I’ve been working to get better at disciplining the kids. Before I had kids, everyone told me they saw me as being a “nice” mom — too nice to be mean when I had to be. I always argued against that. I hate seeing ill-mannered kids! I would not take any crap! I would be fearsome!

Yeah – no. Cameron and Grace aren’t…bad. But I know that I need to be more firm with them. I need to establish good habits so that they know how to speak to me, how to speak to other adults and…um…not act  a damn fool and embarrass me in public. Ahem.

I think that I am, by nature a gentle person, so it’s hard to be firm. I also have hippie tendencies, so I don’t wanna harsh anyone’s buzz or squish my precious little angels’ dreams. I want them to be happy – but within normal boundaries.

My kids are incredibly bright and incredibly stubborn. Whatever they want, I want them to have because I love them. Also, they sometimes convince me that they need it, so powerful is their whining and crying. It feels unnatural for me to assert myself with them. But I have to. They need to understand that I’m not Lisa, the lady who they debate with. I’m the mommy. What I say goes. I run this.

I’d love to say that I have come up with a solution. That I now know the perfect way to discipline my kids without being too overbearing or too gentle. Nope. I’m still working at it honestly. I’ve been using a timer for time outs which helps me stay focused. With two kids running around, it’s easy to get distracted so that the prisoner takes advantage of the opportunity to escape. I also have to bark a little bit, which honestly feels weird. But it works. My mother, who was an elementary school teacher told me a saying among other teachers, “you don’t smile until November.” I’m not going that hard, but I am trying (oh how much of a wimp do I feel like for even typing that) to not seem so “nice.”

And now? I’m tired. It wears me out stepping outside of myself, but I know I have to do it.

3 Comments on “Discipline”

  1. JustMe says:

    You turned out well, what did your parents do? Take a little of what they did and add some improvements and you won’t go wrong! And one piece of advice I had to give my boyfriend is kids respect you more when you are direct and not afraid to set limits and enforce them.
    He would frequently use me and their father as a threat to get them to listen to him and it worked but was not effective. They thought he was a joke and were slow to comply with his orders.

    Discipline shows them you love them. I have a CHALLENGING 16 yr old who frequently says she likes knowing I care enough about her to be firm. If I did not care I would let her do whatever she wants. Its so much easier to be the “nice” mom, and parenting is not easy. So buck up and show em who is boss.

  2. Niecy says:

    You’re brave for showing this side of you I’m all too aware of the slumped over shoulders and down face that seems to just break his spirit when I have to discipline him. It just makes me be more careful to not raise my voice or act irritated when it is not totally warranted – that way when it does happen – he knows I’m serious and what he did was not ok. Also when he is in trouble, he absolutely must respond to me with yes ma’am. I’m not a yes ma’am type of person, but I have found when I am disciplining him it helps to set the authority that I am boss and he is not. It is challenging but you also have to remember that you don’t want to let them get away with too much now because then they’ll always think they can get away with much bigger stuff when they get older. Boundaries are good. You are doing a phenomenal job!

  3. I love the honesty! I agree with Niecy, you are brave letting us see this side of you. Raising kids is challenging. That is why when they grow up we don’t take any lip from them. That old spiritual that I frequently sang to my son whose chorus begins with “for the 9 months that I carried you…No charge” is still relevant. Start singing it, Mommy. And don’t smile until they are 21. LOL!
    You should submit this to all of the parenting-type magazines. It is a beautiful piece.
    P.S. Grace and Cam are well behaved.

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