Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fishbowl Parenting

Well, we're pretty much moved in to our new digs.  And by pretty much moved in I mean all our stuff is physically in the building, mostly piled up in the living room as we wait for our room to be completed. ... might have jumped the gun a little with our move date.  Hopefully by the end of the weekend we'll be 100% in.  Fortunately the girls room was ready, so they're squared away, new big girl beds and all.  Last night Gina went to teach and I had a sudden epiphany that I hadn't given much thought to prior.  I was feeding the girls dinner and two of my sister-in-laws were helping/eating their own dinners.  Genevieve was being whinny and refusing to eat anything.  I took her out of her chair to have a discussion and from that point on she was doing the limp body resistance to avoid doing what I wanted her to do.  Now I'm not a child beater or a screamer or any other kind of horrific punisher in my parenting.  But sometimes a little punishment is necessary.  As I'm trying to figure out the best way to approach this I can hear that the other side of the room has gone dead quiet (or maybe I just imagined they were) and I suddenly get the feeling that all eyes (or at least all ears) are on me, waiting to see how I handle the situation.  I found myself struck with stage fright.  In our own home, with in the confines of our walls, we are all granted the ability to parent as we (and our partners) see fit.  I'm suddenly in a fishbowl with my parenting style up for the viewing and scrutiny of others.  It's very awkward.  Again, I'm not one to do anthing severe or extreme - but it's still an odd feeling to have 5 other sets of eyes and ears on you at all times; watching you, contemplating your choices, forming opinions.  The same feeling progressed through the night as we did baths, dressed in jammies, even read our bedtime stories.  It's going to take some getting over on my part, because fishbowl or not I'm still Dad, and I have a job to do.

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