all new just as I am) while simultaneously wanting him to swoop in and just fix situations I can no longer handle.

Recognizing this is the first step to fixing it. Seriously, this is a never ending path of learning and improvement. I'm reminded almost daily. But totally worth it. I'm reminded daily of that as well. 

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