Raising a Child in 2017

Friday, April 7, 2017

Just this morning I was reading a blog post on Scary Mommy about the 26 phrases I should use on my child when they are in the middle of a temper tantrum. And they said it would work on teens as well. So I decided to take the plunge and open the article, knowing full well I would shake my head at half the phrases listed. I wasn't incorrect! And not an hour later, I was disciplining my child without an utter of one of the 26 phrases listed!

Here's an example: 

1) Instead of saying “You’re being so difficult!” I should try this: “This is a tough one, huh? We’re going to figure this out together.” Um, no. He's being difficult and I'm going to tell him that! And, I'm going to ask him what he can do to change it. Just like I did this morning. He was complaining about how cold he was, so I suggested we get dressed for school, I had laid out a sweatshirt, and it would help warm him up. He's come back, "No, it will cut into my playing time." So mutter to myself, "Fine, be cold. No skin off my nose." And as I walk away, I get the ever constant "Fine...." which sounds like this "Fffiiiinnnneee". A drawn out f, followed by a long i that lasts a while, and then a sharp n on the end. Something we hear all the time. And on that "fine", I had had enough. It was time for a come to Jesus about being kind, showing gratitude, and addressing that shitty attitude!

Now, I'm not one that's opposed to spanking. And when I say spanking, I mean a swift pop on the bottom. Nothing more, and that's exactly what I did. I don't do it often, because it's not needed, but I do use it when I need to get his attention. Today was the day. It all started when he woke up. He asked me if he had to go to school today, something he asks daily, and after being informed yes, proceeded to complain about having to go and not going at all. Instead of feeding into it, I simply walked away. Less than a minute later, he was out of bed and downstairs asking to play. I told him he had 20 minutes and then it was breakfast. And that's when the cold statement was uttered and the getting dressed defiance started. 

I should also back up to the night before. It was his sixth birthday yesterday and we celebrated with my parents for a small family party. Pizza, a train cake, and gifts were on tap and it was a chill event. Until exhaustion set in. Post party, he was a irritable and taking it out on his toys and us. Trying to be patient, without uttering ridiculous phrases like the one above, I told him it was time to start winding down, getting his pajamas on, and thinking about books to read before bed. He was complaint, but still cranky. It wasn't until we were brushing his teeth that it all started. I won't go into detail, but I will tell you that while I was tucking him in, I told him that if I didn't see an improvement in attitude, the toys from his birthday would be put away for a while. He fell asleep while I was in mid sentence. So to wake up as cranky as when he went to bed was not a fun way to start the day. 

 Another example:

2) “That’s it, you’re getting a time-out!” But instead of sending him to timeout, I should say this, “Let’s go to our calm-down space together.” Well, I wasn't the one the needed to calm down, and I'm pretty sure that when I was six, I went to timeout alone! And, I got more than a swift pop on the bottom. My mom was not one to shy away from spanking, and I mean spanking. So when it's time for timeout, guess who goes there alone! And usually in tears. And usually complaining about how mean I am. That's right! I'm mean! And I'm not your friend. And, I'm pretty sure that the more you complain, the longer your going to sit! I won't raise an asshole who things he's entitled to do whatever it is he wants to do without any consequences and to not do it alone!

Another one:

Instead of “Go to your room!” and I should use: “I’m going to stay right here by you until you’re ready for a hug.” Guess who doesn't want a hug? Either of us! And guess what, we both need time apart, so guess who's going to their room? And sometimes, it's me! I walk away and go to my room just to get a minute alone. And sometimes, it's okay for him to go to his room, just to get away. It's not a bad thing to have some separation. And then come back together for a hug. I'm all about hugging it out to ensure he knows that I still love him, even when I'm mad, frustrated, or don't like him. It's important for him to know that I love him no matter what, but I don't need to hug him the minute he gets mad! 

In my opinion, the way we are asking parents to raise and discipline our children is so frustrating! We aren't supposed to raise our voices, spank, show disappointment, show frustration, and constantly use a syrupy voice to tell them it's all going to be okay. It's not always going to be okay! It's not always going to fair! Life isn't fair. And if we don't teach them that now, when do we? When they're 10, 16, 21? So many things aren't going to go their way, like playing before school because you have to get dressed, eat breakfast, and actually go to school! And if you're going to yell, cry, and smash your toys in protest, then it's my job to step in and have that come to Jesus. Complete with a swift pop on the bottom! 

And guess what? He's fine. This is him right before heading out to school. He sang in the car, held my hand as we walked into school, kissed and hugged me goodbye, and told me he loved me as I was leaving. No anger. No frustration. No resentment. Just a child who was disciplined for his actions. Was told to be accountable for his actions. And wasn't an asshole! My mission was accomplished! At least for this morning!


P.S. Here is another one for you to chew on. 

Instead of “Eat your food or you will go to bed hungry!” Try this: “What can we do to make this food yummy?” Really!! I don't serve disgusting food so there really should be a reason to try to make it yummier! You get what you get and you don't throw a fit! Jeesh! 

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