All Our Little Messes

Embracing Gentle Authority: Transforming Parenthood through Reflection and Respect for the Strong-Willed Child

December 28, 2023 All Our Little Messes Season 1 Episode 16
Embracing Gentle Authority: Transforming Parenthood through Reflection and Respect for the Strong-Willed Child
All Our Little Messes
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All Our Little Messes
Embracing Gentle Authority: Transforming Parenthood through Reflection and Respect for the Strong-Willed Child
Dec 28, 2023 Season 1 Episode 16
All Our Little Messes

Navigating the tumultuous waters of parenting, I invite you on an exploration of the transformative power that comes with the arrival of new life. Following a period of personal upheaval due to pregnancy complications, my world was forever altered by the birth of my daughter. As you join me in this episode, you'll witness my candid confessionals about shifting from a rigid authoritarian stance to embracing a parenting style that breathes with gentle authority. It's a journey laden with reflection, change, and the desire to cultivate a nurturing environment where the voices of little ones are not just heard, but echoed with respect.

As we peel back the layers of parenting strong-willed children, I recount personal anecdotes that illuminate the societal tightrope we walk. The challenges are real, from managing a spirited toddler in the solemn quiet of a church service to confronting the judgmental glances that often accompany misunderstood youthful exuberance. In sharing these stories, there's hope for a collective sigh of relief and understanding amongst us parents who witness our children's tenacity not as a hurdle but as a promising sign of future leaders. This episode promises to embolden and equip you to foster autonomy in your children, turning what may seem like everyday parenting struggles into stepping stones for growth and mutual respect within the family fabric.

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Navigating the tumultuous waters of parenting, I invite you on an exploration of the transformative power that comes with the arrival of new life. Following a period of personal upheaval due to pregnancy complications, my world was forever altered by the birth of my daughter. As you join me in this episode, you'll witness my candid confessionals about shifting from a rigid authoritarian stance to embracing a parenting style that breathes with gentle authority. It's a journey laden with reflection, change, and the desire to cultivate a nurturing environment where the voices of little ones are not just heard, but echoed with respect.

As we peel back the layers of parenting strong-willed children, I recount personal anecdotes that illuminate the societal tightrope we walk. The challenges are real, from managing a spirited toddler in the solemn quiet of a church service to confronting the judgmental glances that often accompany misunderstood youthful exuberance. In sharing these stories, there's hope for a collective sigh of relief and understanding amongst us parents who witness our children's tenacity not as a hurdle but as a promising sign of future leaders. This episode promises to embolden and equip you to foster autonomy in your children, turning what may seem like everyday parenting struggles into stepping stones for growth and mutual respect within the family fabric.

Support the Show.

If you like this show and believe in its message, please consider supporting our Patreon. For as little as $3/month, get access to behind the scenes content, early access to podcast episodes and more!

Send any questions or comments to allourlittlemesses@gmail.com. I'd love to hear from you guys!

Subscribe to the newsletter here to get periodic updates on blog posts and more!

Buy Me a Coffee!

If you liked this episode, consider buying me a coffee! It'll help keep me awake during late night editing sessions. Thank you!

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for behind the scenes content and everyday posts about parenting and marriage.

Sounds from Zapsplat.com

Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome to All Our Little Messes, a podcast focused on healing through intentional conversations about parenting, relationships, religion and more. I am your host, veronica Winrod, and I'm so happy to have you here listening in on my thoughts today. I hope you enjoy this episode.

