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Too Many Parenting Changes
I Had A Melt-Down Today. HELP!

by Marcie
(King, NC)

Hello again. I am so new to all of this. I have only really come to understand and grow in Law Of Attraction over the past 4 or 5 months. I first came into contact with the parenting concepts in my research of Un-schooling.

Children are 10(boy), 8(girl), 5(girl), 3(girl), 6 months(boy). We have Home-schooled since the beginning and Dad has been self-employed since the oldest was around 3. We are very close and loving family.

Honestly, over the past 10 years, I have loved and delighted in being a mother. I am sure there were a few exceptions, but I can't remember many days that I did not feel this way. I never wanted a break and have not ever stayed away from them over night.

Anyway, as I came into LOA, I also was drawn to Un-schooling which I can see go hand in hand. My first encounter with a parenting style switch came to me from an Unschooling website.

I began to understand from this perspective that the advice at hand was children should be allowed freedom in order to truly connect with their life purpose and discover who they really are. This advice included that they did not need enforced bedtimes (We have not been too uptight about this anyway since we HS and Daddy is home with us). They choose and eat what they want, move from rewards and punishment to love and reason,no spanking, remove all media limitations, and basically release most control, coming along side them as partner in this experience. WOW, talk about a paradigm shift!!!

My Husband and I have always been in agreement on discipline. We had been consistent with punishment/rewards from the beginning with LOTS of LOVE and mild spankings with cake batter spatula. As we encountered this information, again we were in agreement to make changes.

I'm really not sure why we decided to do it all at once, except that I so wanted to begin to release them from what I felt was not the best for them. Sooooo, we did a major switch and now things are upside down. It really has to be from all the changes and I need to know how to back peddle some and bring some peace and happiness back on the scene.

My husband is dear and he is right with me so that is a HUGE help. I told him today that we sure were all very happy and peaceful before we did this. He still encouraged me that we were on the right track. I just cried all over him and I told him I wanted to like the children again.

We have always had a no tolerance policy for unkindness. My husband and I learned before we even had children to honor and respect one another in communication. This is our biggest issue, the way the children are speaking and acting towards each other and with us. Were they just withholding this because of the discipline factor?

I really understand that I was over zealous by making too many changes, but how do I get control of things and change the energy level here? I am also trying to focus my attention in a positive manner and needing help with that.

I am reading several books on Un-schooling and planning to start that when we can get things on track with the parenting. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Blessings again!!!

Comments for Too Many Parenting Changes
I Had A Melt-Down Today. HELP!

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Core Parenting Values - Part One
by: Annie Desantis


It's wonderful you have embraced a new style of parenting, but it sounds like in your efforts to do the right thing by the children you have forgotten about you!

You have certainly gone to an extreme with all of this, and I think you need to recognize lots of your values prior to all this were wonderful too.

A Mom who loves her kids, who loves being an at home Mom, who is homeschooling clearly has the kids welfare at heart. And that is what is most
important. If your husband and you, and the kids are happy most of the time, to a large extent, it doesn't matter how strict or what rules you have. The fact that you were clearly putting a lot of energy and love into your children is what at the
core is most important. (not so keen on the cake spatula though!)

No matter how good a job we do as parents, we are going to create contrasts for our kids and we are going to affect them in lots of ways. They didn't come here to be cushioned and pampered and bought up in an angelic bubble. They need things to push against so they can get clear what their preferences are. It is not up to you to provide absolutely everything (including freedom) for them to thrive.

They will thrive in an environment with rules and boundaries, they will learn things about themselves even if you have strict rules. That learning is very powerful. The freedom to be themselves, comes from inside them, not so much
from what kind parenting style you use. Now sure, kids who have a miserable home life have a lot to deal with, but you clearly are very child orientated and your kids have a wonderful environment (both before and now) to grow in.

You are lucky in that you don't have restrictions of time, like working outside the home, or kids going to school, so you have lots of flexibility and less time pressure. But you still have to work out what is most important.

Put the Law Of Attraction teachings aside for a moment, and think about what values are important to you and your husband. At the moment, you are letting the LOA ideals make you feel guilty for having meltdowns or not being the perfect LOA Parent. You are questioning everything, which can be great, but it also seems to me you have given away your own power to another theory or ideal of parenting.

