As parents we are always navigating through our journey with our children. One of the biggest challenges in parenthood is figuring out the best ways to discipline our children and often it is a learning experience. Sometimes we feel we are on the right path with how we choose to discipline our children and sometimes we have those moments that we wish we could have done differently. I know I have made mistakes in some of my disciplinary actions with my daughter and son but I always let them know when "mama" has made a mistake and explain to them how I would handle it differently in the future. As we all know, there is no handbook on parenting and we have to trust ourselves and do the best we can in our amazing given gifts as parents. Do you ever have moments where you try to see yourself as a child in your children's eyes? I try to do that when I am speaking to my children in a discipline situation. I try to remember how my parents spoke to me or how they chose to discipline me and remember how that made me feel. I use these moments to try and put myself in my children's shoes when I am trying to talk to them regarding their behavior or a challenging choice they may have made.
I was thinking of all this as I stood at a children's birthday party and noticed one of the children was not allowed to eat any birthday cake because it was their "consequence" for some choices they had made prior to the party. I watched the child ask her mother is she could please have birthday cake and her mother said no and reminded her that there were consequences for her actions and that is why she is not having cake at her friend's birthday party. Now, I will not begin to act like I know any more details to the story because I do not. That was all I was witness to but it did make me feel sad for the little girl and a little frustrated as a parent. I felt like the little girl was singled out among all her friends and it felt like an unfair choice of disciplinary action. Also, I felt like it gave no consideration to the birthday girl. It was her party so all her friends should be able to celebrate in joy with her, regardless of any of her friend’s prior behavior choices at home. Maybe I am being silly or maybe I am being unfair but I do feel as parents, sometimes we get so caught up in trying to make a point to our children about consequences for their actions that we forget that they are just children who are also navigating on their own journey and learning along the way. They look to us for guidance and I do agree that sometimes our children may need to have lessons regarding their behavior but I am not sure I agree with taking away eating birthday cake at their friend's party. For me, it just does not feel good and I think it is so important that we trust how we feel when we are disciplining our children. It is never easy and as parents we often make mistakes but our children can teach us a lot about how we navigate forward.
As always, trust yourself,