Thursday, January 3, 2013

Through the eyes of a child...

Since becoming a parent, I have developed this pesky habit of seeing the world through my children's eyes. Unfortunately (or fortunately), it can sometimes inspire a passionate post such as this one, advocating for children.....

I have re-written this post I recently saw on facebook. When I saw this I felt deeply disturbed by it. Here is my re-write:
I have made a promise to myself that I will not be a spanking parent;
I will be a respectful parent.
I will try to see the world through your eyes and have empathy for your experience of life.
I will view my role as your parent as a sacred honor to be lived up to.
As the adult, with more experience I will choose to control my impulses to hit, yell, or humiliate.
I will be creative and learn to communicate my feelings and hopes.
I will try to understand and be respectful of your limits and my own.
I will try to create an environment of Love and Respect so that Love and Respect are what you know.
I will try to lead by example.
I will not blindly accept the parenting script passed down to me, I will question it,
and write my own.
I am sure you will make plenty of mistakes, we all do. 
You will have lessons to learn, we all do.
 I hope that you will trust me enough, to share your life with me.
That when you make mistakes, you will trust me to treat you with kindness,
so you will not be sneaky.
I hope that you will be open to receiving my guidance.
 I know that you will not always like what I have to say, and I will do my best to be okay with that.
I will be open to learning from you, because I have learned that you have a lot to teach me.
I purpose to live a mutually respectful life with you, because
my connection with you is so incredibly important to me.
My hope that you will choose for me to be a part of your adult life, because I am your parent (noun). And I love and respect you.

My mother told me that we were firstly God's children; that we were on lend to her AND that she would have to be accountable for how she treated His children. *That's wisdom*

I think part of the reason I feel bothered by the trend of posts humiliating children and condoning disrespectful treatment, is that I can't figure what the motivation is for this kind of thinking. The basic message seems to be "this is how I was raised, and I'm fine". Combined with an underlining feeling of frustration with one's children. This seems to be a call for parents to pat each other on the back, and give each other approval.

***I would feel ashamed if my adult children use the word "survived" in relation to the way I treated them; I would prefer for them to feel that they "thrived".***

Not so long ago, when Olivia was maybe 5 or so, a few of the unschooling mothers called me out on sending her for "time-outs." They didn't call it abuse, or anything like that. I had reasoned, at least I wasn't spanking! These Strong mothers did ask me some questions; I'm thankful that they were brave enough to speak up on behalf of my daughter.

*What was going in her life that she was struggling?
*What exactly did I think she was thinking about while crying in her room?
*Did I really believe she was thinking about the "wrong" she had done?
*Or was she wondering why the person she loved and trusted the most was sending her away, withholding love and attention from her?
*Did she have the ability to do what I was expecting of her?
*Did she feel loved and valued by the way I was treating her?

I felt terrible. I had been awakened to seeing discipline through her eyes; awakened to seeing myself through her eyes.


I can't help but I wonder how this kind of parenting will look through the eyes of our children as they become more aware?

I wonder if they will wonder why so few people spoke up on their behalf?


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this, I LOVE it!! It puts my goals and desires as a gentle mama into words perfectly :) I was spanked as a child and yeah I have no issues whatsoever with my parents or being spanked, but as a mama myself all I see is my babes tears and heartbreak and it just doesn't feel like discipline to me.