During one of our many discussions about discipline, G likened the boys to wild horses. The full quote was something to the effect of:
Sometimes our kids are like wild horses. They just need to be bridled until they stop kicking.
I just read the book Raising Happiness by Christine Carter. Her ideas about how to discipline children in it are what prompted the discussion that led to the quote. It’s a pretty good parenting/personal improvement book about teaching your kids how to be happy (because it’s truly a skill) and teaching yourself as well. I’ve battled with post-partum depression and bad therapists, but this book actually taught me some things that I don’t think I ever truly learned. Not that I wasn’t taught, but I think I had to be beat over the head with it for it to really sink in.
I’ve always been a fairly emotional, wear my heart on my sleeve type of gal. Very in touch with my emotions and what they are and how they make me feel. I’ve never been very good at coping with them. I can very easily turn into a grouch or blubbering mess who shouldn’t talk because things always come out wrong or I say things that I regret or don’t mean.
Let’s go back…(and these are just a few)
…to middle school (did anyone have a good time in 7th grade?) when I would scream and cry two year old tantrum style on the floor of my room because I couldn’t go to a friend’s house.
…to high school when I was grounded through getting my driver’s license and my 16th birthday for mouthing off to my mom on a particularly grumpy day.
…to after college when food, messes, and dogs turned me into a ghost of a roommate who coped with it all by cleaning incessantly (not a bad coping mechanism?).
…and now? I’ve definitely had my fair share of clench your jaw, bite your tongue and walk away moments with the kids. Who hasn’t? Aren’t we all just wild horses that need bridling?
The book helped me learn a lot of things (coping appropriately being one of them), but one gem stuck out a lot (and I’m paraphrasing here): “Don’t ruminate when you’ve been offended-CHOOSE to feel better.” I had myself convinced I couldn’t control how I felt or how things made me feel. But I’m the only one who CAN control that. Lightbulb! Ding ding ding! We have a winner! Only took me over a quarter of a century. The silver lining on top of the silver lining here is that if I choose to feel better–that’s a whole lot less emotions I have to cope with. Double win.
Tell me about one of your wild horse moments…and since this post started out with the intention of being about child discipline, tell me about a parenting discipline win, too 😉