Speaker 2:

Hi, welcome back to All Our Little Messes. It has been almost two months since my last episode and before we get into what this episode is going to be about, I wanted to talk a little bit about why I had such a long break. So let's get into that little story. So the reason why I had such a long break was because, as some of you might already know, I was pregnant and let me see, I think it was gestational week 10 or maybe 12, they found a hematoma underneath my placenta and basically what that was was just a haemorrhage of bleed underneath the placenta, and so they put me on pelvic rest to watch that and to make sure that it didn't grow and that the placenta didn't start to detach from uterine wall, things like that. So by week 18 of the pregnancy my body had reabsorbed the hematoma, everything was looking great, and then I think it was week like 27, 28 during an ultrasound they found what's called a marginal cord implantation, where the it's basically where the cord does not implant in the center of the placenta, it implants on the outer edge, and so they became concerned about the growth of the baby and whether she was going to be growing fine. They were also concerned that during birth I might hemorrhage, because I was already at a risk for hemorrhage because I have blood problems, and so they were concerned that it would increase my risk of hemorrhaging, because during birth with a marginal cord implantation, there is also a concern that the cord would come up, come away from the placenta during labor and delivery and that poses a risk for hemorrhage for both the mother and the baby. So there was that going on, and then I also had very severe morning sickness that I was on medication for.

Speaker 2:

So like it just became like this huge thing. It just and just everything was just so much to handle with that. I was just like I can't, I mentally cannot deal with a podcast and a blog on top of everything and like, looking back, I should have, you know, at least done like one last episode and blog post about, about what was going on and been like, okay, I'm taking a break for two months or whatever, but I just didn't have a mental capacity for that either. So I just kind of quit and I was just like you know, I'll pick it up again when she, after she's born and after I've had a chance to kind of mentally come out of all that. So the birth was actually like super easy, super chill. As far as you know, as far as births go. I say super easy and super chill, like birth is just just another day, but honestly it's not. It's a huge job. So don't want to downplay that. But yeah, everything was was pretty easy as far as you know, as far as birth goes, of course.

Speaker 2:

And she came out, it was a girl. She came out absolutely perfect. There was like zero complications. There was a little bit of bleeding, but they, you know, they never turned into anything super scary, anything and they were able to take care of it and they were on it right away. Like they were honestly so prepared there.

Speaker 2:

I gave birth at my local hospital and so they, they were so awesome. My midwife was amazing and like the labor and delivery nurses were so prepared and so on it. And like I had, you know, certain things I wanted to happen with me and the baby and certain things I didn't want to happen, and like they were all so amazing when it came to accommodating all of that and like making sure that it happened and like reminding each other and like I had my birth plan and my chart and I had my birth plan at the nurses station and like they had it up on my board on the wall and like everybody was making sure. So that was that was really, really awesome. So, yeah, like it was, it was probably it was definitely one of my better birth experiences I've I've had three kids now and so it was, it was definitely one of the better ones. Going into it and, you know, coming out with the pediatrician appointments and everything afterwards, so yeah, that's kind of that's kind of what happened and you know why I took a break for so long was I had a baby? So yeah, with with all of that, let's get into this week's episode.

Speaker 2:

So this week, I wanted to talk about, like my own personal parenting goals as I come out of 2023 and going to 2024. This week, this, this, not this week this year has been, has been huge for us as a family when it comes to our parenting and really solidifying like a plan or an idea of what we want our parenting to look like and as we go into 2024, like I, especially over the last couple of weeks, I've really found myself thinking about, you know, ways that I can, you know, make my parenting better for my children and because you know, coming out of you know a household that used authoritarian style of parenting and corporal punishment, and you know, moving away from that and going into parenting that's more authoritative or gentle parenting, where corporal punishment is not used, and you know you, the child is allowed a voice, and things like that, like it's, it's very difficult, and so you don't always have the tools for that kind of change and that kind of shift. And so I've had to and my husband also has also had to teach ourselves through research and various blogs and articles and books and things like that. We've had to teach ourselves a lot of these tools, but at the same time, it's like we're trying to teach ourselves a skill at the same time that we teach it to our children, and so it's very difficult because we're reparenting ourselves as we parent our children, we're learning alongside our children, and it's very difficult. And so, as we're moving into the new year, I've found myself thinking, okay, so what can I change about my parenting that can help my children? And like one of the first things that I thought of was the fact that, as we read these parenting books and as we follow all these Instagram pages and these Facebook pages and watch all these YouTube videos and things on authoritative gentle parenting.

