children, humor, kids, life in pictures, mommyhood, motherhood, parenting

The Next Level

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.


Stinky Face in the house!


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?


Rules are hard. First time-out of the day for a sibling infraction. It was only 7 a.m.



Full Speed rejoices in this a.m. time-out.


children, mommyhood

Eye Am Defiant

Full Speed has this silly way of talking (it seems most of his classmates, especially the boys, talk this way, too) that borders on being disrespectful. It’s hard to describe but if you personally know a five year old boy, you know exactly what I mean. I keep working with him to have a balance of off-kilter, sing-songy phrasing and keeping the content acceptable (no name-calling, using toilet-related vocabulary and the like). He gets one warning if the content veers into inapproriate territory and then he goes to time-out.

As we were getting the boys ready for Saturday Tae Kwon Do, Full Speed slips up and I give him his warning. In the truck on the way there, he does it again. When we are parked, I send Mad Dog and little T.Puzzle on their way and Full Speed has to stay behind for his time-out.

He was absolutely fuming at me. I stood outside the truck and made a big production of looking at my watch to time him. His eyes are shooting daggers. With his steely glance locked on mine, he gives the seat in front of him a good, swift kick. I lean in and tell him if he kicks again, I start time-out all over. This angers him more.

To get back at me he looks me straight in the eyes and… starts hitting his own seat.

I had to turn around and not look at him at all. I didn’t want him to see me laughing (that’s so I don’t cry).

Oh, that Full Speed. Next time I’ll clarify not to kick or hit in a similar circumstance. You know it’s almost guaranteed he’ll start head-butting something.