Parenting ain’t easy, y’all! Sometimes the day to day grind gets tough and mundane. It’s hard! We lose ourselves in soccer practice, homework, meals, and even squeezing in relaxation. In the chaos that is life, sometimes our children veer off track. They may need correction. They need attention and empathy. The may need to be grounded. Whether it’s a momentary “timeout” or having something taken away, lessons learned, right?
We had a weather event yesterday which delayed the opening of daycare and set my work day back about 5 hours. Instead of following the routine of waking at 6:45am and being out of the door at 7:30 – we sat in the house and looked at each other. Not the whole time, but it was raining … flooding, so going somewhere was out of the questions. I was mostly on the phone – texting bosses and getting updates from daycare. I tried to entertain her but she was out of routine and nothing was satisfying her. She was playing with the dog and running like a wild child around the house.
“Liz, stop running. Elizabeth, I asked you to stop running. ***holding her and making eye contact*** Please stop running, you are going to get hurt.
E!!!!! STOP RUNNING!!!!!! Liz….BAM!…(expletive whispered to myself) I said to stop running!”
I sat with her on the floor, consoling, fussing, and kissing her forehead because she just ran into the wall. “Momma asked you to stop running and you didn’t. Please listen to me when I ask you to stop.” Through the tears I get a shaky “yes, ma’am.”
I didn’t discipline her. She pretty much did it on her own by running into the wall. I let it go.
Our (almost) 14 year old is disciplined a little differently. We have a rule in our home about Snapchat. Not for teenagers – our rule and no judgement for those that use it. Well, she downloaded it and used it without us knowing. **eye roll** She still hasn’t figured out that I always find out! I found the app and the history. Thirty days of use. Cool. I’ll take the phone for 30 days.
Let the bargaining begin
“Ugh, if you loved me, you wouldn’t ground me!” Listen kid, you don’t want to play this game with me. If you loved me, you wouldn’t go behind my back! But let’s not go there. You were defiant for 30 days, so your punishment will last for that long. The rules are set for a reason and your teenage brain may not understand, but what you do need to figure out is that we make the rules, they will be followed and if they aren’t, there are consequences. If you don’t show up for your job, you get fired. If you break the law and speed, you get a ticket. It’s pretty simple, really.
My lessons in parenting have come a long way in 14 years. Techniques and choices have evolved and changed with each child, because, you know, they are all different and require different things. Sometimes in the quiet, I question if the punishment was enough or if it was too harsh. Did we praise her enough for that “win?” Does she know how proud we are of her accomplishments? Does she know that we see all of the good even when she strays? I hope sure hope so. I really do hope that they both understand that “Yes, you are grounded, because we love you.”