Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Confidence in my beliefs

I made a comment the other day that made me think, I said that while a lot of parents follow the same philosophy as us and find a lot of opposition, I found that being calmly confident about my choices results in people leaving me alone!
Instead of comparing myself with others (whom I might know very little about) maybe it is more useful to compare myself with a younger, less confident Francesca and see what has changed. It is true that I find little opposition and no one has ever attacked me over my choices, my family might be surprised at some things but they seem to believe I know what I'm doing so live and let live. But in the past week or so I have found myself having to explain myself and the way we live to people very close to me indeed and I noticed something interesting: I do not get flustered, I listen to what they say, think about it and respond accordingly. I do not take for granted that they are automatically right or wrong and have no problem in saying that I don't agree with them or that they have a good point.
A younger me would not have done that, a younger me would have felt that maybe the other person was right and questioned my beliefs, I probably would have become confused and flustered and, even if my reasoning was sound, it might not have come across that way.

What has changed then? I think it's partly because I have done so much reading and observing and living with the children in an attached non-judgemental way, I see what works and what doesn't and I build my ideas and parenting around that. It has taken me a long time to get to this point and I am sure the road will lead me to different places still. I was having a conversation today about things like screen time and discipline, the other person had some valid points but was opposed to my ideas, I felt as we were speaking that I must not become angry and defensive, by alienating this person I would only cause bad feelings between us and who would benefit? Surely not the children. The feeling of wanting to keep the conversation open and friendly was overwhelming for a minute, I tried to listen respectfully although it was difficult but the relationship between us is important to me. I think that we were both able to say our piece and come to a good solution, not a compromise, hopefully a good solution for both of us. If I had become upset or angry, the validity of my ideas would have suffered, I feel. Had it been someone else and had the other person been negative and in strong opposition, I still feel that getting angry would not have helped, in the end I can only change what I believe in and others are fully entitled to their own opinions, I have lost a good friendship for this specific reason, she could not accept our way of life and sadly we had to say goodbye. But I wish her no ill and hope her children thrive as mine do.

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