The bottom line with LOA is you feeling good and feeling connected to your higher power, source energy - whatever words feel right to you. If you are feeling stressed and your home is not peaceful or loving anymore, then you are
definitely out of alignment with you. Your kids are sensing your confusion and reacting to that. They are also testing you, and showing you something has got out of balance.

In deciding to parent the "LOA Way" you and your husband, have actually dumped a huge negative judgment on yourselves for not being good enough parents. And it sure seems to me you were wonderful parents already, you just want to fine tune things and go with what feels better.

Part Two Follows . . .

Core Parenting Values - Part Two
by: Annie Desantis

I would like to suggest you and your husband sit down and do two things together. Firstly, make a huge list of both your strengths as parents. All the things/ways you have been wonderful in your parenting, really get into appreciating yourselves and each other. (Definitely yourself!!)

Then the second thing, when you are feeling pretty good about your parenting, work out some core values that are important to you as a family. Maybe respect and kindness is one of them. Maybe having a peaceful household is one of them. Build a vision for your family and parenting about what you both feel is most important. It doesn't matter what you think you should be making important according to LOA principals, it must be what you both think is important. This vision will change and grow, and it would also be good to get the kids involved in building it later on. Get yourselves focused first.

Now the second thing I am going to suggest you look at is you. What are the things you can do that make you feel good about you. What do you do that rejuvenates you? How do you take care of you. Parents must take care of number one first to be able to be available for the demands of parenting. And you have 5 children and are parenting full time with no break while they go to school!

You need to have things that feed your soul, things that you can do that get in touch with your own source and strength and power. At the moment you are looking outside of yourself and your kids are reacting to that. You are a very strong, loving woman, and you have to take care of you, you are far more than being a wonderful Mom and Wife.

Make a list of things so that when you feel yourself struggling, you can quickly go and do something. Some things might be bigger and require more organization, like taking a class or going for a walk. But maybe you have a favorite tree you can sit under and breathe quietly for 10 minutes, maybe you have a special piece of music, maybe taking a relaxing bath (I know that is hard with 5 kids in the house!).

If you have some things prepared so you can go and do things to get you feeling tuned in and connected again, then you are really modeling the best thing for your kids. Then you can help them do the same thing when they are clearly out of sync. But take care of you FIRST!

Removing all limits is not necessarily good LOA parenting. If you can stay in alignment with that and it works then fine. But the reality for pretty much any parent is that doesn't work too well.

It is a matter of finding a balance between what works and what doesn't. If you feel good and everyone is happy with how something is working, then fine. But if you are frazzled and the kids are running rings around you then you need a bit of framework to be able to keep yourself aligned. Having some rules and rituals won't squish any child's spirit.

Part Three Follows . . .

Core Parenting Values - Part Three
by: Anonymous

I'll just touch on a few of the things you mentioned:

You say you had a no tolerance policy for unkindness. That is a wonderful family value to have, but just switch it to what you do want. Maybe you want a family that focuses on respect and kindness. Find ways to bring that into your family rituals. Make charts and take note of the times each child is kind and helpful to another family member. Maybe have a family reward at the end of a week.

Media: If you mean TV, then I would be inclined to have some boundaries for that. Much of what is on TV contributes to negative programing our kids. So decide if that is something you want to create some framework around. Maybe TV time is reward or special time, maybe TV is only as a family activity. Maybe you have unlimited TV when it is National Geographic type programs, but limited cartoons. Find what YOU feel good about. Having a TV going constantly is very intrusive and limits positive interactions.

Food: The rituals of mealtimes are often really important family connection time. Maybe you don't want to enforce eating, or finishing everything on your plate, but you might want to have everyone at the table sharing together, and appreciating whoever has cooked. Mealtimes are also a great place to be doing appreciations or mentioning you noticed someone being particularly kind and helpful. Reinforce what it is you do want.

Sleep times: Is it important for you and your husband to have time alone? Then having a bedtime for the children might be more important. Are you getting enough sleep? Having a baby as well as kids running around till late may be contributing to you feeling exhausted. You have needs too, and they are just as important. Find a balance. Kids do need lots of sleep. Your children don't have to wake for school, so may be able to sleep in. But find a system that works as a family.

Part Four Follows . . .

Core Parenting Values - Part Four
by: Annie Desantis

Homeschooling: I would make a start. That will give the day a focus. The whole Unschooling idea is a continuum too, some people still use a curriculum, some are totally child directed.
Sometimes it depends on the ages of the children.