Speaker 2:

We are caught up in that very polarizing idea of what gentle parenting has to be in order to be correctly labeled as gentle parenting. And so, like I have found myself caught up in what gentle parenting should be and what it should look like, and I have found myself just absolutely in despair because I am not doing it right. I am not doing it according to what these influencers on Instagram and YouTube are saying. I should do it, and so it. I become very, very discouraged and, like you know, why am I even doing this? You know it's not even worth it. You know I should just give up and I should just move on and I should go back to what I know, because I know that'll work and my kids will. You know, I'll get my kids to behave that way. And like it's a daily struggle.

Speaker 2:

It's a daily struggle getting caught up in these things and, like today, I was thinking about it and, as I was actually nursing my my youngest and I was scrolling through Instagram, and I came across this Instagram post and it really struck me. I'm actually going to read it to you guys. Just the post you can raise a child to feel absolutely safe and sound with voicing how they feel and then still be respectful of the etiquette and manners you expect from them as parents. Do not let anybody tell you any different. Stop subscribing to the parental polarizing advice out here, because it's distracting you from trusting your own parental instincts and, like that is something that I honestly forgot, like I don't have to follow what everybody else is doing because really, like, gentle parenting, at least in my mind, comes down to you know, right and wrong. There's a right way to treat people and there's a wrong way to treat people, especially children.

Speaker 2:

And you know, as parents, we do have, you know, parental guiding instincts that you know we're all supposed to follow when it comes to, you know, etiquette and respect in our children. And you know, when I've got all of these, you know here I am quoting is, you know, saying don't follow the influencers. And then I just, you know I read a post from an Instagram influencer, but it was, it was just very struck me as very true. Basically, they were saying don't follow us, don't listen to us, listen to your personal parenting instincts, follow what you think is true and what you think is right, and you know, basically it won't. It won't fail you, like God won't fail you, your conscience won't fail you. And so, like, that is something that I'm like, that's, that's my, that's my 2024. You know, new Year's resolution is to really take that to heart, like follow my parenting instincts.

Speaker 2:

You know, just because I didn't do something the way, you know, a gentle parenting influencer on Instagram did, it does not mean that I am failing as a parent. I am just as good of a parent. I am the parent that my children need and that's why, you know, god chose me to be their parents is because God knew what these kids needed. And, like I, I mean, yes, I will fail some days, I will not do my best, or I will. You know, I will lose my temper and I might yell at my kids one day, but I can still. You know, I can still try again, I can still apologize to my kids, I can still mend the broken bonds and I instill the parent that you know my kids need. I am the parent that God knows I can be.

Speaker 2:

So, you know, ignore that, ignore that advice on Instagram, because it really does just drag us down. It really really does, because I don't know about you guys out there, but it makes me feel like a failure when I read about all of these, these, these posts, when I read about all of these things that these gentle parents do and all of the Montessori games and, you know, the floor beds, and you know, don't swaddle and don't feed your kid this and don't yell at your kids and don't make your kid. You know, don't have your kids wear this kind of clothes and they can only play with these kind of toys and they can only live in this certain environment. And you, they can't watch cartoons with bright colors and they can't watch cartoons that have, you know, a scene length of only three seconds. And on and on, and, on, and on and on and like, honestly, when I read that stuff, it really just makes me start overthinking everything I'm doing. Should they not be watching Cochamilin? Am I really rotting their brain out? Am I affecting their attention span? Should they not eat that food? Am I really affecting, you know, their brain development by letting them eat that food? Or you know, my, my three-year-old eats grapes and he's never had a problem.

