At our most recent visit to our therapist, Ryan and I discussed with her how our (ahem… my) emotions often get in the way of being consistent when disciplining Porter (I guess it’d apply to both of them, really). She gave us some advice/tools/suggestions for dealing with this and moving onto the actual, most important task… setting a consistent example for the boys.
Today I conquered. And I am so proud. I can’t wait to share with her!
After lunch, I let Porter have one of those orange push pops. Porter asked for a second and I told him that he could have another one after dinner (we were having the Huffs over to grill out and I had planned to let the kids have push pops after dinner). I put the boys down for a nap and laid down with Porter… telling him that he was not to leave his bedroom if I fell asleep before him.
I was exhausted and, of course, fell asleep instantly…. for over 3 hours!! I woke to find fudgesicle wrappers all over the couch. I asked Porter how many he had and he told me “Four.” I was ticked. I tried to keep my cool as I firmly told him “Well, you’re going to be sad but tonight after dinner the other kids are going to get popsicles but you chose to get into the popsicles without permission so you aren’t going to be able to have one after dinner.”
Dinner came and went and the kids were running and playing. Eian and Kennedy were over as well and I remembered the popsicles. I asked them if they wanted popsicles and of course they were all excited… Porter included.
I went inside and got the box of push pops. I hesitated before going back outside and told Ryan “I’m about to be a mean mom…. I told Porter he couldn’t have a popsicle after dinner because he ate 4 this afternoon without asking me…. I feel really bad because all the other kids are going to get a push pop.”
Ryan looked at me and we both instantly thought the same thing…. I took a deep breath and said “Push (hand motion) my emotions aside…. Push them aside.” We were both proud of me (I know… this sounds SO dumb!!).
I went outside and handed out the push pops. Porter excitedly came over and I stopped him and said…. “Remember, you don’t get one because you got into the fudgesicles this afternoon.” His face looked so disappointed but would you believe it…. he moved right on and accepted it and didn’t make a fuss!
There are so many times I find myself being lax with the boys because I feel bad for them…. I feel like I waver between this dictator parent and a lenient one…. I’m kind of wishy washy. I try hard to be authoritarian and democratic but often find that I waver from one extreme to another. I think that just by identifying this weakness… that I let my emotions for the boys get in the way of my being firm with my word…. is a huge step in the right direction.