Out the door at 7 am. Any sooner, we’d be early. Any later, we would be late. Lunches packed, shoes on, hair brushed. What about those teeth? What is it with kids and teeth anyway?
I don’t think I have ever met a child that likes to brush their teeth. Not for more than 20 seconds. 10 if you’re lucky. Somewhere along the way a “No, I don’t want to.” And a “Do I have to?” Of course, mom right there prodding so we make it on time to school.
Kids. The heart of our lives, and the reason that we exist as parents in this world. Does it make it harder when they don’t listen?
Parenting At a Young Age
At what point do you start understanding parenthood? Standing in a grocery store with your brand new baby. Suddenly she starts to cry. I mean, she was asleep a second ago right? What could be wrong?
Going through the questions they taught you at nauseum. Dirty Diaper? Hungry? Cold? Hot? Picking her up in the middle of the aisle, she’s still screaming. Panicking you scramble for a pacifier or even a bottle of milk. Bouncing, swinging in the middle of the aisle to try to calm my baby.
Now, since I was young mom and this was my first child, I didn’t know any better. I didn’t know whether or not to go change her or just cuddle her to calm her. And the list goes on. Maybe I was naive.
Ya that could be it. As a young parent we tend to second guess ourselves. I knew before going into the grocery store that I needed to have her fed, burped changed and the like or I’d be standing in Aisle 3 with a screaming baby.
And yet I persisted as I do, and went into the store unprepared. Needless to say, we are not prepared to be parents, not even at a young age. Nothing can prepare us for a baby, not even if you think you are prepared.
Obedience in Kids
Fast forward 10 years. We have 2 healthy kids, that both attend school. To me they are precious. They are well mannered kids that don’t always get along but they mind. Wait, is that real? My kids are well behaved?
Isn’t it funny how you can walk through a store and see a child running around in front of the parent, and the parent isn’t watching what is going on? Are you that parent? If you don’t believe in parenting styles you can read here on the different styles of parenting. Maybe you fall into one of the categories.
My point is, kids learn discipline at a young age. They learn what’s right and what’s wrong and how to treat other people. But why is it so hard as parents to realize that kids need discipline?
Now, I am not talking about the spank your kids type of discipline. The type that I used to get when I was little. Hey I turned out great!! I am talking about the firm foundation type of discipline. The one that shows them who is in charge.
I realize on a tremendous level that society is definitely not on the same page with discipline. At least not anymore. Why is that? Kids are taught to be seen and not heard. And more often than not parents are too involved in their own lives to offer a form of guidance.
Eh, maybe it’s not true for the vast majority of people. But to mind your mother, and show respect to the elderly, that was something that was taught by my parents. If I wouldn’t have been taught that, would I have learned that that is the way to treat people? IMO probably not.
Keeping up with society on the rule that punishing children is harsh and we shouldn’t do it, serves no purpose. Believe you me, this why our society has gotten to this point. Do we understand that kids feed off of guidance?
Offering Guidance to Kids
Like mom always used to say “Behave or you will go to bed without supper.” To this day I remember that if I didn’t put the schitz to what I was doing right than it wouldn’t end well for me.
As a child I learned that if I did something my parents didn’t approve of, there would be repercussions. So after awhile I learned to not do them. Of course we were the church going family. And they would teach us that obedience to our parents is essential. And to love your neighbor as you love yourself.
How can we offer guidance to kids when we are at the end of our ropes.
Types of Guidance for Kids
- Go to church youth groups- Kids are quick to connect with other kids. In youth groups, they share similar backgrounds and beliefs. Getting kids involved in church is something that offer guidance for kids. As well as offers a place to learn and grow.
- Give them a hobby- Growing up all of us kids had a hobby. Whether it was dance, piano, soccer, or cheerleading. We all had something that we could turn to and focus on. Being in this type of disciplined hobby allows kids to maintain focus and be good at something. It also teaches them discipline in other ways. Like being on time and taking direction from other adults.
- Give them chores- Kids hate the idea of chores. Unless there is money tied to it, my kids despise chores. But that is ok. Giving a child a responsibility makes them learn that the parent is in charge. It also teaches children the basics of adult life and what needs to be done around the house.
Does Discipline Include Punishment
When we talk about discipline people tend to immediately think punishment. But not all discipline is created by punishment. In a world that is so led by the fear of what other people think, punishment has since been abolished.
For parents that grew up with strict parents. Ya, you know who you are. The ones that knew better than to talk back to their mom’s or you’d get slapped. Or the parents that knew when dad got home and you did something you weren’t supposed to that day, you better hope its a talking to.
These parent’s know discipline. I am not talking about the type of discipline that means you get spanked for acting a fool type. I am talking, about creating responsibility in children. There is a difference.
Discipline can mean a mixture of two things. One- that you get punished for something you did or to correct an action. And Two- being disciplined to finish a job report that is due in the morning.
How to Teach Kids Proper Discipline
Teaching kids comes with the territory. Kids are like sponges and they absorb things way better than this old brain. Teaching children to obey their parents is one thing, but teaching them the act of being disciplined for disrespecting another is something totally different.
- Learn to say No. Don’t be a yes parent. There are so many out there. Are you the parent that lets your child get their way whenever they want something, just because you don’t want to hear about it? Drop it! You are not doing them, or you any favors. Saying no to your child sets boundaries and adds respect to the relationship.
- Set limits. Did you know that the majority of kids stay on youtube a total of 5-10 hours a week? What the??? Where is the monitoring here? And really it’s usually just watching other kids play with toys or games. Hmm. I won’t ever understand it. But where are the time limits? Kids’ brains are mush by the time they go to bed. Set a screen time limit and stick to it.
- You will hear me say this over and over. Stop feeling guilty about things. Guilty about yelling at your kid, guilty that you didn’t make it in time to the class play. You know, things like that. Mom guilt is a thing and just because you didn’t pack the right Capri sun in johnny’s lunch box, doesn’t mean that you have to feel guilty about it.
Avoiding Discipline, Are you Guilty of it?
I’ve talked to many mom’s. Moms that are my same age bracket that parent totally different than we do. Some mother’s allow the spouse to discipline and don’t step in, some just can’t discipline for fear that they will hurt their kids feelings. And some, are like me and my husband. Co-discipliners (that is not a word btw).
Often times my child will act up while at home and seriously after a long day, I just don’t want to deal with it. I get it, they are tired, you are tired. So it goes without saying, you let them get away with it. Crap! Now he thinks its ok. I am definitely sometimes, an avoider (again not a word) of discipline.
The I just don’t want to mess with it, mom. Or the, seriously your dad will take care of it, person. But in all actuality, I am teaching them the wrong thing, because it should be dealt with at that point in time. Don’t be the avoider because it’s easier for you to not “deal with it” right then.
To Discipline or Not to Discipline…
Some parents think of discipline as a power struggle. Kids back talk and you punish and the cycle continues. Did you know that the majority of todays Millenial parents do not discipline their kids? As a matter of fact these parents don’t believe in it. Now don’t get me wrong I know a few of these people and actually grew up with them and they did not get disciplined either.
Does it create a form of tension between parents when we disagree about discipline. Well ya it does. You are not always going to see eye to eye with your partner about parenting, and you both may have completely different parenting styles. So finding a common discipline strategy is essential to good parenting!
So yes bother with the discipline. Kids need guidance and that is why you are a parent, to guide. Whether you do it right or not a stronger kid has parents that offer guidance.
***Note that these are merely my opinions on parenting and what worked for us in our home.