The Unknowing Craving for Boundaries and Guidance:
Discipline of kids is really hard. It takes thought and patience. It takes tolerance of whining, occasional (or frequent, as toddlers) tantrums, and being the bad guy. And its worth it.
This is going to be a multiple-part post. Its been a draft for a long time. I think my stopping point has been teasing out parenting (hard) from step-parenting (worthy of saint-hood when done well (has anyone done it well?)).
Basically, the thought for both is the same. Having the strength, fortitude, and perseverence to establish and actually follow through on your boundaries not only brings respect, but shows your children that you are paying close attention, care enough to take the time and effort, and is ultimately a critical expression of love despite the push back. After all, if you didn’t care, you wouldn’t bother. It is hard work. It is uncomfortable as heck, and without it, our kids are unmoored.
I have examples and stories. And I’ll save those for another time. Keyword: air mattress. #fail.