This summer, more than ever, I realized that my kids were absolutely walking all over me. Discipline was a bit of a joke, and listening to mom was absolutely nonexistent. In fact, when I say “no”, both kids laugh at me. Really, they laugh. Even when I had on my super serious, I am so not taking this anymore face on, they laughed. I don’t know if it was the “mom get me my water on the table because I am thirsty and I don’t want to get up from playing” or the “I want that toy because you don’t buy me enough” which broke this camel’s back, but I have that this was all over. I don’t want my kids to be afraid of me, but I want to ask something, and them to respond positively. I don’t want to raise bratty kids – honestly, I want them to be nice, self-sufficient, empathetic people. The path we were starting to go towards was not pretty.
This summer I am learning how to say no. I know pathetic, right? But I said no to the little toys that I could buy which would make my child happy for 5 minutes and would go to the big bin with the other forgotten items, I said no to the little treats when they were not deserved, and I said no when I was asked to do something that my child could very easily do for themselves. A lot of you might be thinking this is completely pathetic, but honestly, I am a working mom who has so much guilt and I feel like if I can do something or buy something for my child, what’s the harm. This parenting style is also known as creating a monster…
Well, in the midst of a joint disciplining effort with my husband, and telling my son that no, he could not watch a movie in the middle of the day just because he felt like it, my husband and I decided that we would walk away from the situation. We would leave our son in the TV room, and we would take our daughter (and the remote) to the playroom which is in our basement. We figured he would be downstairs in a matter of seconds, because he couldn’t bear to be away from us.
Oh how wrong we were. A lesson was then learned in a major mommy brain (and daddy brain moment) that you should not separate yourself from your child when you are on the wrong side of the deadbolt. Thankfully, we have a door in the basement and we had left our kitchen slider open, so it was not a huge problem – just a big “oh s%^t” moment. In good news, me arriving in the house when my son thought he had locked us in the basement frightened him a bit to realize that mommy has big powers, and should not be messed with.
I am sure there are many more mommy brain moments to follow, as my 3 ½ year old continues to outsmart me during “project discipline”.