Lately I've been falling back on lazy parenting. You know the kind where you give a lot of warnings but little follow through. I've been in this rut where the littlest of things feels like I'd be exerting way too much energy, so I take the easiest route. In lieu of projects, we've been watching TV. Instead of guided activities, the boys have a lot of free play. If they won't help clean their rooms, fine; I'll just do it. I've also fallen back on lazy discipline, too. Yelling and timeouts and lectures and that all too familiar mommy body language. At the end of the day, I'm exhausted. Laziness almost requires more energy. And I feel like total crap, the mommy guilt eating me up inside.
I know this isn't the type of parent I want to be. I know this isn't the parent my kids want to have. I owe it to all of us to snap out of this lazy funk and get back on track. This week our local elementary school offered an introductory course to Love and Logic, and it couldn't have come at a better time. Back when Spencer was a baby, I attended a six week course that, at the time, seemed so foreign to me. Surely, my baby would never act that way. But, inevitably, my baby grew and transformed into a monster before my very eyes. OK, I kid, but sometimes a monster does seem an accurate description. And now, years after my first glimpses into the Love and Logic approach to parenting, I finally understand its purpose.
As my husband and I sat through a two hour class with a room full of other parents, I felt a big mixture of emotions. Relief that there is a way to parent differently, lovingly. Guilty that I have been doing it all wrong. Inspired to implement these techniques. Driven to incorporate this into our way of living until it is simply ingrained into our lives. The instructor joked that you could use these techniques on spouses, too, and we all laughed. But, really, this way of communicating with others is universal. It definitely is an eye-opening approach to parenting anyway.
The road from here to there is going to be rocky. I don't expect results overnight. Although the few things we have implemented so far have simplified our lives. So, lately, we are wading our way through this new terrain, figuring it out a day at a time.
Our first day out of the gate, the boys and I took a trip into town and enjoyed the beautiful spring day. We found a scenic spot and nestled in. The boys threw rocks into the water. We played at the park. Then we ended with a picnic under a weeping willow, where the "caterpillar leaves" kept raining down on us.