Thursday, February 09, 2006

Answers . . .Part 9

Chichimama posed a thought-provoking question: "What preconceived notions that you may have had about being a parent/your parenting style have proven to be accurate or inaccurate?"

I had all sorts of ideas about what type of parent I'd be: kind, loving, tolerant, patient, polite, slow to anger, empathetic. . . A lot of these characteristics have held up to the rigors of product testing. But others, perhaps not so much. I wrote a post last year describing something I am, unfortunately, still struggling with: patience. This paragraph kind of sums up a pre-child theory that hasn't really been borne out by the evidence:
Somehow, the Benign Dictatorship model of parenting that I unofficially championed has not quite worked out as planned. I had thought that if I were kind and sweet and benevolent, always phrasing my requests politely (and firmly as needed), my children would follow my directions. But when confronted, for example, with a 3-year-old who laughs in my face when I am reprimanding him for shoving his sister, I find myself thisclose to exploding.

I'm still working on this. Maybe I will always need to work on this.

As for what's proven to be accurate -- well, I think I am kind and loving. But even though I knew I would love my children, but I had no idea how much. I don't think there are words to describe this deep, passionate, consuming love. It's more powerful than anything I'd ever experienced before. Which makes my impatience with them all the more vexing to me.