Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Back to My Old Ways

I tried to get some videos to upload yesterday and had some technical difficulties, so the last day or two of the Japan saga lies ahead.

Today's been full of laundry and coupons.

Child #3's been gone for what feels like forever. We'll get her back on Saturday.  I'm missing her terribly.

Do you ever feel like you slack off when it comes to disciplining your kids? I go through phases of strictness and laxness. Usually it's impacted by my energy level. 

I'm not much of a lecturer. That's just not my style. I'm much more a discussor or a woman of action when it comes to interacting with my kids and dealing with their behavior.

This past lax phase has been pretty long lived. I think it started back with my last pregnancy. I was just far too tired to be up and enforcing correct behavior, but I don't think it's ever too late to change. So I worked hard to go back to being the kind of parent that's most comfortable for me yesterday.

I used to be very good at getting on top of the kids' poor behaviors the first time they happened. Lately, I've been the queen of second chances.

Sunday night, the Warden and I sat down with the oldest kids and discussed what they felt would improve our family.  It's been clear that things have not been quite right for quite awhile.

We decided that the thing we want to work on the most is respect--respect for others and respect for things.  Just all around respect.   We talked about communication and doing household jobs and helping each other out.  Most of all, we talked about how loud our home is.

It helped a lot of have these things pointed out.  Yesterday was smooth.  When one of these things appeared, I got on it--no second chances.  This was a new concept to #6.  He's been the kid who's suffered the most from my laxness.  He was the youngest when I was pregnant.  He wasn't taught, like the others were, what correct behavior is. 

I decided that if he's going to be loud or obnoxious in the house, he's being inappropriate.  That kind of behavior is outside behavior, and he needs to be outside to do it.  So, yesterday, he was asked to please go outside for at least five minutes.  If I had to ask him twice, it became ten minutes.  Each time I had to ask, it would be increased by five.  He had one trip outside for ten minutes and three others for five minutes.  I guess he decided after the first time that ten was too long.

Here's the funny thing.  It was a BEAUTIFUL day yesterday.  We have a large yard.  If it were me, I'd love being out there.  I'd find a ball to kick around or something else great to do, but he didn't.  For some reason he thought of this as the greatest punishment he could endure.  Does anyone else think this is strange?  He went out the back door, stood right by the door and wailed.  What?!  I don't get that at all.  I didn't even "place" him outside, he went there himself.

When the five minutes were up, he came back in.  Nothing was said.  I didn't rub anything in or lecture; we just got right back to life and everything was hunky dory. 

Of course, as with a few of my children, lessons have to be taught over and over and over again--you know...bang your head against the same wall until it finally sinks in, but I have no doubt he'll get it eventually.  I mean, he did get that ten minutes was longer than five and went out the first time asked after experiencing that only once, so there is hope. 

The greatest thing is that I'm not a liar.  I mean what I say, and I follow through--the first time (no second chances).  He's learning that he can trust me and my words.


Tonya said...

I admire the way you parent and I learn a lot from you.

And I totally go through phases where I'm more lax than usual. And it's usually when I'm not feeling well or have been staying up to late and feel wiped the next day.

I like your idea of sending them outside when they're too loud inside. I will be stealing that one:)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...