Moving away from a punishment/authoritarian parenting style when it’s literally all you have ever seen in your life is hard. It’s really fucking hard. When we first decided we would be parent peacefully and use only gentle discipline, I wasn’t prepared for just how difficult it would be to overcome my own programming from childhood.
My old toolbox of spanking and time-outs and yelling - literally the only things I knew how to do - was thrown out long ago. But I didn’t yet have the new tools to parent gently. I didn’t know what I was doing. I reverted back to yelling sometimes, because I simply lacked the tools to do anything else.
I have those tools now. Sure, there are still times when I have no idea what I’m doing. It’s still hard. But I have tools, and I’m beginning to really understand how to parent without yelling and hitting and punishing. I’m continually amazed at my children’s willingness to make things right, at how readily they apologize and take steps to fix things, at how willing they are to compromise. They are truly GOOD people, with hearts of gold, and I’m so incredibly proud of them and of myself for letting them shine the way that they are.
I know it’s hard to even believe that children can be good without being scared into it by punishments or coerced into it with rewards. But I’m here to tell everyone that it REALLY DOES WORK! Once you really get a new toolbox of ideas and learn the right language to use and figure out how your individual child responds the best, it works. And your kids will amaze you every single day, if you only let them.