One standoff which is usually about all we face in the day, turned into nearly a dozen. Each thing that was asked became a power stand as she tested each boundary. As I sat there feeling frustrated and tired I couldn't help but ask myself a few questions.
Had I been giving in and letting her run the show more than I realized and this was simply the pains of regaining balance as the teacher suggested last week? Was I using the technique correctly or was I overusing it to grand stand my own power? Were there other factors in play with all the big changes my daughter has gone through in the last week, and if so, should I still be standing my ground or showing her a little extra compassion? What was the "right" answer?
The difficulty of parenting is that there is no right answer. There are a million shades of grey and what works for one child and one family may not for the next.
I love the technique I learned because it gives me a way to keep my cool while standing my ground. But as we navigated our way through the weekend I learned that even the best techniques have to be tweaked to the child's personality.
The hard questions lingered in the air and if I am being honest there was truth to all of them. Rather than thinking of myself as a dictator I prefer to think of myself as a coach. I don't need the military robotic compliance of my child. I want her to question and to know I have a stake in what's going on. And yet I want her to know that there is strength and resolve in my direction and decisions. Like everything, it is a balance.
I'm grateful for the ability to question what is right and what is best. I'm grateful to gather new techniques and use and tweak them to fit the needs of my family. I'm grateful to commit to doing my best to raise a responsible, caring, and compassionate member of society. And I'm grateful to know that result begins with the skills I teach and the skills I allow her to see me using. I'm grateful to recognize when the focus has turned from teaching to "because I said so" and finding the balance. I'm grateful for a daughter that is teaching me so much about parenting consciously and all the resources and techniques out there to help me.
What do you find yourself questioning? Which answers feel true? Are you willing to ask the hard questions and admit answers that may reflect your own shadow side?
May today remind us we all have a shadow. May we ask the questions that need asked and embrace the truth of the answers. May we seek balance and love in all decisions. Have a beautiful day!