Sunday, March 8, 2009

Unconditional Parenting Part 1

The lord, my mom and dad know that I certainly was not a compliant child by any means. I had a mind of my own and was going to let everyone know. I shouldn’t speak for my husband, but I also know that he was no angel himself. So, it did not surprise us when our son made it known that he too had his own little way of figuring out the world. Do the words defiant, mischievous and aggressive sound familiar mom, dad, ma, and pa? Despite his non-compliant behaviors, he is the most curious little guy and has a love for learning that most of my first grade students do not have. I googled 2 year old behavior daily. I asked advice from seasoned parents, counselors and friends. I have tried all conventional ways of discipline (time-outs, spanking, and rewards). I have had this overwhelming feeling to “control” my child’s behavior. It has left me with no control and an uneasy feeling of how it is making my child feel and myself. I began to realize that I was spending so much time trying to control my son that I was beginning to not enjoy the time I spent with him. It was time for a change. My friend gave me a wonderful book, Unconditional Parenting (moving from rewards and punishments to love and reason) by Alfie Kohn. I was relieved as soon as I started reading this book. It reassured me that there are other ways to get our child to do what we want him to do without leaving him and ourselves emotionally exhausted. I did not want to send my children the message that they are only loved when they please mom or dad. I want them to know that we love them unconditionally!!

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