Building Trust

Emily S <saturnfire16@...>

My name is Emily, and this is my reintroduction to the group. I was here for a while (a year maybe?) and then I left. I was spending too much time reading about unschooling and not spending enough time with my kids. I'm doing better with that, and I needed to come back to ask some questions.

Here's some background:

My daughter, Ezabella, is almost 4. I started out spanking (swatting her hand when she was about 18 months) and did timeouts. I stopped both when she was 2 (spanking and timeouts for a 2 year old! Terrible, but that's all I knew to do. I couldn't imagine doing that now.) I'm firmly against spanking and all punishments now, but there have been a few times in the last year where I hit her out of frustration. One time she smacked me in the face, so I smacked her back. Each time I *immediately* realized what I had done and appoligized profusely.

I'm getting better all the time about handling my anger. I'm using meditation, lots of prayer and other things to help me work through my own issues so I can be a better mom.

So, here's my question- after screwing up so much in her short life, how do I rebuild trust? I always apologize when I yell or handle things badly. We don't have arbitrary restrictions- food, tv, bedtime (I slowly let those things go, thanks to this list).

Intellectually, I know what I want to do. What kind of parent I want to be. I want to be her partner. I want to help get her needs met. I want her to trust me. But I feel like I lack creative problem solving skills and sometimes I just want things *my way.* It's like I get stuck and can't see past my own wants.

Some days I hit this awesome groove where I'm flexible and creative and kind and helpful. And other days..... not so much.

Will it just take more time of practice, fail, practice, fail, before I start to feel like I'm succeeding at this and she trusts me again? Any suggestions of things I can do (or not do) to build trust?

A few people on this list- Jenny Cyphers and some others who may not be as active here- have seen Ezabella and I together. Any observations that might help?

(I know my kids are little and maybe we aren't *really* unschooling yet, but I'm asking here because I appreciate the honesty and clarity of thought on this list).


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