For the most part, I feel that I am a fairly peaceable, likable person. At work, I think I get along with everyone (as far as I know). I was even voted "Nicest Girl" my senior year of high school. Kinda dorky I know, but I suppose it proves my point.
However, this easy going image of myself tends to go up in the puff of smoke billowing out of my ears when going toe-to-toe with one of the most masterful foes I've ever come across: my six-year-old. He and I both are struggling with my current tactics so I've been doing some real soul searching lately when it comes to disciplining.
I come from a line of feisty Dutchmen, a laser-eyed Indian, and booming Germans who tend to pride themselves on gut wrenching guilt trips and making their children cower in fear. They're not evil, horrible people. My brothers and I were never ever abused or unloved. We were deeply cherished, but strictly punished when we were small. And I guess I turned out okay, so I've been attempting to parent this same way. I don't punish nearly as harshly, but it's still there. But I'm not convinced that it's the best way.
While looking for some validation that I was not the only one with a kid who does this or that, I was skimming the internet when I came across, "Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids" by Dr. Laura Markham. Her website is www.ahaparenting.com. Her website had a handful of videos and several really struck a cord with me. I've not read her book, but I plan to. I don't know if this is good stuff or not, but I do know that I'm ready to have more tickle fights and bear hugs than arguments and hurt feelings.
My son doesn't need to get away with everything, nor does he need to be punished every time he turns around. He deserves a parent that will stay calm, or take a break herself when she can't. He deserves to be treated with sympathy and respect when he's upset. If it depends on me to live at peace, then I'm going to keep trying. He deserves to know that it is possible.