I was just falling alseep last night and I heard the local coyote pack hunting in the orchard. A rush of fear and my eyes flicked open, The chickens! It had been so hectic that evening, were they cooped up for the night? I remembered they were but was unsettled for some time more.
Parenting is like that rush of fear and post drama hangover. Have I irreversibly screwed up? Oh, no. Phew we’re good. This time. Dun, dun, dun.
I’ve had a belly full of parenting books this last decade or so and only sporadically pick them up or give them any credence. If I feel like a weekend wasted with crippling guilt I will answer the siren song of click bait or flick through a book written with finger wagging in mind.
But, guys….we’ve got some serious tween stuff happening here and how to handle it is new to me. I started by looking about books concerning the teenage brain. Too dry and clinical. I get it. They are a strange, beautiful creature these early teens. I need tools not overly specific studies.
Scenario: You’re in the kitchen with a toddler under your arm eating fistfuls of butter and trying to have a meaningful conversation with your child who somehow now wears clothing larger than yours. Say something that doesn’t put the older child off and sticks to your family culture. Go!
Where does the time go, indeed. I need catch phrases and simple parenting rules. Questions to ask myself before I (over)react.
I skipped over the Simplicty Parenting excitement. I had been through all of that stage, thrown out the TV and plastic. It’s great. It just caught me at the wrong time. By chance I found Kim John Payne’s newest book, The Soul of Discipline: The Simplicity Parenting Approach to Warm, Firm, and Calm Guidance-From Toddlers to Teens. Sold.
This mama, a parenting book eye roller, has folded down corners, taken notes and put up reminders to myself. I even used some of the advice to diffuse an explosive situation. (I may or may not have gone in to the bathroom after, pointed to myself in the mirror and said, You’re awesome.)
I would recommend this book in a heart beat to all sizes of families with all not adult ages. It is helpful to look forward when you are in the thick of toddler parenting. It’s not that it gets easier, it just gets different.