Thursday, January 24, 2013


Does anyone else think this is a dirty word?  Does anyone else think this is most definitely the hardest part of parenting? (so far, anyways)  Does anyone else get embarrased and feel like they are the only spastic mom dealing with an ornery child? 

I think it would be really encouraging to be reminded that i am not alone.

This week we had a rough time at caffeine 'n chaos, a really fun open gym time with lots of other moms and kiddos (actually we may have had some rough moments at the library, at work with the kids i nanny for, and at a playdate as well......if i'm being completely honest with you)...

We did a book study on "love and logic magic for early childhood" with our small group this past fall, and it really has been a fantastic tool in helping my husband and I work through consistency, appropriate expectations and consequences in disciplining Hendrix.  

There is a particular phrase that is repeated often in the book that goes something like......"a love and logic parent is happy when their child misbehaves because it provides a valuable learning moment when the child is young and the consequences for his decisions are small, to teach him to make good choices when he is older and the consequences are much bigger".  

I think the whole "happy" part might be taking it a step too far......but I do think this notion is valid, and worth reminding myself of when I feel like I am correcting the exact same misbehavior time and time again.

The real bottom line of our study was this:

consequences should be immediate
they should fit the offense
they should be delivered with empathy
and should allow your child to solve his/her own problems

While we haven't dealt with many temper tantrums since we started this form of discipline, I still have to correct Hendrix for not listening. often. very often.  Why does a non-listening child embarrass me so much?  I know that I shouldn't take his disobedience personally.  I know that I shouldn't even be thinking about what the people around me are wondering.  But when I am the one that is juggling an infant in one arm, and a screaming toddler in the other arm, I do.  

His offense this week has been pushing and shoving other kids.  I am not really sure where this is coming from, and I was particularly sensitive to this "meanness" after watching a news clip this week about a little 8 year from my hometown being bullied at school.  I don't want my kid to be a bully. period. 

After two chances (which was probably one too many), we left the gym.  I am trying very hard to follow through, and ensure that my firm and gently delivered consequence is the discipline; not my screaming, not warning repeatedly, not my frustration, not embarrassment or anger.  Whew, this is tough, and I need to keep practicing, that is for sure.  

The consequence went something like this:  "hendrix, how sad that you are not being a good friend, we have to leave now", as i frazzledly juggle two diaper bags, two children, and three winter coats with hats and mittens.  (I am so thankful that a friend walked in at that moment and helped with an extra pair of hands while we loaded up).  Then he cried in a buckled carseat for 20 minutes while I fed Blaire in the van in the parking lot because she was starving (in 10 degree winter weather, mind you) and I didn't want her to be the one who suffered because of his choice.  He begged to go play in the gym some more, he told me he was hungry, that he was tired, and that he missed his daddy. He was pitiful.  

Then on the way home he fell asleep and I began to feel guilty that perhaps I was too hard on him because obviously he was tired.....I started to question whether I had handled him/the situation appropriately, and I began to doubt myself...

This discipline thing is tough.
Real tough.

I do NOT have it figured out, though I desperately am trying to do the right thing.  I want to teach my son what is right and what is wrong, and that he is the only one that can decide which he will chose.   I want him to be a sweet little boy that cares about others.  And I really would like to keep my sanity intact at the same time.  

Is that too much to ask for?!?

1 comment:

  1. Go Jen! You are my hero. I have heard of the parenting with love and logic, and it's great your hubby's on board. Hazel is no better, and we really try. About the listening thing, I've found that using "yes, mommy" (it's a baby wise thing, you can google it) does actually help a lot.


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