During the second night of doing the whole “sleep training” thing with my daughter to transition her to sleeping in her crib in her own room, I sent my mom a text message about how bad I felt. It wasn’t fun leaving her in the crib while she cried and wanted out. It was a little easier because I knew she was tired and just being stubborn, but still really difficult for me not to run in and just hold her. My mom responded with this pearl of wisdom:
“Parenting doesn’t always ‘feel’ good, even though you know you’re doing the right thing.”
How true that is! I experience the same dilemma when my daughter gets her vaccinations. I know vaccinations are a hot topic right now, but my belief is that they are good for her and the benefits outweigh any risks. Still, it was difficult to sit there and let the doctors poke her.
This could also apply to setting boundaries, having clear expectations, and using consequences with children. It may not “feel” good to say “no” when your child cries for a candy bar in the checkout lane at the store. It may not “feel” good to tell your child they’ve lost their electronics privileges because of a bad choice they may have made. It may not “feel” good to tell your child they cannot do something their friends are doing (that you believe may be unsafe). A lot of the things that we KNOW are good for our children (including discipline) may not “feel” good, but it helps to remember why you’re doing it and that everyone will be better off in the long run.