A Lovely Little Corner of the Oft-Infuriating Internet…

I have a resource to share that has really been a game-changer for me, fellow parents! Recently, I signed up for Lori Petro’s Chaos to Cooperation 10-Day Virtual Retreat via her Teach Through Love site . I’m not even sure now how I came across her stuff… I think it was during my 5am-feeding window, where I scroll through Pinterest and Facebook in order to keep myself awake while little R eats. I must have been surfing on the topic of dealing with toddler tantrums, and I ended up inputting my email – an action that is extremely rare for me, since I always think I’m getting too many emails as it is. So I must have been pretty desperate at that moment. (I want to say up front, too, that the course was FREE – completely free! And she has not emailed me once since the end of the course, either!)

I got one email a day from Petro for the next 10 days, and each one had encouraging words, thoughtful questions, and a little something for me to do, like listening to an audio interview or filling out a little worksheet. I don’t have a printer at home, so I just made myself a Google Doc on my phone for all the worksheet stuff, and it’s been a great condensed place to review my own thoughts and ideas after I finished the retreat as well. I have looked at it many times since to remind myself of what my goals are, how I want to interact with A, and ideas I had for what I might say in different situations.

I have to say I’m so glad I found this resource! And for a couple of reasons:

The content is very customizable. There’s lots of advice out there on the internet about how to deal with your child’s difficult behaviour, but often, it’s limited to the specific situations its author has experienced. Petro’s materials and method helped me to set specific goals to address the particular difficulties I have with A and his toddler resistance, clarify those goals to be more accurate/realistic, and re-frame the situations that trigger me to have my own temper tantrums by reflecting on my own upbringing and perspective.

Petro gets right to the point. I find I can read all day about other people’s experiences with parenting, and while this is great for solidarity and catharsis, reading about someone else’s experiences doesn’t necessarily help me to transfer that to my own life in a clear way. I was hoping for something that would help me brainstorm new phrases and approaches that could work in my personally difficult situations, and this did that right away – I started seeing the light after Day 1 of Petro’s program, and felt a major shift by Day 10 (still with lots to do, obviously – there’s no magic trick!).

Her work shifts the focus from my kid to me. The old adage, “you can’t change other people,” is perhaps nowhere more frustrating than in parenting. We’re encouraged to spend so much time working on our kids’ behaviour, that we often forget about our own. Petro’s directive to focus on my own thoughts, needs, and strategies was super empowering. Did it sometimes make me feel more than a little sheepish? Absolutely, like when I wrote down that what I wanted was for my two-year-old to “accept my limits the first time without whining, crying, or arguing – ie. without resistance.” Hah, fat chance! Not to mention, I don’t really want to raise an automaton… But thinking about my struggles this way empowered me because my own behaviour/goals are things I actually can change, and boy, was it nice to feel effectual!

So if you’re struggling with any of the same things I do on a daily basis:

  • toddler tantrums
  • resistance to your every request
  • feeling like your attempts to ’empathize’ your kid into cooperating often fail and not knowing what to do after that
  • impatience with a lack of routine/schedule
  • frustration with an inability to get out the door on time… ever!
  • etc
  • etc
  • etc
  • [insert your own pet peeves here]

…and you’re interested in trying a new way, I can happily vouch for how helpful I found this resource!

Plus, Petro runs a Facebook Group that has connected me to other parents who struggle with the same things; I’ve found support and empathy there, as well as the opportunity to offer support to others. So if you want to try out some of Petro’s suggestions, I’d love to connect with you there about your experiences with it, or just hear from you personally. For me, success in parenting is so tied to growing my village, and in light of all the negativity out there on the web, I’m delighted I found this lovely little corner of it.



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