October 8, 2009

Unintended wisdom

Something a respected friend of mine said to me lately has not left my thoughts for some time. It was in relation to diaper free training(see earlier post), which she thinks of as a waste of time. Her comment, “I think that just trains the parent.”

At the time she said it, I laughed because it’s true. Diaper free does require discipline on the part of a parent, just like everything else in parenting. Everything we do as parents to keep our children healthy and safe and to train them to engage in healthy social interaction requires - of us - consistency and discipline.

Another friend of mine told me recently that gentle parenting (read: spank-free parenting) is exhausting because it requires so much discipline of a parent. Creating a relationship that goes both ways and helps a kid to internalize right and wrong in a way that makes them WANT to choose the right rather than forcing them to is no small task.

Most of all, parenting requires discipline because our children learn so much more from watching our behavior than from listening to our instruction. I hope that from my spirit and my behavior, my daughters learn about living truthfully, loving others, nurturing their spirits and enjoying every minute of this beautiful life we have the chance to live.

Thanks to my friend for making the observation – even if my response wasn’t quite what she intended. I appreciate the reminder.

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