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You’re The Grownup In The Relationship – Act Like It

wild insight Sep 25, 2021

Life Ruiner.

That’s my name for today. My son Dylan is 6 years old, and he’s pissed at me, and he’s decided to call me Life Ruiner.

He’s not just saying, “You’re a life ruiner.”

He is literally addressing me as if my name were Life Ruiner.

“I’m going downstairs to watch TV, Life Ruiner.” “Will you make me some lunch, Life Ruiner?”

You’re probably thinking it’s funny. Okay, it’s definitely a little bit funny.

But we’ve been struggling the last few days, and he’s been expressing a lot of anger, and he’s been saying he doesn’t love me and that he doesn’t want to be around me. And so my feelings are hurt. Like, not just “tell him my feelings are hurt so he will understand the effect of his words.” My heart is legitimately heavy, and I feel like shit about the whole thing.

When Dylan does something I don’t like, I have a fork in the road ahead of me. I...

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I’m a Mom, Not a Short Order Cook

wild insight Sep 25, 2021

My son and I recently visited a Waffle House where it’s a lot of fun to watch your food being made right in front of you.

We decided to try some of the food at home.

Dylan shouted out his order, and I tried to make hash browns, cheesy eggs, and deep fried French fries (not an actual Waffle House food!) as good as you’d get at any greasy diner.

I’d even holler out “Order Up!” when the food was ready.

But I’m not a short order cook.

Dylan can’t drive, which puts me in the driver’s seat for helping get his out-of-the-house needs met. I take him to the grocery store, to recreational activities, to his friends’ houses, and to Walmart on allowance day.

But I’m not a chauffeur.

I do a lot of cleaning on Dylan’s behalf. I wash his dishes. I do his laundry. The older he gets the more he picks up after himself. But I still pick up after him quite a bit.

But I’m not a maid.

Usually when you hear a parent lament that they...

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I Never Punish My Child – 10 Reasons Why

wild respect Sep 25, 2021

That’s right, I absolutely NEVER punish my child. If I’m being completely honest I did punish him once, I guess just to give it a try. It felt so completely wrong that I’ve never even been tempted again, and that was 3 years ago.

Pissed off parents have no shortage of punishments to choose from. There’s spanking, of course, or the ever-popular time out. There’s grounding your kids, taking away things that they like (that’s the one I tried), or forcing them to do something unpleasant.

If you’re looking around for justification for punishing your child, you’ll find that, too.

But there’s another radical option. It involves having a connected, cooperative relationship with your child instead. I know. Far out, huh?

To have the kind of relationship where you come together in joy, you have to give up punishments. You just do. Punishment has no place in a family.

Let’s talk through the reasons I don’t punish my child and why...

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The Three Layers of Parenting With Connection

wild connection Jul 23, 2021

Learning to parent with connection is the most important thing you can do as a parent. In some ways it’s the magic spell that - POOF - makes everything better. But…. (you knew there was a but coming, right?) connection is so different from how we may be used to relating that it can be hard to pull off at first.

I’ve broken it down for you to make it easier for you to know where to start.

Connection comes in three layers. These are three different ways to think about connection. When you stack them together over time, they make the magic happen.

Let’s start with the BIG one - your core connection.

Special Note: Punishment gets in the way of connection. If you don't know how to get started with no-punishment parenting, I wrote an ebook for you. The Gentle Discipline Big Idea Book has 50+ alternatives to punishment. Check it out!

Your Core Connection

Parenting with connection starts with a strong foundation. This is the basic sense of...

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Who Is Allowed To Coerce My Child?

wild respect Jul 16, 2021

Special Note: If you are a beginner to the idea of non-coercion, you might want to start here - The Gentle Discipline Big Idea Book has 50+ alternatives to punishment. Check it out!

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I don’t let teachers coerce my child.

He was not forced to read at the developmentally inappropriate kindergarten age. He is not forced to suffer through the equivalence of a full time job just to be educated according to politicians’ guidelines.

I don’t let other people coerce my child.

I tell him that his body belongs to him and that he sets the rules. I give him the language to respond to people who are trying to get him to do things he doesn’t want to do.

I don’t coerce my child.

We work together on bedtimes and the contents of meals and what kind of clothes he will wear. For things he “has” to do, like those related to health and safety, I have a vast commitment to cooperation, and we figure out something that works for both of us....

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How To Fail At Parenting In Public

wild connection Jul 16, 2021

You’re out in public with your child. (Horror movie music begins.)

A restaurant. The park. The grocery store. (Dun-dun-dun.)

Your child does things that kids do. Some of them are loud or messy or angry or tearful or violent or rude. (Gasp!)

Your mind fills with the imagined expectations from other people. You think they think you should be stricter with your child. Keep them under more control. Stop spoiling them.

You may be right about what those people think.

Everyone has an opinion on how to parent. If you agree with me, then your ideas of what makes a supported, nurtured childhood are very different from the mainstream.

You cannot please those people.

There is no heroic parental magic trick that will sail you through this moment to receive the unadulterated praise of your audience.

You are going to fail at parenting.

At the moment you feel the piercing gaze of the disapproving judges, you have already failed.

Accepting this, embracing this, becoming at one with and at...

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The 15 Seconds That Will Change Your Child's Life

wild connection Jun 17, 2021

I was walking up the stairs behind my son one day and he was going SO SLOWLY!

I wanted to tell him to hurry up!

Or maybe I would try to push past him and go on ahead.

I have no idea what I was in such a hurry to get to, but I felt something a little bit like rage building up inside me. Not my best day, I guess!

On a whim, I started counting the seconds in my head. It’s an old coping mechanism for any time I have to wait.

I got to 7 before we got to the top of the stairs. Well, awesome! That didn’t take that long after all.

A few days later, I was helping him out of the car. He wanted to pause to put his shoes on, even though we were going straight into the house. Couldn’t he just grab them and go on in? There was that feeling again. I started counting.

I got to 8.

Huh.

There are other times in our lives where the waiting is much longer. Baths sometimes seem to take forever! I have to use that time to do something else.

But what I’m talking about here are...

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