They never gave us any trouble at all. They are perfect.
Alright. Not quite. We are blessed with good children, but perfect? Eh..no. When we started our family, we decided that one of us would stay home and that fell to my wife as I was making more money. Actually, if she was making more, we probably still would have had her stay home because she did a better job looking after the home front. And I’m not a Neanderthal. It’s just a fact.
Our kids were disciplined very early in their lives, because it was very early in their lives that they began to test us. My wife likes to tell the story of our oldest daughter being not even a year old yet, after being told not to touch something, would look up at her Mom and reach out to touch the very thing she was forbidden to touch, just to see Moms reaction. She didn’t like it.
Yes, we spanked. Don’t be a hater. We also denied privileges like computer time or going out with friends. We were consistent in our punishment which I believe is key in having your children adjust their behaviours.
‘So what?’ you ask. ‘Why are you telling us all this?’ Because there are things I see parents do that just get under my thin skin.
- Counting. They tell their brat to stop doing something, the child doesn’t, so they resort to counting down from 3 usually. 3,2,1, 3/4, 1/2, 1/4…Invariably, this doesn’t work because the parent is inconsistent, which is why fractions come into play. It’s such nonsense.
- Bribing. Drives me up a wall. ‘If you behave, we’ll get ice cream.” Seriously?
- Begging. ‘Please Johnny, don’t do that. Mommy’s not happy now. Please.’ Really? Vuyo’s not happy now. Come here Johnnny.
- Reasoning. Please stop. You’re the parent. They don’t need to know why. They just need to know.
- Yell. The world does not need to know that you’re upset. When you’re yelling at your child in public, you come across as the incompetent parent who can’t control their child.
Look, raising children is not easy. There is no book which shows you steps that if followed, will deliver you perfect, trouble free, obedient offspring. Children can be raised in the same household, with the same parents, and one turns out fine and the other more troubled. Single Moms or Dads, kids shuttled between parents because of divorce, makes things stressful for both parent and child.
That being said, we can help ourselves if we just be the parent. We are not our kids friends. They have friends. They need a parent. Our households are not democracies. Parents rule. So rule.