Sunday, August 07, 2011

If You Do One More Thing...I'll Do Nothing

This is a great article on BlogHer. About those parents who threaten their kids and then never follow through. We have all been there. Even me. But there are those that stay there...and others, like me, who have learned quickly that one must enforce the threat/consequences. I mean, hey, wasn't that how I was raised?

I used to have this sweet boy that occasionally would need a time out for throwing a toy. Consequences didn't work on an 18 mo old...nor did they work much when he was two. But a simple time out, a break from the action, sufficed. I would listen to other mom friends tell their tales of disciplining their kid and simply wasn't in a place to wrap my head around their challenges.

Now I have a three year old and I get it. Now that he's three, he has a vocabulary, emotions, attitude, and the uncanny ability to defy us. To hear but not explore and blatantly test boundaries. I feel like the times I am with him this summer all I do is holler. And I've become "that mom" who hollers at her kid in the store and parking lot...who grabs her kid and gets down to his level and sternly tells him to knock off whatever he's doing. I imagine other moms get it. It's the single 20-somethings sans kids that like me at that age, do not. I even found that the threat of not going to the pool or not using the iPad works. And if it doesn't they are yanked.

I have also witnessed some poor parenting by friends of mine. Again, not something I would have noticed when I was younger, sans kids, or even 18 months ago when Mitch was still just a young toddler. Now that I see how and when my kid acts up, I have no patience for wishy washy parents. Parents that threaten to take away dessert if a few more bites of dinner aren't eaten (Threatening food just makes no sense to just doesn't carry the same weight as a toy or event), who threaten a million times and never follow through, or who can't/won't control their kid when adults are over, who let their kid stay up far too late, even the ones that control conflict. I really feel sorry for the kids. They own it and they know it and even if they are generally good kids, they have no boundaries. Sometimes it takes schooling and the disciplining of teachers and the social interaction with other kids to balance out the brat. Other really do have an elementary aged brat on your hands.


Trish J said...

I have abandoned grocery carts full of food, photo sessions with Santa, and neighborhood block parties, just to name a few times I had to follow through on a promise of discipline (i.e. "If you don't stop, we're out of here.") I don't tolerate temper tantrums, and I hate listening to other parents issue hollow threats. All parents do is undermine their own credibility when they allow their kids to act out.

Piccadilly Arts | Londonmodgirl said...

It's been a learning curve for me because I have had a pretty good, even keeled kid for so long. Even now...M doesn't really throw a tantrum per say. But there is attitude and whining and boundary testing. Just today I caught myself in a bad negotiation. I can't threaten to take away something that I also want to (uh, a trip to the beach)! My mom had a few of those moments too - and of course we'd be like, "Puh-lease! The beach house is booked! Of course we're going?! Hahahaha!"

And does it make sense to negotiate over a missed nap? Probably not. I think, at least for now, when it comes to bad behavior, reasonable and easily enforceable take aways (leaving the store, no pool time, no cartoons) is the best offense.