From Control to Compassion: A Mom’s Path in a Nutshell

Source: Wikimedia Commons, PD-Art (PD-old-100)

When I learn something complicated, I like to see the big picture first, then follow up with the details.  So, I am going to share a whole overview of the stages I went through to find out my recipe for parenting.  Unfortunately, it was more like an aged cheese than a microwave dinner, and took many years to develop.  If you are experiencing some of the same things I did, I hope it goes faster for you!  In future posts, I’ll explain how I got from one point to another.  Is there something you’re curious about now?  Ask, and maybe I can get to that topic first!

Stage 1: Discovering that my authoritarian formula didn’t work

Stage 2: Trying to improve my implementation of the faulty authoritarian formula

Stage 3: Trying to figure out what was wrong with my son, since he didn’t respond how he was supposed to

Stage 4: Abandoning the intimidation-based (authoritarian) discipline formula.  So, I was left with a gap to fill.  I wandered through a parenting desert, with a confused mix of permissiveness and strictness.

Stage 5: Starting to recognize empathy and emotional intelligence as important skills for parenting (for relationships, too!)

Stage 6: Realizing that my children learned more from who I am than from what I did.  Realizing that I needed to change on the inside.  (When I write this stage, I imagine a choir of angels singing out a joyful note.)

Stage 7: Looking inward. Discovering the four horsemen of my parenting apocalypse: Anger, Perfectionism, Stoicism, and Guilt

Stage 8: Learning a better way, which meant combating anger, perfectionism, stoicism and guilt with a balance of empathy and boundaries

Stage 9: Practicing a better way.  Faltering sometimes, but getting back up and trying again.  This is where I am now


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