October 3, 2010

Have a New Kid by Friday

This parenting thing... well... It's hard!  And my daughter... well... look up strong willed in the dictionary and you will find her picture! 

I'll tell you something people, I do not intend to be one of those parents who are their children's friends.  NOPE!  She will know, I am her mother, and she will respect me!  In my requests, I have her best interests at heart! I'm not unreasonable!

I LOVE my child.  I think she is the most beautiful, intelligent, and creative child to walk this earth - okay, there may be some bias there. I tell her a billion times a day that I love her - I hug her and hold her like I'm about to lose her.  However in addition to all that, the bible teaches us to honor our mother and father so that our days will be long, AND SO I will teach her how to do that and respect others because God has given me that awesome responsibility.

Toward that end, as I have previously mentioned, I purchased the book Have a New Kid by Friday.  Two things I'm learning from this... one, I really did need to learn about patience (as a dear friend and fellow blogger had pointed out to me) and two, I have been consistently inconsistent with my daughter.

Now, everyone knows that if you're not consistent with discipline and your child, then you're not going to be successful in any aspect of training up your child in the way he/she should go, as the bible says we should do.   I had thought I was consistent with her, but this book has helped me realize that I've been consistent with nothing.  Specifically, follow through.  I threaten and I bribe my child to get what I want. Am I alone there?  I don't think so... If anything, this has been consistent.  But, parents shouldn't have to do that - threaten and bribe - to get proper behavior from their children.  It's exhausting!  And like I said earlier, we have their best interests at heart - we love those stinkin boogers! ;-)

So this book, which I'm only half way through reading, has forced me to do two things... #1 lose the threats and the bribes... #2 in their place, if a request is not met with compliance in a timely manner, just impose the consequence.   In this way, the child knows... yes, God gave you that free will you love to exercise so much, but if you use it to disobey me, you've just freely chosen to suffer a consequence.  He, Dr. Kevin Leman author of the previously mentioned book, calls this method the Say it once, Turn your back, Walk away method.

I like this.  It worked well yesterday when I said, "Put these socks and shoes on so we can go to your friend Aiden's birthday party."  She proceeded to whine about how these socks I had given her were ugly socks, and she wasn't going to wear them!  I just sat on the couch reading my book.... She then went to her room, found a new pair of socks and said she was gong to wear these instead.  I just continued to read my book...  She saw I was not moving.  I didn't say a word - normally, I would toss out more threats like... we're not going to go to that party until you put on the socks I chose, or I might say we'd take up her dress up clothes... we'd fight, and because we're both strong willed, it wouldn't end well.   BUT I just sat there, reading my book.  The ball in her court.  And... three mins later, she came out of her room with the socks and shoes I had wanted her to wear. 

SCORE!  But let me tell you - this is hard!  Because that's so not what I would usually do!!  Normally, we would have had a verbal fight over this sock thing which may have ended in a spanking because of her disrespect towards me.  I'd feel bad afterward and so would she.  Thankfully though, with this method, my blood pressure stays low and our relationship isn't as damaged.  And this way, she learns I'm the boss.  She learns to RESPECT me.  And respecting your parents has its rewards - shoot respecting others in life has its rewards!  It's a good lesson to learn!  The attitude goes away, the behavior is respectful, and this will produce the character I want her to develop - like that of Jesus. 

I would highly suggested the book!  So far, so good... Now, if I can just be consistent with this... pray for me.  When she wakes up from her nap, I have to not let her watch the rest of her new Tinkerbell video because she threw the biggest fit against her nap today... ((sigh))  Did I say already that this is hard?!

1 comment:

  1. I am so so glad you had a good experience with her with the socks! And you know, even if she'd gone and put on the socks she wanted to wear, it might've even been okay. It would've been a compromise. And if it'd happened without any fighting or arguing, well, then yeah, I'd say that's okay! Good for you, Jamie, for keeping calm!

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