Saturday, June 9, 2012

My Journey With Consciousness, the beginning

I have been a teacher for a long time. Officially for 18 years. Unofficially a lot longer. (As a middle schooler every child I babysat got to learn what I was learning in school. Solar system to the Thomas girls for example.) I have been an aunt for a while also. So, when I became a parent 12 and 1/2 years ago I had all the answers and knew exactly how my children would act and how I would respond. Naive.

Most of the time parenting went according to my plan. Add another child. Family dynamics change. I read every parenting book I could get my hands on in every library I had access. I love to read and learn. Changed a few things, but mostly parenting was the same.

Roughly 7 1/2 years ago at my local public library I spotted a book in the new acquisitions section. It caught my eye. Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline by Dr. Becky Bailey. I was immediately turned off and did not check out that book. Over the next 6 months I kept seeing that book.

In April that year I finally checked it out. As I started to read (and take notes) I felt my stomach churning. Many of my foundational beliefs were being challenged. I would read a section. Process. Put it away for a few days. Then pick up the book again.

My three weeks were over, but I had not finished the book. I renewed the book a total of three times. That is just how long it took me to read and process the book. But I loved every page I read. Yes, I felt sick a lot, but embraced the love in the book and the idea that I needed to change me, not my children.

I changed some of the ways I parented and found joy in the conscious way I responded to my kids. But this type of parenting is so time consuming and emotionally draining that I still went back to my former ways.

Fortunately I have a couple of friends who were knowledgable and eagerly shared their Becky Bailey wisdom with me. What a journey the next year was.

I took a Becky Bailey parenting class, acquired two copies of Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline, and continued to mess up more than I got it right.

My biggest obstacle? Clearly it was self-control in the midst of a storm. When days would not go my way I would become frustrated and had difficulty expressing my feelings and what I wanted. After the incidents I would look back and see it clearly, but not in the moment. I also began to see my children handling their upset in the same way I was modeling for them.

The next years brought ups and downs. Read parts of the book again. Talk with my friends a lot. Try ideas out on my kids. I was changing and found many great moments with my family. My beliefs were changing and I was liking it.

More to come...
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  1. Love hearing about your CD journey! Hope we can discuss more when we get together! you are right, the concept of CD is not easy but in the end....things flow so much smoother and it is so worth it! Way to go Alyce!

    1. Thanks Rachel. I always get re-energized by talking with my CD friends.


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