being bad

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I was brought up in a family where punishment of any sort was virtually unknown, and then it was in the form of restitution or compensation. No matter what our trespass was, we were drawn into a conversation where we learnt why a particular action (or inaction) wasn’t appropriate. Often, this was in a series of questions where we were encouraged to work out for ourselves what it was we did wrong, and what better alternatives we could have taken. (Another Spectrum)

I find that good parenting is obvious … when I read how other people do it. However, when I’ve been up four times in the night, I’m trying to feed my baby and my three year old kicks off, I completely lose sight of any constructive action and start shouting “BAD”. It doesn’t work. I know it doesn’t work and yet it’s the furious, knee-jerk reaction that I continue to pointlessly dish out. In my frustration and lack of control, I am merely solidifying the notion that she is indeed bad, and also feeding her sense of achievement that she has provoked a reaction, any reaction, and got an amusing, or at least interesting, bout of attention.

So it was a relief for me to read the simple and sensible strategy from Barry quoted above. It reminded me of how I had planned to parent, in the days when I wrote my guidelines for child-rearing and reflected on the crushing weight of responsibility. These sensible thoughts had slipped from my mind as the fog descended.

I thoroughly recommend the excellent series that the above quote comes from. Interesting, informative and very well written.

I’m having a blog writing break of sorts white I sort out the various stresses and messes, but will be around for the occasional lurk when time permits. I hope all my blog buddies are well and that the great invisible creator dragon Dragon is filling their lives with happiness and money. If not, it’s probably because they’ve been BAD.

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