25 July 2014

Imperfect Parenting

Babywearing was so much easier when she was small.
We practice attachment parenting and gentle discipline. It came so naturally during infancy and even early toddlerhood. Now it is so much more of a struggle as she becomes more and more independent.

Example: Last week she ran away from me. At first it was just from one end of a library meeting room to another. She waited for me at the door and I caught up as we left. As we're lining up to check out our books she BOLTS out through the front doors, laughing her fool head off. I sprint after her -- as much as a fat lady carrying 3 bags and a picnic blanket can sprint -- and catch her just before she hits the sidewalk and the parking lot traffic beyond. AH!

I dragged her back into the library, to big protests, but I had to take the books, which had set off the alarm, back in. I held her hand while she struggled and begged to be free, and I checked out the books. In hindsight I should have left them there and walked out with her.

In the moment part of me wanted to spank her -- and believe me this is an not an isolated feeling -- but in cooler head moments I can see how that would accomplish nothing except letting me vent my rage. And I certainly don't want to vent my rage on my precious baby girl, no matter what she's done that upsets me.

But at the same time I feel distaste for other people who advocate for any one parenting style to the exclusion of others -- for OTHER parents! I'm all for living into a chosen discipline and parenting style, and while I think our choices are correct I don't think that means other parents' choices are not equally valid for their children.

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