Parenting is SO important. It's the reason we are stay at home parents, whether part time or full time. If we can't get our children to cooperate and be part of our system, we are not going to enjoy this stay at home journey. It will be frustrating and miserable.
Learning parenting skills changed everything for me. I wanted to be a stay at home parent but I was confused as to why it was so difficult and why my children wouldn't just cooperate with me. I spent large amounts of time trying to convince them that they should do what I told them and be cooperative. To no avail. Once I figured out that I was truly in charge, everything changed. I took authority over my children. I figured out natural and logical consequences. I learned to speak and listen to my children directly and to treat them as individuals. I learned how to make time for and use teachable moments.
We don't automatically know how to parent. It is not a natural skill that we are born with. On top of that, we may have issues with how our parents parented us and we may not want to do what they did. So how do we know what to do in place of their modeling? We don't! That's why it is so important to get training. We train for every profession and even for hobbies. Of course we have to train for parenting. And the number one skill to have is to be able to take charge. Remember the out-of-control classroom in elementary school when a new teacher would almost immediately lose control of the class? What do teachers learn? They learn to take charge, to not give the control to the children. That does not mean that a parent has to be cruel or angry. There are many many ways to take charge without anger or drama. Children know when a person has authority. And they also know when a person is afraid to take authority. You must learn to be stronger, smarter, quicker and very very consistent. Be pro-active, not reactive. My first lesson in taking charge was with my child who was old enough to go to the bathroom by herself, but she wanted me to wipe her. It was getting ridiculous that she wouldn't wipe herself. One day, I decided to be strong. "No", I said. "You need to wipe yourself this time." She started screaming and crying as if I had hurt her. I left her sitting on the toilet while I went to another room and prayed. That was a very difficult thing for me to listen to her screaming and not help her. But in only about 3 minutes, she stopped, wiped herself, and came out of the bathroom with a big smile on her face. "I did it!" she said. What a huge lesson that was for me. I had been duped by a 4 year old and didn't know it. She was my best teacher, but I had to be open to learning the lesson.