Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sometimes I Hate Being the Parent...

I swear, punishing and disciplining your kids is often harder on you than it is on them. I can see how it would be so easy to just not do it…

John and I have pretty traditional expectations when it comes to our kids. We expect them to be respectful, especially to adults, we don’t allow them to interrupt, especially adults, and overall we just expect them to be good kids. About the only thing non-traditional that we do with our kids is we don’t expect them to call all adults “mr.” or “mrs.” Unless that is the person’s preference. Most of the time It’s “miss [insert first name here],” etc.

We’ve been having a pretty difficult time with Kylie lately…there are times that she has been a total brat and that just does not fly in our house. She has spent many weeks grounded from going to Rachel’s house or talking to her on the phone. She has gone without her iPod and had to write letters of apology. But none of these seem to really work, and as any good parent knows, behavioral changes only happen if the punishment really works.

Yesterday Kylie was unhappy that she was picked up from her birthday party early, so she called me at work crying and complaining that we should have checked with her first, etc. Excuse me? Last I checked you were 8 years old and a child…

When I got home, Miss G said that Kylie had been extremely disrespectful to her as well later that day. I was fuming. I was so done with coming home to this, or getting calls at work. I was so sick of her sense of entitlement…she is a child and her life revolves around ours…not the other way around.

So before John took the boys to the CBJ game, we chatted about what we thought we should do. We came up with the following list:

1.) Every night she has to be in bed (her own bed) by 8:30. She has to make sure this happens no matter what – even if the boys are staying up later;
2.) No going to any friend’s house or using the phone to talk to any friends;
3.) No iPod, TV or computer (except for homework);
4.) She had to write out apologies to both myself and Miss G; and
5.) Every night she has to write out some Bible passages that I selected for her that talk about respecting your parents, respecting each other, and God’s call for parents to raise their children right.

There is no set end time for any of these punishments. John and I will watch her and slowly start giving her the privileges back. I really hope this works because I told her if it happens again, I’m pulling her out of the gifted program at school. That would be the ultimate punishment for her, but at the same time, it would obviously hinder her education, so I hope it doesn’t come to that.

It was so hard last night watching her cry and tell me that I don’t love her. If only she knew…it would be so much easier to “yell” at her and move on…

Thankfully by the end of the night (after she had completed her writing exercises for the night), she and I did some Zumba together and then I sat with her for a little bit when she went to bed. I think we’re OK, but I know that at any moment she can revert and be mad at me for “doing this to her.” And I do know it’s for her own good and it’s my job…but that doesn’t make it any less hard.

1 comment:

Kellie said...

You're doing it the right way. It's MUCH easier to yell (I'm guilty of this at times) than to think long and hard about how to hand out a punishment. I feel you guys went at this the best possible way.

My motto? I'm not my children's friend. I am their parent. I will happily be their friend when they are grown, out of my home and responsible for themselves. They don't have to like me or my decisions, but they WILL respect me. Morgan has told me once that I don't love her. Made me so very sad because oh God....if she only KNEW! And that is when my Mom's saying (one I loathed as a child/teen) popped in my head "you won't know until YOU have children of your own." True for so many aspects of parenting.

Stick to your are teaching her a very, very valuable lesson.