Speaker 2:

But the other day I started freaking out because this one mom posted a picture of her five-year-old's meal and the grapes were cut into quarters and she said she still did that because she was so terrified of choking and she didn't understand how anyone out there could not cut the grapes at least in half. And so I started freaking out because, you know, my three-four-year-old eats his grapes, just eats them. And that was that's the kind of thing that I see on social media that just like makes me second guess all of the parenting that we do and like are we doing things correctly, are we doing things right? And so it just, you know, goes back to my point from before everything out, there is such a polarizing idea of what parenting should be. Everybody has the right idea and everybody else is wrong and it completely ignores the fact that God gave us these children because he knew what those children needed. Like we all have the potential to become the parents that these children need. Don't ignore your parenting instincts, ignore social media, ignore social media. But we all have the potential to become, like, the best parent that our child needs. We just have to follow our conscience and our parenting instincts and and know your children and know yourself and know your own feelings and know, know what you're good at and really apply all of that, because that is going to really help you succeed and like build that relationship of trust and love that is going to help you become like the parent that your children really needs, because everything like parenting is built on connection right, and so you know, if you know where you're feeling and you know what you're good at, that is also going to help you build that connection between you and your child which is going to help you, you know, rely on those parenting instincts and become that parent that you know we all are capable of being and that you know God has definitely created us to be late. He gave us this job for a reason and you know it's really sad that, like so many of us, at the end of the day, just, you know, lie in bed, I mean, I know I do like just lie in bed and just think of all of the ways that we could have been better that day.

Speaker 2:

You know I, you know today I yelled at my four-year-old because he woke the baby up and like, looking back, you know, like I apologized later because, looking back, he was just being a happy kid and playing with his brother, like he didn't realize that his sister was sleeping for one, like I didn't make an announcement to everybody, okay, everybody, try to be quiet, your sister's sleeping. I didn't make an announcement, so he had no idea that his sister was sleeping and he was just being a happy, joyful child playing with his little brother. And no, there was no fighting, there was no screaming, there was no yelling. He was just being happy and kids are loud. It was being. There was a lot of loud joyfulness going on, and like I lost it because they could hear the baby start to like move around, and so I yelled really loud and like, looking back, and I'm just like that was that there was no reason for that, like he didn't do anything wrong. He wasn't doing anything wrong. Why did I yell? Like there was no point. I was, I was triggered because I didn't want to deal with a crying baby, and so I took that frustration out on my son who is, you know, completely defenseless and didn't do any better.

Speaker 2:

And so, like that, like that's an example of, you know, the kind of thing that I am trying to change as I move forward to 2024, like that's something that I'm actually working on with my, my therapist. Actually is like finding tools to change things about myself that you know affect my parenting and like learn how to become a better parent and like let go of you know control and things like that. So, yeah, like, as we move forward into 2024, I I would definitely like to invite all of you to like look back on this past year and, you know, think you know about all of the things that are in our lives that are only there because of things we've seen on social media or on YouTube, things like that and ask ourselves are we doing this because it's for the right reasons or we're doing this because of peer pressure? Do I have these ideas? Or do I think I should do these things because social media says I should? Or am I doing these things because it's the right thing to do and it will actually benefit me and my parenting journey and my marriage and my children? Like, is this actually something that God is asking me to do?

Speaker 2:

So, before I close this episode out, I wanted to give a little bit of encouragement to the moms who, like myself, have a wild child. I have a wild child and he challenges me every single day, and when I say challenge, I mean he drives me batshit crazy. I have. I don't remember a time where I wasn't, I wasn't feeling crazy because of the things this child does, says or wants to do. Yeah, he challenges me every day. He is the most independent person. I have probably ever met my child.

Speaker 2:

He's four years old and thinks he can do anything, everything he thinks he can do, and you know it's it's difficult to hold him back because he doesn't want to be held back, because he's convinced he can do everything. So you know there's that aspect of it too and he's also he's also the one who is because we allow to a certain extent we do allow our children to, you know, speak their minds here. So he will tell us when you know he feels that you know we have done something wrong towards him and so that has been challenging to deal with as well, because you know I was not raised with that. So it is difficult to try to navigate a child who you know, even if it's respectfully, is telling you mom, that was not okay, you should not have done that. And you know he has no problem. You know telling us that he has no problem. You know advocating for even his younger, you know his younger brother, if his younger brother is being treated in a way that he sees as unjust. And you know he's very protective, he's very outgoing, he's very independent, he's he's very sensitive, he's very he's a wild child. He's one of those. He's one of those people where I tell others who you know they see my child in public and I mean I've actually had this happen to me.

