I had a strict, Hispanic, Roman Catholic upbringing. Family came before anyone or anything. Discipline was doled out on a generous, per diem basis, and the status quo was non-negotiable. It was more like static quo.
I loved (and survived) my upbringing but I decided when I had children I would to do it differently.
I was still strict, Hispanic, and Roman Catholic, and no one or nothing came before my three children, but I wanted to raise them with less external physical force and more internal self discipline. They kept me on my toes and I was constantly coming up with rules that were both fair and just. Yes, I did spank them but not as much as they remember (and love to tell the grandkids). There were a lot of “time outs,” “go to your room,” and the good old standby – groundings.
I took advantage of those many moments when we “liked” each other and were getting along instead of butting heads, rolling eyes, and losing our tempers. I used those moments to discuss, listen, compromise, and come to agreeable solutions.
At the end of my tenure, I wanted them to be strong, independent, and responsible adults. I wanted to raise kind and compassionate human beings, and I wanted to know that when I was no longer around, they could cope with life on their own.
When we all reached adulthood, I wanted to like them as much as I loved them.