Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Okay? A simple word I found myself saying daily. It was either "can you clean this mess up?" or "we are going to bed now okay?" Why am I giving my kids the option, why am I okaying? them. Why I am checking with them and asking them when there really is nothing to be asked. I feel into this trap once before, right around the time Liv was Eve's age now. And with Eve starting the terrible 2s I started reading parenting books for some inspiration, some ideas and to hopefully help and find ways to limit her tantrums. Right away I realized I was doing it again. I feel back into the okay? is it okay if I discipline you? The ambivalence with adding okay? or can you? to my statements must be so confusing to a toddler. "she said okay? or can you, well I don't feel like so no I can't" is what is often probably going through her head. Why did I fall in this trap again? I read this once years ago and it was like an epiphany to what my parent skills were lacking. Overall I think I'm a pretty good parent, but I have this problem with commanding authority over my kids. But I know I'm not the only one. This is so common today in parenting and I wonder why. I have no problems with my kids questioning me, I'm not for blind obedience to authority figures (google the Milgram experiment to see one huge reason why) but I do want obedience. I want my kids to respect authority, to be responsible and respectful to me as their mom. But I got back in this wishy-washy discipline and believe me my kids noticed and took advantage. Its so hard all the mixed messages our kids see and hear daily I don't want my parenting to be another. Yet as parents many have a hard time correcting our children. Is it our own problem with authority? we are the authority and that is strange or difficult for us to grasp. Is it our need to be friends with our children? Is it our need to protect them from hurt and pain? All of this backfires, our children can be our friends, but we are parents first. We can not protect them from all pain and discomfort, nor should we. We need to expose them so they can deal when they are out "in the real world" The will be inept and not ready if we don't start at home. Exposing them to small trials and tribulations. This will help our children succeed in life, be happy and productive. Isn't that what every parent wants for their kids? Okay? will not get them there. When I opened my most recent parenting book and read this again recently I realize, I'm doing that, again. My own past problems with discipline and authority were again hurting me to be an effective parent. It was amazing the difference in one day of saying "I need you to clean that mess" instead of "can you clean that mess" They listened, no arguments. When Eve did argue she did eventually come around, without a major tantrum. Her tantrums have gone down significantly. This is a great relief to all of us since her tantrums are often epic. The world is overwhelming enough for a toddler, it must be such a great relief for her to know that Momma is in control and Momma is here and a secure figure for her to lean on and rely on. Being a parent isn't supposed to always be easy and fun and okay? is something I need to remind myself not to do. I am a strong, confident woman and need to be a strong confident parent for my girls. This will inturn help them become strong in who they are and confident and secure with themselves.