"Your website does make me feel I can do better, maybe even stop yelling if I can just get enough sleep. But does it really work? I love my kids, but staying patient when they act up is hard. That's not how I was raised. I'm no saint. If I do all this, will my kids really act nicer and listen better? Or will they just take advantage of me being nice, and act even worse? No offense, but it's easy to give advice. Mostly on your website people ask for advice and you give it but we don't hear whether it works. It would make my day if there are parents who try to do all this and it actually works."
Lindsey is right. Giving advice is easy.
Staying patient when our kids act up is hard. Empathizing with our child when we just want him to cooperate is hard. Breathing our way through a meltdown
is hard. Managing our own emotions is really, really hard. And yes, it is so much harder if we're sleep deprived, as parents so often are.
But when we do the hard work--to stay patient, to see it from our child's point of view, to choose love--we change.
So our child changes. And I know from personal and professional experience that we don't have to be saints. There's no way to be a perfect parent, and
lots of ways to be a good one. We just have to try, and our intention makes a huge difference.
Sometimes we have the internal fortitude to stay calm during a tantrum, which models emotional regulation for our child. Sometimes the best we can do is
make amends, reconnect, and try again tomorrow. The miracle is, that's enough. Choosing love actually works.
So will you help me make Lindsey's day? Will you share a story about becoming a more peaceful parent?
It might be a recent incident in which you were able to stop your own meltdown and reconnect with your child. Or you got your child back on track by seeing
things from his perspective. Maybe you acknowledge feelings at your house now, and you noticed yesterday that your child is less rebellious. Or you
saw your older child be empathic to your younger one. Or maybe you're better at taking care of yourself now, and you're enjoying parenting more. Maybe
you're like the mom I heard from at Thanksgiving, whose five year old said she was thankful for a mom who doesn't yell any more.
Whatever your story, large or small, it's a testament to your hard work and your capacity to love. Please share it, the more specific the better, in a
comment below, as a gift to Lindsey and all the other parents who just need to know that all this hard work is worth it.
Thank you. For taking the time to support other parents. For your commitment to being the best parent you can be. For making Lindsey's day. And for sharing
your miracles, large and small.
Want to share your peaceful parenting story?
Please write to me: DrLauraMarkham@AhaParenting.com. I can't answer questions via email (or I'd never get to these blog posts!) but I love to hear
from parents, and I read every word.
Want to read parents' stories? Here's the link: