Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Rambling My Way to a Point: Discipline

I already blew NaBloPoMo, but I'm still going to try to write every day. Why is it whenever you set a goal like this, all of a sudden, your mind goes completely blank? So I'm digging deep into the archives of my history to find something of interest that happened to me. Hmmm....okay, now I'm going to try and think of something interesting that didn't completely suck. Wait for it.
Being in this home really should bring back something. For those of you who don't know, I recently moved back into the condo where I grew up. Since I gave the master bedroom to the girls, I'm actually sleeping in the same bedroom that I slept in when I was in jr. high, high school, and some beyond that as well. So there should be tons of history for me here. And there is! And, actually, most of it isn't so bad, either.
I had a pretty good childhood, when I think about it. I had parents who loved me, supported my ambitions, and I can't think of any time where they said no to something really important to me.
Oooh! Got it! Found a topic! (yay me!)
"Bad Punishments."
Sylvia told me the other day that her friends think I should give her "bad punishments." I'm not real sure what that means andI don't think she knew, either. Sure, she gets on my nerves at times, and she tests me, of course. I yell, send her to her room, and then we both cool down and try to assess what just happened. I know, I shouldn't yell, but I do. That's probably my biggest downfall as a parent.
I let them yell, too. I'd much rather they yell, get the feelings out, hopefully not say anything too hurtful than hit/destroy/let feelings fester/some bad thing that hasn't even crossed my mind yet.
So that's how it works at my house. Yell, separate, come back together, talk, cry, hug and kiss.
I remember on "The Brady Bunch" (I totally loved that show when I was a kid) how the Bradys said that no one should ever go to bed angry. For some reason, that stuck with me. I've experienced the feeling (not with my kids, but I won't go into details) of going to bed with an argument still looming. You wake up, disoriented, not knowing how things stand...ugh, it's awful. Whatever I can do to prevent from ever feeling that way again, I'll do.
So I make my kids talk to me. I make us come to some sort of conclusion. Sometimes, when I think the "crime" has been bad enough, I'll tack on a consequence, too. Things like, not being able to pick a movie, or have soda with dinner. But, frankly, after that, I'm kind of lost as to what kind of privilege to take away. It's not like they go out without me, or have a phone in their room (or even cable). What else is there to do, make them write standards? I want them to enjoy writing, not loathe it! And I make us talk long enough so that I know they get it. I make them say to me what it is that upset me, and why. If I feel it necessary, I'll apologize for my part in it. And then, usually, I feel like it's best to have the matter be closed.
That's pretty much what my parents did, too, come to think of it. There were a few exceptions to that, but they were definitely times when I deserved worse.
I told Sylvia that she really hasn't done anything bad enough to warrant a "bad punishment." I hope that remains the case for a long time!

1 comment:

LunaNik said...

I didn't even attempt NaBloPoMo. As for punishments...well, haven't had to do that yet. But, I know I won't be any good at punishing my kids. I'm thankful that their father is around to be the diciplinarian. I give you sooooo much credit being a single parent.