First, a quick update. Mom is home! Yea! She will need to get that kidney stone removed next week, but for now she is home and actually getting rest.
Now, for today’s topic: Parental Misgivings
I sometimes wonder about the girls. We had a "yoga night" at daycare on Tuesday. The girls were typical and ran and played and had fun. But I got worried. First, when the girls are together, they get more wild than when alone. We’ve spoken to their teachers and we’ve observed this ourselves. When the girls are alone, they act much differently than when they are playing together. They did some of the yoga, but mostly, they were seeing who could wrestle with whom better. When I tried to get them to stop, one of the teachers said it was ok. In my mind, I was shrinking away, embarrassed.
I wonder sometimes if we are "THAT" kind of parent. You know. The one that everyone says doesn’t discipline, that negotiates with their child, that doesn’t demand the child to obey…. In some senses, we are.
We definitely discipline. That’s not an issue. We don’t punish as much as stop the situation, discuss the consequences and deal. Example: The couch upstairs is one that the girls can jump on with three rules: 1) they ask me 2) no shoes, 3) stay on the cushions. When Soleil goes on the arm of the couch, she gets 1 warning and then she is not allowed on the couch anymore. Simple consequence. Not really a punishment, but a basic "here’s the rules, here’s why there are rules, if you don’t follow, you can’t jump"
Negotiate? Yes and no. Some things are negotiable. Dinner within reason, things to do during the day, with reason. We are a family and we work together. They don’t have an equal vote and sometimes, the kids need to just do and those times we explain "no, this one you need to do"
Doesn’t demand obedience. This is a tough one for me. I go back and forth on this one. I don’t demand obedience. I want to teach the girls that listening and helping is the right thing to do. We have MANY discussions on this. We discuss about situations where you MUST listen (the word STOP is a must-we only use it in unsafe situations), and situations where you can stop and discuss. I don’t want my kids to be in blind obedience to the ‘rules’ because I want them to be critical thinkers. But under age 6, this is difficult. They are not emotionally mature enough to be a good critical thinker. So we need a mix of obedience and questioning authority. This is a very fine line to walk and it is hard.
Last night, I had a rough time with Soleil. She didn’t listen to my requests and finally, I stopped her and got to her level and said "I’ve asked you twice to hang up your jacket in the closet, on the hook. You know that I ask this everynight. Please stop the game, go down and hang up your jacket. This is your responsibility as part of the family" And she did! And so did Luna.
What brought on this worry? This story and this sort of reaction.
I was on one blog (by a married, but without children person) and the comments she got on this story were amazing. How people without kids would handle it, how people with kids would NEVER have their child act this way…
Always things to ponder…