Updated: Dec 30, 2020
When my son came into my life l was a bit arrogant and was set on maintaining a strict, authoritarian "tiger mother" parenting style. It was almost as if no other options existed, and I was also quite proud of this style just due to inherited/generational thinking.
I made a choice, when I realized I had one...
Nearly 3 years into motherhood, I learned the so very hard way that this route was not the most effective, and it was not a necessary way to live. I made a choice, when I realized I had one, to completely shift dynamics and transition from an authoritarian tiger mother approach to an authoritative and more nurturing one.
When I initially did away with timeouts and made a commitment to put in work to stop yelling, I really did not know what direction to take going forward. I just envisioned what kind of mom I wanted to be and made it clear what I wanted for my son. And from there I just had to be sure any action I took would align with my goals of meeting and respecting his needs while strengthening our understanding of and connection to one another. I wanted to reduce negative energy and upsets and elevate the love and peace in our household.
I continued putting in the work attending meditation and peace seminars, conferences, webinars etc. I researched medical journals, read positive parenting books I previously swore I'd never touch or need, joined blogs I had once mocked...I learned about concepts which were quite radical to me at the time (I grew up respecting & upholding the Tiger Parent standard) such as mindfulness, centering one's mind, power of empathy/connection, the power of peace, calm etc. This coupled with knowledge gathered from professionals over the years such as my own therapists, teachers, etc. led to this epiphany feelings were kind of a big deal, that there were healthier routes than trivializing/dismissing them (both for adults and kids), and that it was a huge strength to be aware of ones emotions and have self-regulation.
So what started out as our meditation sessions in the bathroom with eucalyptus oil, steam, zen music and candles eventually evolved into a comfy meditation space in the corner of our living room - it was a place to practice listening to our bodies, mindfulness and centering the heart. To optimize the space I then added tools which replicated things that helped me calm down, figured hey maybe these will work for him...sure enough they did.