Showing posts with label discipline. Show all posts
Showing posts with label discipline. Show all posts

Where I Tell My Son What's What

Friday, February 17, 2012

I'm in a carpool and and give rides to two of the neighbor girls. Yesterday, I think my son decided he wanted to play it cool and got sassy with me. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's when he's disrespectful to me in front of other people. I have no problem setting him straight even if it means embarrassing him. Witness:

Tyler: "One of the boys in my class told me he's kissed a girl."

[all three] "Eeewwww!"

Girl 1: "Oh yeah, I heard that from [another girl]. She told me he kissed one of his sister's friends."

Me: "What kind of kiss are we talking about? A peck on the cheek?"

Tyler: "I don't know. And mom? Mind your own business."

Oh. No. He. Did. Not! 

If I could have slammed on the brakes so I could turn all the way around and look him in the eye, I would have.

Me: "Get this straight, as long as you live at home and you're under the age of 18? Everything is my business. You have no secrets from me. Got it?"

At least he had the sense to look abashed when we pulled into the driveway.

What have you had to set your kids straight about lately?

Just Because There's No Smoke...

Monday, September 29, 2008

My son almost set our house on fire two weeks ago. I light candles all the time. I love the glow and the smell. Drama Kid has never shown an interest in fire, not even as an infant, so having lit candles all over the house has never been a concern for me.

He was in the powder room supposedly washing his feet. He hates shoes and always plays outside barefoot. I was in the kitchen making dinner and heard him make a strange noise. I ask "what are you doing?" and of course I get no response.

My Spidey Sense went on alert and when I walked into the bathroom, I saw the sword from one of his Ninja Turtles on the counter. Melted. I figure he'd been holding it over the flame and nothing more. I yelled and he got a spanking (he didn't cry, I must be losing my touch) and I sent him to his room.

Something made me go back into the bathroom and that's when I saw the trashcan start to flame. I call him back upstairs and ask again, "what were you doing?" He was lighting the toilet paper on fire! One of the pieces caught and he dropped it in the trash when it singed his fingertip.

I stood over the flaming trashcan yelling at him about how dangerous and stupid that was and how could have burned not just our house but our two neighbors' as well. In hindsight I guess I should have put the flames out first but hopefully they added to the drama and he's learned his lesson.

I almost went to get my camera so I could post a picture but changed my mind. My husband says all boys get into trouble playing with fire. How about your kids? Any near misses?

MacNuggets of Wisdom from Bernie Mac

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Go with God, and keep them laughing in heaven! [From TV Guide Magazine]

People come up to me all the time asking for advice. They want advice about their love life, they want advice about their job, they want advice about their clothes. (OK, they might not want advice about their clothes, but damn, some of these people need serious help.) They come to me because they know Bernie Mac always tells the truth. I say what everybody else wishes they could say. So when they ask me about raising kids, I tell them straight up: The biggest mistake you can make is trying to be your child's friend. You cannot be your child's friend.

Tough love, that's what kids need. You don't negotiate with kids. You don't worry about hurting their feelings. If they ask, "Why?" you tell 'em, "'Cause I said so, that's why." Kids need to know you love them, but they also need to know if they do something wrong.

I'm not talking about child abuse here. I'm not talking about hurting kids. Just getting their attention. When I was growing up, we not only had ass whuppings, we had appointments for ass whuppings, just so we could think about it all day. My mama used to tell me at nine o'clock in
the morning, "When your granddaddy gets home, he's gonna whup your ass." Man, my whole day was messed up. I couldn't eat, I couldn't play sports. I'd be playing baseball, thinking about my grandfather coming home, and I was in such a trance that the ball would go right past me. Everybody was hollering, "Bernie Mac, what is wrong with you?" And all I could say was, "My grandfather is gonna whup my ass." He never did. But the threat of the belt was enough.

As a parent, you're not here to be liked. I'm 44 years old, and it was my
generation that dropped the ball on this. The older generation — my mother and my grandmother — they knew how to discipline. They taught us respect, and they made sure we followed rules. They used to say, "This ain't no popularity contest," which is a good thing, 'cause they'd have damn sure finished last. But they didn't care. They'd send me to my room, and I'd say, "I hate you." And they'd just yell back, "We hate you, too. Now, you're gonna go in there and clean that room." And I did.

Parents today don't want to be parents. They want to be too cool. They want to be hip. They don't want to be the bad guys. Well, that's our job. We're not here to make those kids like us. We're here to save their lives. When they do something wrong, it's our job to tell them what they did wrong and in a way that they understand. You can't sugarcoat it. You can't worry about them being mad at you. I say, "I don't care if you're mad or not. You'll get over it."

