Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Parenting: The Ultimate Hard and Soft Compromise #CharminVote

Are you a strict parent? Or a push-over?

Parenting is officially the toughest journey I have ever started. There is still so much for me to learn, and I expect to learn a little more everyday from my kids. One thing I've realized is that parenthood is a constant balancing act between being "soft" and being "strong".

I have both a son and a daughter. Love them to death, but they are polar opposites. From personality to the discipline and direction they require, they each need a different combination of 'soft' compassion and 'hard' rules and expectations.

Am I a strict parent? Well, depending on who you talk to, there are somethings I just won't budge on. My son picking up a hose and spraying down our friends at a party? Well, that required swift action! Quickly removed from the fun, a time-out in silence to reflect and a lengthy discussion with me over why that was wrong and what the consequences would be. He is five and definitely understood that wasn't appropriate. He became carried away with the fun and didn't think about his actions. There was no yelling involved and we discussed more appropriate fun he could

Then there are other times when gentle talks, snuggles and encouragement are more in order. When my son has a tantrum or gets really worked up we practice deep breathing. Silly? Maybe. But it works well to get him to calm down so we can talk. Even when he yells, punches and kicks on his bed, a soft voice and repetitive, "breathe with me" usually works. I try my best to view each situation, child and options carefully. Am I perfect? Absolutely not. Of course being 'soft' and loving with children also means admitting when I am wrong and saying, "I'm sorry".

Out of my two children my son is usually the one to get into trouble and push boundaries. He is energetic, creative and passionate about all he does. So he is easily carried away and sometimes takes things too far. Since he is usually the one to yell or shout out when he gets excited, sometimes I blame him without realizing it was his little sister. She just turned 3, and is quickly testing limits and rules herself.

I hope by showing my children even parents make mistakes and need to apologize when they are wrong, that being 'soft' is a strength all of its own. Remaining calm and gentle in the middle of a situation is often harder than yelling or getting angry myself. I believe true love is forgiveness and compassion tempered carefully with discipline.

So 'hard' or 'soft', I don't think you can have successful parenting without a mixture of both.

Of course, Charmin knows all about being soft and strong. Currently you can vote for your favorite on Facebook - Ultra Soft or Ultra Strong.  What is more important to you and your family? Charmin® Ultra Soft is designed with absorbent cushions that allow you to use less versus the leading value brand. Charmin® Ultra Strong’s enhanced DiamondWeave™ texture delivers a clean you will notice, with the softness you expect from Charmin.

In The Charmin 2012 Election every vote counts! Become a fan and participate in regular debate questions, sharing how you "enjoy the go", and get the opportunity to win weekly prizes, including a year's supply of Charmin! And if you are still on fence between soft and strong, take their online quiz and view debate videos on their page.

So where do you stand? 

*Disclaimer - I was compensated for this blog post as part of the SocialMoms and Charmin blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. For more blog posts on this topic, click here.
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