Equal parts

My oldest son happens to be the sweetest little boy you will ever meet. There is no doubt that he has a big heart. He loves a good cuddle and shows a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for life. His innocence, extreme cuteness and my insatiable love for him drive me to be a better person. When I am with him I’m always thinking how to be a better parent and how to set a positive example for him. I try to be more patient, to think carefully to what I say and how I react to him and to provide him with ample opportunities to learn and be creative.

However, as strong as is my need to be good for him, so too is that irksome emotion called frustration. He tests my limits every day and there are times when I can honestly say he doesn’t bring out the best in me. How is it possible that one moment I strive to be the best parent I can and the next I find myself shaking my head at how his actions got the better of me.

I would call myself an educated parent. I am willing to learn, explore and discover new ways to discipline but what do you do if it seems like nothing is working? Is it a good idea to try new things every day or is consistency key?

Just last night my husband said he felt like the day had been filled with all kinds of chastising and arguing with the little guy. I know those days well, they beat me down and rack me with guilt. Is my constant nagging working or doing harm? Will he grow up to be annoyed by the fact that I am always on his case or will he appreciate the structure we try to create for him. I know I can’t give up and never will, but some sign of whether our parenting is working would be helpful.

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