It is a sad, sad day at our house. We (when I say “we” I mean, I) cut of the ends of his pacifiers off and threw them in the garbage. Horror and disbelief flashed across his face as he ran screaming into his dad’s arms. For several minutes he would have nothing to do with me, he just clung to his dad and wept. He is learning that “You’re a big boy” is code for, “you’re not going to like this”.
In the 7 years I taught preschool, I saw a lot of different parenting styles. The one that frustrated me the most were weak parents. More often than not it was the mother who fell into this pattern. They would come into my classroom wringing their hands, telling me how fed up they were, and that they didn’t know what to do. Most of the time, they knew exactly what they needed to do; they just didn’t have the strength to do it. I never had much sympathy for them… until now.
Sometimes it’s not easy to do what’s best for your child. It hasn’t been easy for me to enforce rules, to break bad habits, or to give them a needed push in the right direction. That doesn’t mean I don’t do what is needed, but I realize now how tempting it would be to just give in. I understand, that most parents don’t set out to ruin or spoil their child. It happens one small decision at a time. It’s such a delicate balance between being consistent and firm, but also realizing that they are still little and sometimes what they really need is a little extra love and attention. I thought it would be easier to discern the two.
I guess we are both feeling some growing pains!