Thursday, April 2, 2009

parenting

While Matt was away (and praise heaven, he's home now), I had to, out of necessity more than anything else, adjust my parenting strategy from "you'll obey me or else" to more of a "long suffering and gentle persuasion".  Trouble was that the "or else" part---a time out, a spanking, or revoked privileges, was never enough to conquer Jack's stubborn streak.  It literally sometimes devolved into shouting matches: "Jack, Mommy said no!" with him responding, "Mommy, but Jack said YES!"  Sound familiar to anyone? :)  Anyway, we've moved to a system in which I ask the kids to obey, explain why I want them to, and help along with them, but unless it's really important (like when Jack opened the back gate and ran off, or when Charlotte tried to wrestle the baby out of the exersaucer), I don't really use punishments.  Because they don't work. 
 I'm teeter-tottering the equilibrium between too strict and too lax--and I've gotten a couple of disapproving looks at grocery stores ("Hmpf!  I know that if that were my child, they would be under control...").  I've also, gratifyingly,  had a few people tell me they can't believe how well behaved my children were.  I blinked, cleaned my ears out a little, and looked at them suspiciously...but it's true.  I do have pretty awesome kids, and one of the big problems before was that I was just always assuming they were out to get me.  Which is, well, mainly untrue.  I'll let you know how our continued parenting battles go--let me know how you deal with the discipline teeter-totter.  

4 comments:

Coiner Family said...

Oh, I feel your pain. The best thing that works for Garner (man he is wild, and i've had that confirmed by several moms of 4+ kids) is....not much. We love "Love an Logic" parenting books. I love how they deal with tantrums. However their key philosophy is not to let the kids know they are getting to you... that is nearly impossible when a 3 year old slaps you in the face!!!!

Rebecca said...

How refreshing to hear those "what well-behaved children" comments! All the best to you.

Jenny said...

All I know is that Leah knows how to yell for emphasis because she learned it from me. But she also knows that when I yell, I really mean it and she really knows why.

Maybe I better work on this one.

Connie said...

It sound VERY familiar to your mother--I heard it all from you!