This evening James and I went to our very first session of a class called Priceless Parenting, held at our church. When we first heard the class was being offered, we were unsure about taking it - I mean, Hazel was only 13 months (at the time), and typically, these classes are geared towards the woes of parenting crazy out of control older children. Plus, it cost $65! Steep in this present age of rescession talk and the dow dropping 770 points in a single day. But, all of our friends were going, and we were offered a scholarship to join in, so..... go ahead and re-read the first sentence of this post if you aren't clear what happened next ;)
Hazel had a pretty good day - we went to her 15 month check up and she didn't even have to get any shots, so she was better than I had anticipated for staying in the nursery during class. (By the way, she is 33 inches tall now - in the 115% for her age!) James and I dropped her off at the nursery, which was literally loaded with children, and she cried as we left her, but the staffers assured us she would be fine in their charge, and we went on to class.
Now, usually I go in to any class with a very skeptical eye - this comes from my mother, who is herself, an educator/perfectionist/liberal/out-loud thinker. I know what I do and do not want to get out of a class before I ever go. I find out who this "qualified" person is instructing me, dig a little to determine if they are of the "correct" way of thinking, and generally don't "waste" my time with classes I don't think will fit my personal needs criteria. I did my research on this class (which is completed 1/2 on-line, so there are tons of resources to check) and was my usual cynical, skeptical self as we went in.
Kathy lead a wonderful introductory session, and was very flexible with answering questions and giving feedback. She was positive, and honest, and pleasant to learn from. I can't wait to complete the next lesson and get back to hear her next week. I am most excited, because she doesn't seem to be of an extreme. Parenting coarses and texts tend to fall on the be your kid's buddy or smack 'em around til they learn to shut up varieties. I have been having difficulty finding the balance. I have read a few books I found on my own, and a few loaned from friends with older kids. But I still struggle. My parents did very well with me (I can't answer for my siblings). As an adult mother myself, now I look back and can only find one honest complaint - they opted not to talk to me about hard things. When I would make a poor decision, mess up really good, or mature into my growing body, they would look the other way and almost pretend it didn't happen. I don't blame them for that - I mean, really it was the only thing I can find to complain about. That and that my dad would always try to make us laugh at the expense of my self image - tight jeans, bright lipstick, this wierd bump thing I have on my head - but I know he found those things endearing, and his sarcasm is one of his best and worst traits.
I don't know today what all I will do to discipline Hazel. I do know that it is a process during which I will fail. And numerous times at that. But she will always know that she is loved and cherished. And she will always have a place to feel comfort and support. This class will most definetly help us to narrow down some specific boundaries, much needed boundaries, and I can't wait to learn how to help my child grow into a loving, responsible, caring, supportive adult.