Now we want to reward kids for everything. We give 'em money for grades. "I got all Bs." "Oh, here you go. Two hundred dollars." "My teacher said I didn't cause any trouble today." "Really? Here's $50." No. Uh-uh. I am not gonna pay you for doing something you're supposed to do.

You can say that's too harsh, but our parents were harsh, and we're better people because of it. I'll give you a perfect example. When I was 14, we had a cat who stayed on our block who looked like he was having all the best fun. Kids in that house could stay up till six o'clock in the morning. They had the girls, they had the beers.

I mean, their house was the house. But my grandmother wasn't having none of that. We had to be in the house at eight o'clock, by the time the streetlights came on. And I don't mean on the porch in front of the house, I mean in the house. We hated it.

But when I go back to my old neighborhood, those cats are still there. They haven't changed a bit. They've got no discipline, no sense of responsibility. They don't take care of their kids, they don't take care of themselves. They are just careless with their lives, 'cause they never had anyone to keep them in line. No one gave them any drive. I am so grateful to my mother for making me come home. If she hadn't done that, I don't know where I'd be. But I wouldn't be as successful as I am. I know that.

So, once you understand that raising children is like waging war — there will be victories, there will be defeats and there will be casualties — you've got to follow the basic rules of warfare, the most important of which is:

KNOW YOUR ENEMY. There are things you need to understand about kids and how they operate. Yes, they are small, but they are sneaky and do not have a conscience. So, here's a short list of things you need to know about your children.

KNOW THAT THEY WILL LIE. Kids will lie to you in a minute, even if they know that you know they are lying. Kids wanna play and stay up late. They wanna watch television and wear the same drawers every day. And they will lie to accomplish these goals. I once told the minister that my grandmother was choking me, even though I knew she'd done no such thing. The minister (and a social worker) ended up having a talk with my grandmother, and I spent the rest of my childhood unable to sit down.

to look innocent, even when they are caught in the act. They will give you a look like a puppy dog, as if they're weak and helpless. Because they are ruthless, they will use this against you.

KNOW THAT THEY HEAR EVERYTHING YOU SAY. And they will use it against you. Kids may not be able to remember why they took off their clothes in the grocery store, but they will remember everything you said, in complete detail, and they will quote it back to you whenever it suits them. They've got some kind of special memory bank inside their head. Kids will crawl under your bed to hear your conversations. They will spy on you, and if necessary, they will tap your phone.

In conclusion, just remember that when you are tough on your children, it's for their own good. Letting them have their own way is the same as telling them you don't care. And if you think you're being too hard on them, try to remember the words of Nietzsche, who said, "What does not destroy me, makes me stronger."
(photo from Google)

In the Interest of Fairness

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I thought it only fair, given what I said previously about discipline, that I post one of my own less than perfect Mommy moments. This happened a few weeks ago. I posted this story on another site during the Carnival (I wish I could remember which one!). Entrants were asked to post their best/worst Super or Slacker Mommy story and I chose Slacker. Enjoy.

I took DS to the bookstore and used a gift card given to my DH to buy him 5 new chapter books. He was literally jumping off the furniture and I had to tear him away from the train table to look at titles with me.
Then we went to the shoe store where I had to practically sit on him to keep him from running up and down the aisles, trying on the high heels and rolling on the floor.
After, we pull into the driveway and I ask him to go straight inside and start getting ready for bed since it was past bedtime. Immediate whining ensues about not having watched any TV, and wanting more to eat for dinner (mind you we've been gone for almost 2 hours and it's almost 9 o'clock).

I get mad, tell him he's being a brat after all the stuff I just bought him and so much for being able to stay out late like a big kid because I won't let him do it again if this is how he's going to act (we've been working on Attitude of Gratitude).

Cross go the arms, out go the lips, in comes the attitude and he says he's not going inside and he's not going to bed. EVER. Humph. So, I say goodnight, get out of the car, set the alarm and go inside the house to count to 30.

At 10, the car alarm goes off.

I go back outside and he's climbed into the passenger seat. I let him out and he's got tears and snot and DH comes up to see what all the commotion is and DS tells him "Mama locked me in the car and I was so scared I wanted to throw up. I could have died in there!"
Of course I gave him a hug and told him I would never have left him in the car overnight and that he wasn't going to die any time soon, especially not in our driveway.

We'd had a lot going on with playdates, going to the park, having people over for dinner and the Wii (which DS isn't allowed to play because of his poor sportsmanship and tendency to pee himself rather than pause the game but we made exceptions when we had company) and it pissed me off that after all the fun stuff he would behave like that, especially over going to sleep!

I'm sure I could have handled it better but c'mon. He said he wasn't getting out. He might as well have drawn a line down his car seat and said, "I double dog dare you to get me out of this car." And I love a challenge.

So. There it is. My own bad mommy moment.

