Spare the Rod…make a friend?

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I’ve always been a stubborn fool, I’ll admit it. I hold grudges and when I’ve made up my mind about something, it’s hard to change my thinking. But hey, that’s a Taurus for you.

 

The thing is though, this really only works—and barely so—in the adult world. It doesn’t translate well when you’re dealing with kids. I’m finding that no matter how badly I want to teach MLI a lesson about not talking back, or listening to what his teachers say, my desire to be the good guy and make him love me rears its dominating head.

 

And I know that a parent must be a parent first and a friend second, but where’s the line? When does a parent, after an entire evening of correcting a child, hold his or her tongue when the child does something else that needs correction? At some point, don’t you just have to tell yourself, “The poor kids needs a break.”

 

That’s where I find myself on the eve of MLI’s fourth birthday. Last night he was very whiney and uncooperative. At one point during dinner, after CareerMom had begged him to eat A SINGLE bean before being excused from the table, he pitched a fit. I turned to CareerMom and said, “Well, I don’t think he deserves to have a birthday party acting like that. I’ll go call Susan and the other parents and tell them not to come.”

 

This of course, raised a wailing, “Nooooooo” from MLI, at which point I said, “Then you need to eat that bean right now.”  He did of course, and the evening continued. This is just one example of the seemingly constant battle we’re fighting with him these days. None of his actions are mean-spirited; they’re just the usual stubborn childhood things, but things that nonetheless deserve correction.

 

Given that, there’s a part of me that says, “He doesn’t deserve a birthday party with the way he’s been behaving,” but I also know that’s ridiculous. You can’t NOT give a kid a birthday party no matter how bad he’s been (not to mention that CareerMom would override a decision like this).

 

Without buying that “Total Transformation” thingy they advertise on TV, or taking away everything the kid owns, I’m not sure how to move forward with correction that doesn’t elicit a total meltdown and end up with punishing him (and us) by banning him to his room for half the night.

 

I’m open for suggestions!

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3 thoughts on “Spare the Rod…make a friend?

    Little Buddies Daycare said:
    March 4, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    Ohhh a tough one.
    My son will leave for kindergarten all day long. He is off the bus less than 1minute and he already snaps at me or pushes a button that makes me angry. They know just how to do it. I decided that instead of making it a rough transition from school to home (he is tired and hungry) I put a “special snack” in his room and he goes in there and eats it. not one word to me just a kiss and the I love you fingers. It makes him feel special and it gives him the time to mellow out get a little bit of food in him before he has to deal with me or his little sister (and the daycare kids). It has made all the difference in the world.
    Have you tried a sticker for helping set the table or putting a toy away the first time he is asked, etc.? We had to do that because we were repeating. It snapped him out of the habit and did not last all that long. We will occaionally just give him one because it is so consistent now. It actually helped discipline our littlest one too.
    We are currently reminding him that he has choices–good and bad. I will stop him right before he is about to snap back or whine etc and remind him he has the option to make a good choice or to make a bad choice and face the consequences (time out for a couple minutes).
    Lying begins around 5——that one has us up in arms.
    Rose
    by the way here is the address to my family site–not the daycare
    http://100ornothingatall.spaces.live.com/

    dobeman said:
    March 4, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Yeah, we do stickers, I give quarters, we have a little board thingy where he gets smiley faces–it doesn’t seem to work. He loves it when he’s gets his reward, but NOT getting it doesn’t seem to phase him.

    I fear he’s as stubborn as me, and that’s gonna be a problem.

    Sigh.

    skichick said:
    March 7, 2008 at 1:41 am

    I had constant battles with both of my children until I changed how I viewed them. Have you tried reading my newest parenting bibles, “Raising The Spirited Child” and “Taming the Spirited Child”? These give a ton of ideas on how to prevent the battles and how to work with (and enjoy) a strong-willed and energetic child.

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