During the summer, I attended parenting classes that were hosted at my son’s school. At first I thought they were offered by the church, but it turns out it is a county run program, teaching parents to be better parents. Holy crap! A good idea use of public funds! Lately I felt that would never happen.
Now I didn’t agree a 100% with everything taught. I’m not how sure that a pure democracy in the household would actually work. I believe you give children an inch, they’ll take the mile because, seriously, they don’t know any better. And in my household, The Husband and I are about to be outvoted in another year, when Aidan can actually use his voice.
The class strived to teach us that children are people too with insecurities and pride, intelligence and emotions. I know. I was always under the belief that children were like dogs that talked. Messy, loud dogs.
All right if you been here a while, you know I don’t believe that. I actually compare them to raptors or tornadoes. Usually tornadoes. But that’s probably insulting. They do reason, so I’ll try to stick with raptors.
All kidding aside, I did learn quite a few things from the class.
Pick your battles. It’s so easy to go into a power struggle with a child. The teacher would often say, “Just stop and think. You’re an adult caught in a power struggle with a little child. Really?” If it’s not dangerous or crazy, why not let the kid eat with his hands; he’ll learn by example what he’s expected to do. So she wants to shut the car door; she thinks she’s helping.
Every action has an emotion. Deal with the emotion.
Husbands can admit they’re wrong. The Husband went to one class out of six, but as we walked out he said, “You were right about not spanking. I’m glad I listened to you.”
There was a lot of other stuff to that I have plainly forgotten. I guess I should go back and read all those handouts.
Now they are doing a new class, and the principal of the school believes in it so much that she’s volunteered to do the child watching (due to church budget cuts, the sitting was cut after the last class). So last week, The Husband came (and plans to keep going) with me. We learned to Respond, Not React. Because when we react, we often don’t act right. Or we sound like our parents.