I attended a parenting class last week. Self-conscious as I was going into it, I was not the oldest person in the room. There was a fair amount of graying hair–various educators, as well as other grandparents, were in attendance. We were drawn to the free two-hour session by its title: “Say Yes to No: Teaching Kids Self-Discipline.” (It was based on the book to the right, which you can learn more about here.)
Our Lucy, bright and funny and energetic, is still a typical three-year-old: willful, testing her limits, testing our limits, asserting her own will. I know we need to get a handle on that, but instead I have found myself having PTSD (preschool temper & sassing days) flashbacks, along with the feeling that I never did know quite how to handle this stage.
My epiphany–although I couldn’t articulate it until just now–has been the realization that while self-discipline and self-control are largely the same, disciplining a child is not at all the same thing as controlling her.
And therein lay my greatest parenting failures. Continue reading