My kids are great: smart, funny and exasperating. I parent them in the way that I deem best at that moment. Logically I know that screaming, “I’ve had enough” to quell the whining is not the most ideal solution but it must be better than spanking or arm twisting. I just came across this article by Anne Lamott who eloquently articulates how her son knows just the right combination of buttons to push to get a reaction and I can relate.
I’ve gone to a few parenting classes offered at the school and some are more helpful than others, but when my husband comes home and undermines me by not adhering to the schedule (begin dinner and wind down at 5:00, day light savings or not) or responds to my daughter’s attempts for him to linger longer in the bedroom I’m frustrated. Not only are the kids that much more challenging, but also I have to share my husband. He resents my reminders of the existing routine and we both end up more bitter and tired than we would like.
I told him tonight that I want us to take a parenting class together. He was a little hesitant at first, justifying our parenting (as if we were a completely united front) and slightly defensive as he is whenever I share observations. (Knives do not go in the dishwasher. Please close the refrigerator door. Do not leave stinky running socks around the house. Move your mail from the kitchen pile…Just a few that come to mind) When we adopted our dog (who has long since found another home, executive decision by yours truly who is coming across more as a drill sergeant than she would like) we hired a trainer. A trainer who trained us on how to handle the dog, exert our dominance and remain consistent. Certainly raising two toddlers necessitates at least as many visits with a trained professional.