Reflections: Parenting Then and Now

December 3, 2013 Heiddi Zalamar, LMHC, MA

Parenting is a tough job. Tough enough to get you thinking. While talking with some friends today, I reflected on my parenting style today and when I first started out. I surprised myself when I shared how different my parenting life is today.

Parenting Then

When I first became a mom, I was 23 years old. I had been around babies, but had no clue of what I was in for. Bob definitely served as a crash course in parenting. Not to mention all of the other challenges I was dealing with at the time - angry parents, living at home, living apart from Bo's father, etc. So many difficulties. All I tried to do was to keep myself afloat. Bob's infancy was good because he was such a happy baby.

But, when we hit the toddler years, I hit the skids as a mom. I had no idea how to deal with negative behavior that wasn't what my parents did with me - corporal punishment. I didn't want Bob to feel the way that I did - scared to do things because of my parents' strict rules. Instead, I relied heavily on frequent time-outs (which I didn't know how to do until Supernanny came along) and spankings. I'm not saying that it is right or wrong to spank, I just didn't believe in it for myself. But, it was the easiest option because it was the one I knew well. And it didn't work.

Parenting Now

My parenting style today is different from my parenting style then. I don't use time-outs anymore. At 12 years old, Bob's too big for that. But, he hates going to bed early, losing television or video game time or worse, extra chores. I've learned the art of motivation. I know if Bob is properly motivated, he'll straighten himself out. If he wants to hang out with friends, homework and chores need to be done. How do I know? It just happened this weekend.

What Changed?

My ability to deal with negative behavior has gotten much better. I've also learned that I'm learning everyday. I've come a long way from that 23-year-old who had NO idea what she was doing. I've stopped fighting each and every battle. Instead, I fight the important ones. Especially now that I am single. I have to take things easy on both myself and Bob. I'm a good mom now and the fact that I've grown as a parent means I can show Bob how to grow as well.

photo credit: Pensiero via photopin cc

APA Reference
Zalamar, H. (2013, December 3). Reflections: Parenting Then and Now, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 23 from

Author: Heiddi Zalamar, LMHC, MA

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