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Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged (Matthew 7)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

First, I will say that I am not perfect and that DS doesn't get to wear his halo all the time. I know being a parent is hard and I know we should all be supportive rather than point and whisper behind one another's backs.

But, what can I say? I'm judgmental and opinionated. At least I'm honest.

I was reading the May '08 issue of Parenting magazine one morning over coffee and came across a short, funny excerpt from Stephanie Wilder-Taylor's new book Naptime is the New Happy Hour.

"Ever been around a parent who starts off every sentence by whining, 'He won't let me'- as in, he won't let me put him down, cut his toenails, mix a martini, etc.? Um, last time I checked, you outweigh him by at least a hundred pounds. Man up."

I laughed because 1) I agree wholeheartedly and 2) it reminded of something that happened at the outlet mall last week. I was in one of the kid stores looking for a birthday present. When I first walked in, I noticed a mom and her toddler girl. I'm guessing she was 3. Said girl was getting a talking to about the display mannequins that went something like this:

Mommy: No, no. We can't play with that. See the nice lady over there (points to store employee)? She's working very hard on these to make them look nice and we don't want to mess them up.

Girl: Mmphf mmp scherpy (couldn't understand her with the pacifier in her mouth. what? I already said I'm judgmental)

Mommy: Now put the dolly back.

I browsed for a bit then went back to a cute outfit in the front of the store. Girl still had the mannequin, and was sitting in the front window undressing it. Mommy was choosing to ignore her and hoping no one would say anything looking through the racks but then her friend in the back of the store called out for her to come back and take a look at something.

More eavesdropping by me:

Mommy: Come on honey follow me.

Girl: No response

Mommy: Sweetie come here please, put that down.

Girl: Crickets chirping

Mommy: Put the dolly down and come with me.

Girl: Makes eyes contact, totally blows Mommy off

Mommy to Friend: Just leave it there, she's not coming with me and I don't want to leave her here.

WT? By now I'm ready to take "dolly," get right in Girl's face and tell her to straighten up or there will be no organic, agave sweetened soy treats for you when you get home missy!

Come on folks. It's time for real discipline to make a comeback. I'm not talking about going out in the yard and cutting a switch, but stop negotiating. Say no, mean no, and move on.

I've read the same articles as you have about behavior and positive reinforcement and not focusing on the negative to better your child's self esteem. Most of that is horse pucky. My parents didn't sit me down and make "I statements" when I misbehaved, they told me (not asked me) to knock that s**t off or else (I'm paraphrasing).

Saying no and being negative all day long is a drag. I feel you. But bending over for your kids may make today go by more smoothly, but what about tomorrow and next week? IMHO, If Mommy doesn't let Girl know right now who's in charge, they're in for a heap of trouble later on.

I can see it now: Girl and my DS meet at school. She's a sophomore, he's a senior and he's tutoring her in Algebra 2.I invite her to stay for dinner and she takes one look at my starchy, carby meal and says, "like, I can't eat this, " and I'll have to bitch slap her.

Granted, maybe I caught Mommy on a bad day. But I don't think so. Feel free to follow me and DS around and post anything you might see or hear on your own blog.

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The Downsides of Mommyhood

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I love my son. I love being a mom. I love my son. I love being a mom. I love my son. I love being a mom.

You know what gets to me the most about being a parent? The repetition. I can handle meltdowns, the non stop chatter, bedtime battles and fussy eating habits.

But having to repeat myself all day long makes we want to stick a fork in my eye.

Yesterday I took DS to a birthday party at Leo Carrillo. He had a great time following the peacocks and when we got home he was totally wound up. I, on the other hand, could barely keep my eyes open.

DH woke up around 3am with a bad cough and neither of us could get back to sleep, so by mid afternoon I was draggin' ass. Anyway, DS is on a mission to save Princess Leia which requires him to throw himself on the floor firing over his shoulder like a stunt double.

Every time he lands it sounds like we're hosting a martial arts demonstration in our living room. First I ask nicely to either keep it down or go downstairs to his room and make all the noise he wants. Then I ask again. And again. And again.

Finally I lose it and start yelling and I've given this speech so many times I might as well record it so next time I can keep reading my book and just hit play.

Repeating myself over and over sucks. Plain and simple. And there are days when it seems it's all I do. You know the drill: Why are you still in pajamas? Finish your breakfast! Brush your teeth! Get your shoes on! Where's your backpack? What do you mean you still need to brush your teeth?!

Why don't they listen?!?!

Deep breath. OK, I'm better now.

I know ignoring him or just going to another room myself would be easier. But that's not the point. If I did that, he wouldn't take me seriously and then I'd be one of those parents with that kid.

And, I guess the bad days make the good ones where I ask DS to do something and he says, "OK Mama" and actually does it the first time that much sweeter.

Lesson learned.

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