Okay, so this is a new thing for me. Whether you will notice the difference will be interesting to find out. This is all new to me, but interesting, so naturally it has to be tried.
If it was earlier in the evening [or later, depending on how you look at it… it’s one in the morning now] it would be easier for me to write this. However, fatigue is slowly shutting my brain down, and so this is short.
Hey, guess what? Michaela peed in the potty for the first time EVER today!! Woo hoo!!
She’s three and a half, and very determined about how she wants her life to be. She’s flatly refused for MONTHS to actually pee in the potty. She’s been willing to sit on the potty [we bought her a Pooh Potty *hee hee* in the hopes that it would spark some interest in actually going but with Michaela, she makes up her own mind].
It is my firm belief that this will only be a positive thing [and maybe is now, although it’s difficult to see when you’re the one trying to get her to do what you want her to do] in the future. She needs to have her own mind. She needs to have a strong sense of who she is [something that was missing in me for most of my life… still working on that].
The dilemma for me is figuring out how to encourage her independence while teaching her the ropes of how the world works. We have already made mistakes [especially with the older two] in limiting their choices, making them believe that we are the ones ‘in control’ and because of that, we are now trying to figure out how to re-foster independence and the ability to think for themselves.
My beliefs about parenting have gone from believing it was my duty to dictate to them what is right and what is wrong, what is acceptable behavior, what they should wear, etc. instead of guiding them, or giving advice [explaining possible outcomes for their actions] and then letting them make their own choices and learn from their mistakes.
Without realizing it, and understand that my motives were to protect them, my actions have actually prevented them from learning through experience. How well do you learn if you are only allowed to ‘read’ about something, like riding a bike? Can you learn by reading a book? Of course. But reading a book about riding a bike is so completely different from actually riding the thing, can the two even be compared?
And so, the course changes again. My hope is that there is still time to give Shaya, especially since she’s nine now, but the other two as well, the proper guidance they need to become productive, independent, well-rounded adults. The challenge of parenting is so much bigger than was first imagined. It is truly wonderful. Somehow, in re-thinking my parenting style, my own growth as a human being is continuing. That excites me!
I love my kids, and this is truly a grand adventure for all of us.