Speaker 2:

It was actually in church. I had a. He was, he was two years old and he was, he was talking and we were getting ready to take him outside so that he could do we call. We call it getting our wiggles out. Where usually before church, on the way in the walk, on the walk into church, like from the card to the church doors, we tell them okay, it's time to get your wiggles out, you need to get all of your yelling out right now. You need to get all of your. You're bouncing out right now on our way to the church doors, and so you know our toddlers do that on the way to the church doors and it actually does help a lot because you know in their mind they've gotten their wiggles out. Da, da, da, da.

Speaker 2:

Well, on this particular day it was just not working. He was bouncing off the walls. He was just being the wild child, right, so my husband was getting ready to take him outside and to get some energy off of them. This is during the homily at mass and we had an elderly well, not elderly, just like middle-aged woman sitting in front of us and she like kept glancing to the side, just like with this irritated look.

Speaker 2:

Every single time my child would make any noise whatsoever and he made I don't exactly remember what noise, it was only that it was really loud and like my husband automatically like put his hand over Dylan's mouth so she like really loudly, like you can't, you can't yell. And he started standing up to take him out so he could go yell outside. And this woman turned around and like went like really loudly and then sort of shaking her heads at us and then like turned back around, still shaking your head and she'd like the most awful look on her face and like I've never forgotten that because like that is the reaction like any strong-willed child gets to any kind of behavior that society deems as improper behavior for adults not for children, but improper behavior for adults. So it's improper behavior for a adult to start screaming and yelling in church, right, if an adult started doing that. I believe everybody's, every other adult in the church or the building or the store or whatever, would turn around and would look that at that adult like they were crazy. Right, because that is improper behavior from adult. So here we have a toddler, a child, behaving like a child, and the adults are turning around telling them to please stop behaving like a child, like it's, you know, out of the ordinary.

Speaker 2:

I like, anytime, you know, my strong-willed child behaves like a strong-willed child. Everybody acts like they're in shock, you know there's they're shaking of heads and rolling of eyes and oh, you've got your hands full or why can't you learn to control your child? They've gotten that one before and you know it's funny because, like those, those kinds of reactions are always on the days when, like in my mind, my kids just acting totally normal like any other child, those that take a comment so I don't get comments all the days when he's really going crazy. But yeah, like those, the wild childs you know get the reactions in public and you know they're very sensitive and they're they're very stubborn, strong-willed and you know they don't mind calling you out on injustices that you know they perceive in their, their worlds.

Speaker 2:

Those in my mind are the people who I actually had someone tell me that they had. They have a child like this and they said that she was either going to lead a gang in prison or she was going to be the CEO of a multinational corporation. And I love that, because that is my child, tuati. He's either going to lead a gang in prison or he's going to be the CEO of a multinational corporation, because that is just how he is. He's, he walks into a room and he just takes charge. He's in command of that room, he is in command of the situation and he is talking to everybody, telling everybody his name and telling everybody what he did that day. I mean, if, if you know, a game is being played and nobody's following the rules, he's going to make sure that everybody follows the rules. Like there is no if, ands or buts, it's going to happen.

Speaker 2:

And so I I really been thinking about the strong-willed child, which is what kind of led me into, you know, thinking about what I was talking about earlier. You know changing and really you know, fine-tuning my parenting going into 2024. Was parenting my strong-willed child, was parenting my wild child, because that's that's the area I struggle with is, you know, basically relinquishing control, because that's really what they need is relinquishing our control and the I mean, in order for them to thrive, we have to let go of this idea that we have that we have to control our wild child, because in most cases where we are I'm trying to control him, he's not actually doing anything that needs to be curbed or stopped. He's just doing something that makes me uncomfortable or annoys me, but it's not actually wrong behavior and it's not behavior that needs to be disciplined. And so that's something that I think a lot of us with strong-willed children or, you know, the wild child could do is, you know, relinquish control.

