For Your Own Good

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For Your Own GoodIn life, we are told we should be fair in parenting; we should make sure our kids know right from wrong and that they should expect consequences for poor behavior.

I must admit I’m not the best at discipline. I tend to not always be consistent with my follow-through, and my kids know it. My three-year-old knows that one little tear down his face melts me and I will let him continue to mess up his room. My 13-year old knows that I will only fuss about her room not being clean. Many times, while I’m fussing, I’m simultaneously cleaning her room for her (insert face palm). My husband doesn’t have this issue. He has the ever-present dad voice and when he tells the kids to do things, they just do them — no whining, no complaining, no tears.

I read an article once that said little ones tend to act out more around their moms because we represent a safe space for emotions. We naturally exude nurture and comfort. But recently, I’m starting to see the consequences of not following through. Because of my husband’s job, the kids are with me more on weekends and I notice that things around the house get lax.

I’m realizing more and more that I must learn to be consistent with unwanted behaviors.

It’s not so much that I’m a complete softy, but sometimes life and exhaustion hinder me from fighting some of the battles I need to fight. The last thing I want are kids who feel as if they don’t have to follow rules or listen to other adults. And that starts with me. So, as much as it pains me to see my son in time-out or having to take my daughter’s phone, I know that these moments will help shape my kids into productive members of society who understand rules and boundaries.

I think it’s also important to note that discipline looks different in every household and more importantly, it looks different with every child. I also consider what I like to call my discipline deal breakers. There are certain behaviors that my kids know I will not tolerate, like bullying, disrespect or fighting. They know those things will be dealt with swiftly and with consequences.

I am realizing now more than ever that I have to stand firm. I have to be engaged and present through the difficult times. After all, it’s for their own good.

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