I don’t give advice very often but if you ask me for it, I’ll definitely tell you what I think. Maybe that’s why not too many people who are in child-birthing years ask me for parenting advice. If they did, our population might dry up on the spot.
But I DO have advice, I really, really do!! And since no one is going to ask me (it’s not that as much as all my friends have
come to their senses stopped having kids) I thought that I would just give out some free, unsolicited advice today. And we all love unsolicited advice, right?
Today’s free advice is on discipline, so gather ’round.
- When it comes to disciplining your kids, you and your partner need to be on the same page. If the Rooster and I have one thing that we screwed up on, this would be it. He’s much more the corporal punishment, take everything away kind of person and I’m more the punishment should fit the crime one. The problem with his tactic is that everyone (including the dog who’s only been here 2 months) knows that he’ll never stick to it. You don’t want to piss away your credibility to an 8 year old, believe me.
- Before you start throwing out punishments, get together with your better half and discuss how the play is going to happen (reference the point above about same page..). You accomplish two things here.. one – you lock yourself in your room so that your kids think that you’re either making out (which is punishment enough) or two – plotting a demise for them that is so god-awful that they’re reduced to full admission before you even get a word out.
- Discipline is going to hurt you more than it hurts them. Taking the electronics away? Be prepared for the long, laborious sighs to surround you 24/7. If you’re like us, we’re pretty connected (not a badge of honor just the way it is) and when a soldier goes down, the army pays dearly. No playdates or sleepovers? Now you’ve got mopey kids around the house. On the flip side, suddenly those books are intriguing again!
- Don’t yell. Take it from me and my going deaf ears. It’s tempting and it’s natural but trust me, the more you yell, the more they yell. Soon everyone is yelling and no one is listening. And I’ve got news for you – their blood pressure is better than yours so in the end, they’re going to win. Seriously, I’ve found that they listen best when I speak in that deep, slow Joan Crawford voice.
- Pick your battles. They’re kids. There are certain things that they’re going to do just because of that. Color on the wall? Check. Forget to flush? Check. Slap the crap out of their sibling as soon as you leave the room? Check. Decide early on what your non-negotiables are and stick to them.
The Rooster and I have had a few too many arguements over discipline and punishments in our time – mainly over inconsistency. I can’t tell you how many times he’s snipped off “you deal with it. you’re obviously mother of the year.” (I am.. didn’t he see my paper?!) so believe me when I say, take my advice. It’ll save you trouble down the road.
Either that or don’t have kids. That would solve the whole “how do we discipline” issue..
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