Hi Sarah, I’ve read the Whole-Brain Child and follow positive discipline experts on social media. We can use many tools, but as you say, it takes practice, patience, and time.
I grew up with a father who yelled at me frequently in an abusive way. He thought that if I cried, I deserved no sympathy. There was an expectation that I should always behave. He spanked my brother and me if we argued. As an adult, I have difficulty with confrontation and speaking up for myself.
I’ve struggled with depression, an eating disorder, and anxiety. My self-esteem still has not recovered from how my father treated me.
When I got pregnant, I knew I didn’t want to be like him. So I’ve been reading and studying and doing therapy.
But I do believe it’s a challenge to deal with our emotions and those of our kids. Especially when we’re physically and mentally drained. In the past, children were raised and looked after by many more people, by a community. In our Western society, we’re expected to work hard at our jobs and be parents, partners, friends, etc.
I’m glad you’re reading about positive discipline. It’s helping me understand my brain and how to connect with my 1-year old.
My kid already lets me know I’m not meeting his needs by doing things he knows he’s not supposed to do. Like, play with the plant. Instead of getting mad, I try to think about how I’m behaving at that moment, and I try to connect with him. I’m sure that with three children it’s a lot harder.
I tell myself I’m doing my best and keep working on connecting, empathizing, listening, and being present.
You’re doing your best.