Friday, December 21, 2007

Discipline Meme

Karen from The Rocking Pony has tagged me with a meme about disciplining our children (thank you very much, Karen, just kidding). Where do I start? I could write a book about my thoughts. What should I leave out? I agree with Karen that it depends on the situation. I think I'll just make a list of some of my thoughts:
  1. Prevention is key (easier said than done). Before we do anything, I remind the kids of my expectations of them.When I took my daughter to play at McDonald's, I knew I didn't want to have to chase her to leave, so I (and I stress) REALLY reminded her that when I say it's time to go, she has to get her shoes on and go. It worked fine. When I told her it was time to leave, she got her shoes on and we left while the other moms were chasing their kids through the tunnels. If she didn't come, I would have just grabbed her and left and in a few days told her, "I wanted to take you to McDonald's today, but the last time we left you didn't come when it was time to go. Now we can't go today."

  2. High expectations. I try to be perfect. I never will reach that level, but if I have high expectations of myself and my kids, hopefully we'll be good enough. If I want them to do something, I make them do it. For example, if I tell my daughter it's time to get out of the tub and she doesn't, I don't plead with her. I just tell her it's time to get out and pick her up out of it.

  3. Talk "The Talk". I don't want to yell. I literally feel sick if I do. I don't want to ground. I usually end up regretting it or forgetting that I DID do that. I don't want to spank. I don't even like the thought of it. I like to talk instead. (I'm a really big talker. That's one of the reasons why I blog!) I use different tones to set the mood, "Ohhh, WHY would you DO something like that? That REALLY hurt (so and so)", or "That REALLY upset me! Don't you EVER yell like that again when I'm on the phone!". (Are you feeling the tone?) I add the Supernanny's favorite, "Now apologize to me!". I tell my kids the most important thing in this world that I want them to be is GOOD. It's more important than their grades in school or anything.

  4. Think back to when I was little. This is sometimes is a little depressing. I think, "Would I have done this when I was little? What would my mom have done about this." A lot of times I think, "I never would have done this when I was little." The only consolation to this is that I think kids are growing up in a very different world today. There are so many bad examples set by other people and on TV.

  5. Set a good example. Kids learn by example (sometimes unfortunately). I try to talk to them how I want them to talk to me. If I yell, it teaches my kids to yell. I often hear my kids repeating my kind of talk, "Excuse me" and "YOUR MAKING ME VERY MAD!!"

  6. Take a step back and look at myself. Sometimes it's hard to judge how to handle a situation. I try to take a step back and look at myself as if I were someone else that I was giving advice to. I find it's easier to know what to do when I'm looking at someone else rather that myself. Last night when I was shopping, I heard a little girl crying SO hard that she was practically screaming. You could just see the frustration in the mom and grandma. They put the girl in the stroller screaming and quietly kept telling her to be quiet and be good, and the mom kept on shopping. I can understand their frustration. I've been there many times, but standing back and looking at them I can say, "Aww. The poor little girl. She must be SO tired. Let's go home sweetie and get your jammies on and read a story." And LEAVE!

Miche does not spare the rod.

Jo-N wants to be her children's best friend.

Tot's Mom spares the rod and believes in patience.

Huckdoll spares the rod and believes there are more effective yet gentle ways to discipline than spanking.

Kelly at Ordinary Art has a three-step approach that does not always work but leaves tiny tushes mark free.

OhMommy has spanked and never will again.

Amy spanks when necessary.

The Sports Mama found it depended on the individual child and the situation.

Karen thinks that each situation needs dealt with differently.

Maria sets high expectations and likes "the talk".

This meme took me a long time to write today, but I'm glad I did it. It reminded me about how I want to be with my kids ALL the time.

I have to tag 5 people so I think I'll tag: Irene, Marie, Amy, Bia, and Kitty. Write your thoughts. Copy the above paragraph with your own thought attached. Tag 5 new people to do this. Them comment back to me! I'm really interested to hear your thoughts!


Kitty said...

Oh wow, now that's a tough one! It'll take some thinking about, especially as my 'situation' is quite difficult right now. I'll mull it over and get back to you Maria! x

Karen said...

You did a wonderful job. I agree wholeheartedly. I especially loved the fact that you don't plead. It's so important for kids to know that when you say something, that's exactly what you mean. If they don't listen, consequences will follow.

Kellan said...

All great advice and words to live by. Karen tagged me as well and I will be doing this meme soon. Take care and have a good weekend. Kellan

Amy said...

ok maria, you're making my brain hurt, LOL, but I did it. Thanks for the tag and something different to do today. I enjoyed reading everyone's take on the subject.

miche said...

i am so glad that i started this meme...i learned so much from you gals and i spared my "rod" ever since. :)

thanks for sharing.

Lester R.N. said...

I think this will be an interesting challenge for me since Owen is still little and Oh BOY!!! I will write about it!!! I don't know 5 more people though!!!

joan said...

Hi Maria,

I'm so glad I'm past the discipline ages or maybe I'm not. LOL My kids are all in their 20's.
Anyway, wanted to stop by and thank you for visiting me. Love talking to others who love HH as much as I do. We have even talked about going there for Christmas one day but getting everyone to go is hard. I'll be back to visit again. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

Kila said...

Great post. Your kids are lucky :)

suchsimplepleasures said...

that is quite an interesting meme that is going around. yikes!!!
it's so hard, the whole discipline issue! because, what works for one child, it doesn't necessarily work for another...even in the same household!
anyway...if i don't get a chance to stop by, in the next couple could happen...
have an awesome holiday!!


Amy said...

I'm glad to see this meme is still going strong. It's a hard one to do, and i commend you.

I especially like your method of letting your child know that you were going to do something but changed you mind because of their misbehavior last time. I am definitely going to put that into practice.