Among close friends and family I am considered a bit of a drill sergeant when it comes to discipline. My decisions on structure and punishment are based on the temperaments of my boys. They are extremely assertive, directive, confident and obstinately stubborn. If I don’t establish my role as an authority figure now, where will I be in five years? How about ten?
Betty Ford Center, anyone?
Disciplining is not fun. A lot of the rules I make are very unpopular.
For the most part my diligence to rules and consequences has paid off. It’s been exhausting and even harrowing at times, but it seems to have set a good foundation for my boys.
I need to take it to the next level. Full Speed and T.Puzzle follow rules fairly well. It’s their respect of authority that needs some tweaking. They apparently did not get them memo that they are children. Therefore other adults, including myself, are not their peers.
To achieve a stronger sense of authority with my boys I put some new rules in place.
They are pretty simple really. If Full Speed gives me what we refer to as a ‘stinky face’ he goes to bed before little T.Puzzle.
If little T.Puzzle tells me ‘no!’ to any of my requests throughout the day, he loses the privilege of wearing his beloved crocs for a day.
The real kickers are my rules about sibling expectations. Anyone who comes to me to complain or report of a fight gets sent to their room, as well as their brother, for five minutes. It doesn’t matter who starts it, who does what or who tells on whom. Both boys are sent off with no trial and no questions. If this happens three times in one day they lose their privilege of a show and and a treat.
Let me tell you, Full Speed is not happy. He has already informed me that my new rules are ‘too hard!’ and ‘that he doesn’t want to be in this family anymore’.
One of the most challenging tenets of motherhood is to learn that it’s not my job to make my kids happy. It’s to make them be responsible for themselves and their actions.
Wish me luck! Now that I’ve publicly posted this for all two of you to read, I guess I have to stick to my guns. Anyone happen to have that Betty Ford number on hand by the way?