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Why We Don't Follow Through Disciplining Our Kids and What We Can Do About It

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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Why We Don't Follow Through Disciplining Our Kids and What We Can Do About It

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Why We Don't Follow Through Disciplining Our Kids and What We Can Do About It

We've all heard it before. We've seen it on Dr. Phil and it in books and magazines. When it comes to child rearing...yes "child rearing" and not " corn", we hear the same advice over and over again - consistency. Whatever child disciplining methodology we follow or have made up ourselves, if you don't do it consistently, it falls apart. Since no one likes to fail, but does learn from failure, perhaps we should identify the top 10 reasons we don't always follow through and what we can do about it.What excuses have you used in the past? What techniques can you recommend for the rest of us?
Here are my favorite...I mean, excuses I shouldn't be using:

  1. I'm just SOOOOO tired (or maybe it's just laziness or distraction) and don't want to investigate what they are up to, so I will just let it go.
  2. I'll let my husband take care of it and then scream his name a few times in a row til he answers....or doesn't.
  3. I'm busy with hands are full of cake flour, soap, dirt, _____(insert your own word here).
  4. I forgot I already punished them for doing whatever they did and don't say a word when they turn on the TV, play Gameboy, go to their friends' house (or whatever you punished them for).
  5. I'll try yelling at them again....I know it didn't help the last time....but maybe just this once it will so they'll never disobey again.
  6. Get over here so I can spank your butt and then later I'll get mad at you because you ran after the cat trying to whip it with the stick.
  7. It might be too embarrassing in public, and it'll make us stand out. I need to get my shopping done. Just go ahead....get as much candy as you want...I'll deal with you later...and don't.
  8. Look at little Johnny....he doesn't do have no idea what little Johnny does at his home.
  9. When your father comes home...
  10. And my personal favorite.....after listening to five minutes of the kids saying, "he did it!", "no, she did it!", giving up and going back to going about my business.
So the next time you try to use one of these excuses, know that you're not the only one! It takes a concerted effort to take that extra step to let your child know what they did was wrong...and not to do it again. I'm getting better at it. I like to remind myself of the following things:

  1. It is absolute human nature for a child to consistently test his boundaries, and I should be aware of this.
  2. Our children look to us for love and direction. If we fail on both counts, it will have a negative impact on our children they could carry around for the rest of their lives. Kids actually want to be hugged, kissed, acknowledged and given their boundaries. It shows you care about them, and that you feel they are VALUED.
  3. Consistency and swiftness are the key. When your kid screws up, react then...not later and don't push it off on your spouse. Timeouts work best for the little ones. For the older ones, take those privileges away. Be specific. Give a time limit. The key is to remember what you took away and what the time limit was. This is my weakness!
  4. Take special note of the times they are well behaved and do the right thing. It is so important you PRAISE them for that. Don't say, "I am proud of you because you are a good boy". Say "I am so proud you put all your toys away without asking and for sitting quietly at Miss Sarah's house"...and give them a hug. It IS a big deal!
  5. Don't devalue your kids by constantly praising them either...just for being a kid and doing ordinary bodily function things (although potty training is different). You know, the parents who are constantly telling their kids how great THEY are and how pretty THEY are..praising them for just existing. Those are the kids who end up being maladjusted and screwed up as adults....don't set them up for that. Praise the action, not the kid.
  6. Get down at your kid's level and tell them what they did wrong or what you didn't appreciate they just did. Look them in the eye and hold them firmly. Let them know you are serious. It's okay to get their feedback before you come up with a punishment (yes, parents do make mistakes), but once you decide what that will be..stand firm.
  7. Yes, stand firm! If "something comes along" for them to do...well, they just won't be able to do it. The ONLY exception I make is if someone is counting on their attendance, and it would affect a whole lot of people if they didn't show up, such as a championship ball game or a birthday party already RSVPed. Not showing up or canceling would just be rude. Explain this to your child why they are allowed to go and then get right back on track when they get home.

What excuses have you used in the past? What discipline techniques do you use?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so right. I didn't realize we all must make the same excuses as mommies.

December 27, 2007 at 2:22 PM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

I'm happy to present your post as part of the Happy New Year's Carnival of Family Life which I am hosting 12/31/07 at Mixed! Hope you'll drop by the party and join in the festivities -- we have many wonderful entries this week!

December 31, 2007 at 9:52 AM  

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