Real Teen Mom All Grown-Up Part 4
I had taught my kids love, and gave them choices and now I had to figure out discipline.
I had tried the 1, 2, 2 1/2, 2 3/4 and like most parents eventually had to say 3..... but what happens at 3? I struggled with this. I tried time-out, tried the 'ignore it' method, regrettably each of them had been spanked and threatened.
. All of these left me feeling terrible, and always left the kids and I feeling disconnected from each-other. More importantly, none of these options worked. I then tried to look at it from the end result point of view instead of acting out of the the moment. End result I wanted was for my kids to behave and trust my reasonings for them to stop what they were doing. None of these options left them feeling that way. Then oneday I over-heard my kids talking to another child. The child was saying how their parent had said they were going to do something and then hadn't done it. The child said "my mom lied".... In the eyes of a child I realized what I needed to do. My kids needed to know that when I said I was going to do something I would. Whether it be taking them somewhere or being at a function they had. This also had to be true for disciplining them. If they knew, trusted that when I said something I meant it in ALL aspects of their lives they would learn that they could depend on me. So here it is... Number 4 on the road to being a good parent.... Consequences
Now my kids would act up and I would give a consequence and if they continued to choose to act up, I would follow through. Sounds simple but it's not. This takes commitment, if you look at it from the stand point of your child being able to trust in you it makes it a lot easier.
This did work!
Now I will pass on two warnings to this. Warnings that I had to learn the hard way.
#1) BE SURE YOU CAN FOLLOW THROUGH WITH IT
#2) YOUR CONSEQUENCE CANNOT BE REMOVING A COMMITMENT
Here is my horrible experience with this... Karie- my oldest was acting up, I was having one of those GOD give me strength and patience days (you know the one) and then it happened, I without thinking, turned and placed my consequence on the table.. " Karie if you don't stop, you will not be coming out Trick-Or-Treating with us!!" Immediately I thought WHY had I said that? I believe now it was because I had wanted the drama to end so badly that I placed that consequence in order to get what I thought was an immediate end to the situation. But of course she continued. There it was one, one of the most horrible days I've had being a mom. I was committed to my 'follow through plan.' So I took the kids to my parents, got Nicole and Ryan changed into their costumes and away we went. Karie was to stay with my dad and help hand out candy. I learnt years later from Karie that she actually didn't believe I would follow through with it. She learnt years later how close I came to NOT following through. It was heartbreaking. Lesson I learned... Never- ever take away something that is already promised. Never-ever-ever, give a consequence you cannot live with..
To this day I still have one recurring nightmare- that I remember to take my kids out trick-or-treating..The day AFTER Halloween ..=(