This week has felt so damn long.
We went to Brittani's play last night; she was great! The play was a bit confusing at the end, but I was really impressed by some of the young actors. The play was Run for the Money. We will be at tonight's show, too, so maybe I'll better be able to figure out the ending.
After the play, I met some friends for drinks. It was so fun! I think we have plans to get together again, soon, and I think we each have some people we plan to invite to join us. There were 6 of us last night, two whom I don't really know; I like meeting new people, so it was great.
Wayne and I started a parenting class this week; it was good. It's based on the principles of Positive Discipline. There was a time when I would have never considered taking a parenting class. I mean, who takes parenting classes? People who are bad parents, duh. Well, as I become older (ahem) and wiser, I realize that I'm completely winging this parenting thing. I've done okay so far, and I don't think I've done irreparable damage to any of my kids, but I definitely know that there are areas where I need some serious help.
I tend to be impatient and yell a lot. I don't spank anymore, and I haven't spanked Maya very much in her life; in fact, I can't remember the last time I spanked Maya. It's been awhile. But I would like to learn better ways to communicate with all of my kids and to help them become confident and productive members of society.
The class was great (it's a series of 7 classes), and I am excited to learn more. I haven't read the book yet, but even after one class, I see a change in how Wayne and I approach challenges we have with the kids.
Oh, and to be clear, Positive Discipline is not about never saying no to a child. From what I understand, after one class, the key component of this class is respect. So many people treat children as second class citizens who don't deserve to be treated well. Have you seen this story? It makes me terribly sad. I'm not saying that a parenting class would have spared this child from her abusive parents, but I can't help but think that if people were expected to take a parenting class while expecting a baby, that lives could be changed. I know my perspective on parenting definitely changed after taking a developmental psych class in college. I was already a parent by then (Paige was 7 or so), so I had already fucked up in many ways as a parent.
It's unfortunate that parenting classes are seen as something that is sought out only in times of crisis or court order.
It's so cliche, but these kids do not come with manuals, and there are times when they stress a person the hell out. Times when we are in a parenting situation where we don't know what the hell to do. Tools, people. Tools are good.
You can go HERE to find a class/facilitator in your area. It's not the best laid out website, but they do have a list of facilitators. Our facilitator is Stacy Lappin. I will post updates on how the classes are going over the next 7 weeks.