My Hidden Agenda

So I can see how this blogging business can become dangerous...  I have many things I should be doing right now but all I really want to spend my time doing is this!  Maybe a future post will be about how I have learned to time manage and prioritize what needs to "get done."  Until then, here I am...

I am truly humbled by the support and goodness that has flooded in after my first post.  I have this internal dialogue going inside of my head at all times and am feeling invigorated by letting it pour out.  Even better is that apparently a lot of you like what I have to say.  I have always wanted my own radio show, this is even better because no one can call in and bitch me out - HA!

I'm not sure if you caught this in my last post but I am a parent educator here in my town.  I work at the local YMCA and I teach Positive Discipline parenting classes on a fairly regular basis.  I share this because I think it offers a clearer view of who I am.  If you are not familiar with PD stop reading right now and go to www.positivediscipline.com and prepare to have your parenting mind altered forever.  PD is the best thing that ever happened to me and to my family.  Yes, my children teach every chance they get, but my foundation for who I want to be as a parent comes from this phenomenal program.  Ok, theres my PD plug, had to do it.

The very first thing I say to parents that sign up to be a part of the classes I teach is, "I am not an expert."  I follow that with, "I teach these classes so that I can be better and held accountable for my parenting."  Ask any of my close friend and they will tell you that I have been known to feel like a fraud.  Especially after one of those not so proud parenting moments, you know the ones I'm talking about right?  Where you are left feeling like a huge ass because you were just so mean to your kids over a mistake they happened to make while you were in a bad mood???  Yes, I have those.  And even though I know better, some days I think how can I call myself a parent educator after I just said THAT to my kid????  But then I remember the first training in PD that I took.  I'm going to share a bit about it with you.

It was fall of 2007.  I had been teaching Love and Logic Parenting for a few years and was starting to feel a little bit uncomfortable with some of the information I was sharing.  I went online to look for some other options and trainings that might be out there for parenting.  This is when I saw a class taught by Jody McVittie and Stacy Lappin titled Teaching Parenting the Positive Discipline Way.  The time and location were perfect, so I signed up.

The first night we sat in on a "Parent Talk" at a local elementary school.  Jody and Stacy led the group in the basics of PD.  I was completely in awe.  Not only did the information they were giving make perfect sense and inspire me to learn more, but I was falling in love with Jody and Stacy, thinking they had it all figured out - parenting masters.  It was then that I thought, oh man, I am not sure I can pull this off...  Kindness and firmness at the same time?  Stay calm? Lets just say I know my self real well and while others may see me as some laid back chick, the truth is, I have some rage.

So as much as I am loving this class, I am having doubts that I can pull off teaching it to parents myself.  It is then that Stacy shares a personal story with the group.  Forgive me Stacy, if you ever read this, some of the details have been forgotten, but I am going to do my best.  Stacy tells the group about her daughter, maybe 4 or 5 at the time, cutting a substantial amount of her hair off.  She tells the story (which I would love to hear again so I can get it right) and I feel my jaw drop to the floor, thinking, what I would do if it had been my daughter?  She's real calm while sharing, and mind you she has led us through all these exercises about "kindness and firmness."  Then someone says, "So what did you do?"  Now, I can't remember the exact words she used but it was something like, "I freaked out!"  Yes!  For me this was the best moment of the night.  I had placed this woman on a parenting pedestal and here she was, admitting that she isn't perfect all the time.  Hallelujah!!!   If this mom isn't perfect all the time then its okay for me not to be!!!  This is when I knew for sure that I could teach these classes.

Jump ahead four years and I am still teaching Positive Discipline.  I love it.  If this is the job I have for the rest of my life I will be content.  I am big on social change and this is my way of making the world a better place.  Turns out I am getting just as big a thrill out of writing this blog.  Someone commented on my first post that I made her feel "normal."  I am happy to do that.  One of the lessons of Positive Discipline is "see mistakes as opportunities to learn."  As parents we need to remember that applies to us too!!!  We make lots of mistakes, and that's okay.  The growth happens when we can step back, find the lesson, and do better the next time.  Just like we say to kids - if we didn't make mistakes, we wouldn't be learning!

I just wanted to come clean and let you all know that my hidden agenda for writing this blog, and for teaching parenting classes, is to be a better parent myself.  I am not perfect, nor do I ever expect to be, but I hope by helping others, and sharing my own story, I can be better.