In the last post, I introduced a situation between my daughters that required parental intervention: My daughters had been playing on the bed when one fell off. My older daughter immediately apologized, but my younger daughter would not hear of it and lashed out angrily.
I had asked you to let me know how you would’ve dealt with it. This was to be an exercise in looking at this common situation in a new light – instead of thinking that child needs a timeout, considering what else might be going on to contribute to the situation.
I’ll admit, sibling rivalry is difficult to deal with. But, I’ll give you a hint – the unmet need in this case had nothing to do with her sister, the bed, the fall, or their father. It was a basic need for attention.
Last week, I posted something on my Facebook page about my parenting style:
“I do parent differently. I don’t spank, I don’t punish. I don’t use reward systems. I guide, I teach. My kids are happy, loving, and I often get compliments on their good behavior. I breastfed on demand, I coslept. I base my parent on individual relationships with each of my children, I base my parenting on that children have equal worth as adults. And, when fully embraced, it works. For me, for my kids, and for my husband. Especially for my marriage, because the attitude I take toward my kids is the same that I take toward my husband. I accept, I love unconditionally, I love our differences. It’s a different way of looking at kids, at parenting, at marriage, at the world. And it has a name: Attachment Parenting.”
I got 11 likes. But that wasn’t the point.
Our hearts hurt today, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School. As you draw your children closer, Attachment Parenting International shares these resources on being a safe haven for our children if they are aware of this recent tragedy:
Helping your children manage distress in the aftermath of a shooting
American Psychological Association
Talking to Children About the School Shooting
Susan Stiffelman, Parenting without Power Struggles
Talking with Children about Upsetting News Events
Massachusetts General Hospital
Helping Children with Scary News
Little Listeners in an Uncertain World
Zero to Three
How to Talk with Kids about Tragedies like School Shooting
Dr. Laura Markham, Aha! Parenting.com
Helping Children Heal
Attachment Parenting International
Children and Grief
The Attached Family.com
Children and Death
The Attached Family.com
I was shocked to hear of actress Mayim Bialik’s divorce recently, just six months since the release of her parenting memoir, Beyond the Sling. Many people would say they weren’t. They would say that she was too invested in her children, in her style of parenting, to be able to sustain her marriage. And, of course, they would bring up the cosleeping as a major cause of unrest in the union.
How about that their divorce is occurring because marriage is just plain hard? No matter whether you parent this way or that. No matter whether your marriage has major relationship difficulties, such as mental illness, or not. It’s just hard. Two very different people living in close quarters – more if you add in kids – and a constant balancing and re-balancing of individual versus family versus couple priorities. That’s hard!