Speaker 2:

And I think we'll find that in a lot of cases, when we relinquish control, our child is going to relinquish control too, because they tend to fight back when you know something fighting against them, and their automatic reaction is to is to fight back. And so if we go into a parenting situation already keyed up, they're going to see that and they're going to feed into that. That's their, that's their automatic reaction. And so I think we need to relinquish that control and that idea and our heads that we have to control the wild child and we need to, you know, control the stubbornness and we need to control the strong-willed spirit within our child in order for them to thrive, because that is the complete opposite of who they are. It's because they're strong-willed, it's because they have that spirit that they do thrive and that they can and will thrive.

Speaker 2:

And if we try to curb that and crush that, then that's going to completely curb and crush who they are and the things that they could achieve later in life. And so I mean that that is like the essence of their personality, that is the essence of who they are, and without that part of themselves, without that tool that God gave them, then there is no way that they could succeed. And so and I've seen this in adults before where you know, their, their spirits were absolutely crushed when they were children and, you know, growing up like they, I have this friend who, who always talked about the things that he wanted to do, but he couldn't do them because he was always told no, and he was like any kind of ambition, any kind of ideas, everything was just always crushed and like that, that spirit within him was just completely obliterated. And so now he's just, he always guesses himself and he's like one of the most ambitious and in, like, intelligent people I know, but he just, it feels crushed all the time because of that. Yeah, and this is like 40 years later, after he's I mean after he's already left the house, like 40 years after he's still feeling that way, and it just goes to show that you know so much of what we say To our strong willed, you know our wild child Really does affect them, and so, like you know, the more we try to control them, the more they're gonna fight back until there is no Fight left, until we've absolutely crushed them, and that is the last thing that we would ever want to do to our children. And so, like, we need to learn to Let go of our control of another person, because without that, then our children, our strong will, children in our wild child, who just will not succeed in life. Thank you for listening to this latest episode of all our little messes.

Speaker 2:

I Wanted to briefly talk about as well the next couple episodes that we got coming up. We've got quite a few different topics coming up. I've got Holistic mental health care. I've got an episode that I'm sure some of you are. I'm actually not quite sure how this one's going to be received. I have an episode on Pornography use within Christian circles coming up.

Speaker 2:

I have some episodes on the book, a couple follow-up episodes on how to feed your child. I have a couple episodes on parenting and a couple episodes on marriage as well that I have coming up in I either have recorded or Are are in the middle of being recorded. So there's also a couple of guest episodes thrown in there, a couple of them I'm very excited about. I have a psychotherapist that I had brought on To talk about holistic mental health care. That I'm very excited about because she brought in a few very interesting perspectives that I'd never actually heard from a therapist before. So I'm very excited for you guys to hear about that one.

Speaker 2:

I for I also brought in a, a Person who has spent a good portion of their life in ministry helping, like fellow Christians and Catholics, fight against the bondage of pornography, and he had a lot of amazing insight into, you know, that process and and Also we also talked a lot about Marriage and like what a true biblical marriage looks like and how it's affected by, you know, Modern ideas on pornography and sin and things like that. So yeah, I'm just very excited about a bunch of these episodes that are coming up, so I hope you guys will follow along and Don't forget to hit Subscribe. I said subscribe, I'm actually not sure if it's that subscribe. Anyways, don't forget to follow the podcast on whatever platform you're listening to it. If you're watching this on YouTube, don't forget to hit subscribe and follow and, if you like this episode, send it to as many friends as you think will enjoy it. I will see you guys all next week.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for tuning in to this episode of all our little messes. Please let us know how much you enjoyed it below and add any questions you have about this episode. Also, don't forget to follow us on patreon for amazing exclusive perks, including early access to podcast episodes and bonus episodes every month. We've also recently added a support group for all of our paid patrons. You could check us out on Facebook and Instagram for daily updates and insights that mirror podcast topics. Thank you for listening and we'll see you next week. You.

Personal Parenting Goals and Challenges
Reflections on Parenting Challenges and Growth
Parenting the Strong-Willed Child