When I had two preschool age children I was tired all the time. I wanted to be a perfect parent and wife. I read books on parenting, talked to other mothers, had children over for play days and wanted my children to have every educational experience possible. Unfortunately, our finances were not such, so many doors were closed to me. Instead, my children played in the dirt outside my kitchen window, played with the neighborhood kids, played with 2nd hand toys and we went to the library instead of buying books.
One very special experience was when my children attended Mount Hermon Play School, but the one very clear memory that I still have 20 years later is not what my girls learned but what I learned. Well, I had become so worn down and confused that I had started asking my 3 year old to make decisions that were really mine to make. I remember that it was a shock when the director, Marilyn Miller, told me, “Kahleen, don’t ask her if she is ready to go, tell her it is time to go. Remember that you are the Mother.”
That wake up comment helped me a lot to focus on the types of choices I gave my girls. I certainly look back and wonder about my parenting and I know it was not perfect. But I am thankful for someone in my life that spoke up to help me refocus. I hope you are building relationships that are helpful to you in your parenting. Here is a link I found on line that I think gives clear instruction and help for parents in this often difficult area of… Giving Children Choices, by Becky Bailey. If you don’t read it all, read #1.
Here is a link to an excellent comparison of 3 parenting styles. Where do you find yourself?