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Who Is Allowed To Coerce My Child?

wild respect Jul 16, 2021

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.

And there’s one other person who is not allowed to coerce my child.

It’s the future, hypothetical version of him.

This is a tricky concept, but stick with me a minute.

Putting An Imaginary Person...

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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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