But in a nutshell you are really taking the opportunity to extend the natural curiosity children have. Their energy will run to all sorts of things in a day, and you will not be able to keep up with it all. You will run yourself ragged trying to go with the direction each child wants - they won't want the same thing at the same time.

But if you have some kind of loose structure then you can be prepared or focused and they know what to expect. Your energy will also draw them into something interesting.

Maybe you have the youngest 3 in the morning and the older in the afternoon. You might decide to only focus on the older three for a while, or maybe you and your husband split the kids and work intensively with smaller groups for a couple of hours.

Of course learning happens all the time, and when someone starts talking about dinosaurs, you can look things up on the internet, make posters, write a story, do a dinosaur dance.

But lots of wonderful activities require some preparation time so having a designated time means you can take things a lot further than you can with just spontaneous exploring.

It doesn't mean you can't be flexible, like you may have prepared an art activity, and you notice your older child talking to a younger child about insects. So spending that time collecting insects might be better that day than your art activity.

As the parents you still have executive control over the family vision. That is very different from controlling everything, or enforcing compliance. But having frameworks, rituals, some schedules, and family values (and even some rules!) can free you up to have a much more creative and enriching experience together.

Bottom line - just go easy on yourself! You are both doing a fabulous job, just get back in touch with you.

Thanks for your wisdom!
by: Marcie

Oh my goodness!! I wish you were my neighbor, but you live half way around the world from me. :) I think I shall now shed some tears of joy!!!Thank you endlessly for your seasoned and wonderful advice. Thank you for the time and effort you invested in sharing with me.

Forgive me while I become a bit transparent and share some blessings with you. My husband has actually made me leave a few times to change my perspective and get centered. Long story, so I will leave out details, but I had a beautiful, perfect unassisted birth with our last baby.

Actually my husband assisted and we had a midwife for a friend if needed and she did come after the birth to check that all was well. This was something I studied feverishly and desired with all of my heart. The older children even got to come into the room and see the new baby when he was just minutes old, something I also desired so much. We had a friend who had a wonderful little mountain cabin rental and (He and his wife also home-birth.)

He allowed us to come to the cabin before, during, and after the birth. It was Christmas while we were there and it snowed a lot too. It was like a postcard indeed. Anyway, I share this with you to tell you that we now live very near that cabin and still have a key to use it if we like.

One particularly stressful morning, my husband packed up the mp3 player and speakers complete with peaceful piano music and Abraham Hicks recordings. He sent me off to the cabin with the baby. It was truly like ointment to my soul as my memories there make my heart soar. I received several messages in my heart that restored me and I stayed almost all day and even soaked in the big old fashioned claw feet tub.

As I was struggling this morning, my heart told me that we had done so much right before this so that fell right in line with what you shared. I mean I must also tell you that we spent a year in a small motor home traveling and exploring the U.S. That was when we had 4 and I became pregnant on this trip. We lived and loved in perfect harmony so I really started thinking we must have been doing something right. Wow!!

Thanks so much again. I will keep you posted as we proceed and I am THRILLED to begin to move back into that peaceful place minus the condemnation of myself. HUGS!!!!!!

Counting Blessings
by: Annie Desantis

Your cabin retreat and the home birth sounds just beautiful. How wonderful to have a friend who lets you use it, and how lovely that your Husband can see what you need, even when you forget!

Thank you for your openness and sharing here, I know many other parents will gain insights from your journey.

Wishing you JOY,

Annie D

Much Smoother Now!!
by: Marcie

Oh my goodness!! I was trying to fix something that was not broken! Wow, thanks so much for helping me to see that. I realized that the parenting books that I was reading (although good ones) were written for children who did not have the attachment advantage. Boy, does this bunch have the attachment advantage.

I relaxed and realized that there is no cookie cutter way to do things and that my children had always been bathed in love and had this as an example. We knew that we just needed to adjust a few things and move right along.

Thanks again!!

Trusting Yourself As A Parent
by: Annie Desantis

You are so right, not to look at the family as being broken! You clearly have a very loving family and just trusting in the powerful love you have for each other, and trusting in what feels right and good to you will create a wonderful home for you and your kids to flourish together.

Books and websites (including mine!) are wonderful for ideas, but only you knows what feels right for you.

Wishing you JOY,
Annie Desantis

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