I’ve told the story on the blog about how my dad “spanked” me once when I was a little kid and it was just the lightest tap. I cried so hard because I thought the reason it was so light was that he was old and going to die soon. Ha!! The old man turns 60 on Saturday. Happy birthday, Daddy.
In our family discipline for young kids was spanking. I didn’t get very many growing up, thankfully. My cousins sure did though. I remember getting a ‘real’ spanking, I don’t know how old I was, but I remember trying to cover my butt with my hands and thinking “why is she doing this to me?”
I grew up saying I’d never hit my kids. Then my son said “mommy’s stupid!” and I punched him in the face.
I wanted to though.
I’m a yeller. I know it’s not good. Though I’ve convinced myself it’s better than a slap. It’s really just my inability to control myself, and since it’s socially acceptable, I go with it. When I’m in my more aware states, I’m able to calmly diffuse drama and ignore Rohan’s bad language. (Sidebar: he has this thing of stringing together every bad word he can think of when he’s upset: “You stinky, shutup, garbage, doodoo, stupid diarrhea toilet head!” It’s so ridiculous and funny and horrible, especially cuz he MEANS it too.)
I wouldn’t have thought to say something like that to my mom or dad. Cuz I’d fear the response. Not because I was actually respectful, or didn’t think they were stupid at the time lol. I don’t want my children to fear me, or fear my response to what they do or say. In my opinion that just leads to lies, distrust, lack of communication and a bigger wall between parents/kids than there needs to be.
So, discipline is something we’re working on. I have read a million ‘get your kids to behave asap’ books and have tried time outs, taking away toys or privileges, and reward charts, and redirection and just loving up on them as much as possible. Sometimes a tactic will work, and sometimes it doesn’t. I just don’t know with Ro. With Kai, stern voice is usually enough to curb a certain behavior. If not, I know she needs food or sleep.
ZERO TO THREE has a good set of resources for ….well, for everything parenting young kids, really… but for discipline in particular. It’s hard because I want to let them be free, and feel unconditionally loved and feel their choices are respected, but also mind their effin’ manners and listen/obey right away. LOL It’s a paradox!
The Discipline Dilemma is a great place to start looking if you’re like me and want more info and options on creative ways to discipline that won’t leave you pulling your hair out or screaming like a madwoman. ZERO TO THREE gives so many research based parenting skills and ideas for whatever parenting concern you’re going through with your little one. I actually really love their newsletter, too. You can find it here: http://bit.ly/2vhCsug
I’m going to keep working on maintaining my calm voice when correcting behavior and giving off the air that I’m cool and collected, when really I want to throw the lil rugrats in bed for the rest of the day….when it’s only 10am.