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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Decoding the Lingo

Jules here-

I have read some very interesting articles recently on parenting and child development lately-- many of them discuss the fact that parents are now "scared" to discipline their children.  Parents are allowing kids free-reign, and the world is seeing the results.  My kids are normal kids- I often have to yell at them, put them in time out, or even swat their tushies on occasion.  However, my kids do know how to mind, listen, and obey me- especially when we are in a public setting. They know that punishment will await them if they are belligerent, wild, or out-of-control.
When James finds my phone...

To me- that's normal parenting. Normal "training my kids" to behave.  But I must be in the minority now because I constantly have people complimenting me on my kids behavior- which I deem as perfectly normal. My kids act exactly as I acted as a child. They get into trouble, but they know how to behave.

The children jumping on the couch- I allow a bit of wildness in the winter time just to get out extra energy!
I have spoken about behavior in countless posts- and as a parent I know we constantly have to adjust, grow, and learn with each child.  I am always looking for more loving, efficient, and effective parenting strategies. I have friends who have challenging children who constantly strive to learn and figure out better ways to train their child. Some children need continual training and discipline due to their more resistant personalities.
A time out chair.... serious stuff.

In this post I am NOT talking about the following:
  •  Children with a disability who truly have difficulty with following social constraints.
  •  We've all had the times at the grocery store with the screaming kid amidst many eye rolls and rude comments. I am not talking about those rare, embarrassing moments when people drop a few snide remarks. 
  • Children under the age of 2- sometimes they are QUITE unpredictable. However, one should keep them at arms-length consistently. 
  • I am not talking about the apologetic parents who understand the burden of an unruly child, who sheepishly herd their children out of public areas. 
 On the contrary, I hear some acquaintances talk about discipline, but their children's behavior does NOT seem to reflect their supposed efforts.  Yet, many of the parents seem oblivious that their child is even a problem!   I am talking about when people consistently use the same terminology (friends, doctors, teachers, strangers, neighbors, grandparents, etc.) when addressing your child.  Since it is now faux pas to have other people discipline your children (unlike back in the good ol' days), one has to read between the lines when people address your children.

Good 'Ol Days- Children working in factories....
"Well, isn't he (or she) a little bundle of energy!"  Translation: Your child needs to be a little less-wild in this setting. Your child is being distracting to other people in the area with the rambunctiousness. **Note: At a park, hiking a mountain, playground, etc. this could be a compliment! In the correct setting,

"He (or she) certainly has a mind of his own!" Translation: Your child isn't respecting you. Your child should be more obedient to your instructions.

"He's certainly a stubborn one!" Translation: Your child REALLY needs to be taught to respect you more. Your discipline is probably not working.

"Maybe your child needs a break." Translation: We all need a break. I heard a librarian say this to a mom of a wild 4 year old during a story time and the mom said, "No, he's fine thanks!". Take a hint, your kid is being WAY too disruptive for everyone else.

"Do you think he/she needs some help?" Translation: Your child is doing something he/she shouldn't be doing. Don't let him/her climb on the shelf or take out all the toys, etc.... some mothers are more worry-warts than I am and will use this phrase at a playground when they think my child is in danger- personally, I like my kids to learn "the hard" way sometimes... BUT, if I hear this in an indoor, public setting, usually an adult is trying to kindly tell me to get my kid.

I have mentioned before that many people don't recognize the influence of peers and media on their children's behavior.  They only feed their children organic food, use non-toxic cleaners, but then allow them to watch PG-13 movies and teenage-television when they are under 7 years old... Protect their minds as much as their bodies!!

Final thoughts- it does take a village to raise a child.  Family, friends and teachers can offer great insight into discipline- don't be too prideful. Accept advice, suggestions, and help as needed- you might be surprised how much easier your life will become.  Here's a quote from one of my favorite child psychologists, Dr. Ray Guarendi, "Discipline without love is harsh. But love without discipline, that's child abuse."  Try to balance both!

Easy Rule #343234- Even if you aren't a perfect parent, nowadays your kids can look like rock stars compared to the parents who don't ever say no to their children....

Easy Rule #53234- Set the expectations high for your children. Demand respect. Life will only get easier and more fun for all of you!

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