Inadaquate Parenting

Have you ever felt like what you were doing just wasn’t enough? Or questioned your own methods? Or faced a dilemma that you weren’t sure of the best possible solution (or felt like there weren’t any at all).  I’m not crying the poor me’s. I’m not fishing for compliments. However, maybe an opinion or two might help.

We’re at our wits end, which also where our rope ends and our sanity blows away in the wind. Discipline is such a tough issue. The how to, when to, where to, gets complicated and everyone seems to have different methods, strictness, and outcomes. So the conversation of discipline can get a bit heated.

We have tried the time outs that last as long as their age. They don’t really work on our boys. Sure it stops them from doing what they were doing that got them a time out in the first place. However, it doesn’t stop the behavior indefinitely. Five minutes to an hour to the next day they’re right back to doing whatever it was they did wrong to earn them yet another time out. So we’ve progressed to bedroom timeouts. They have no toys in their bedrooms. No TV. Just a bed, a dresser, and books. So they’re what I call “reading timeouts”. They usually last between 15-20 minutes. Bang took a reading timeout for nearly an hour one day.

That’s just one method. We take away fun stuff when they misbehave. Usually it’s electronics. But that doesn’t really work because once the electronics are out of sight they forget about them in lieu of other (often better) things to do (their screen time is limited to a 1/2 hour to an hour per day, anyway, depending on the situation).

Lately, Bang has been driving us mad. He’s pure threenager. His preferred method of communication is whining and screaming. I would prefer he communicate in words. Hell, I’ll accept Navajo code at this point. He’s a typical three year old who knows what he wants and likes and won’t accept anything as a substitute. Unfortunately, this results in some meltdowns. Most meltdowns are resolved quickly. Few require him to be removed from the situation completely and spend some quiet time in his room either alone or being read to. Even this isn’t fool proof, though. Most times, his timeout works. However, there is the odd occasion when he’s fine in his room but as soon as he leaves it he remembers what it was that upset him and we’re back to square one.

Contrary to my Facebook depiction, life isn’t always picture perfect of pure cuteness and fun. Sometimes it involves an argument. Crash is 7 going on 15. Everything has to be an argument. With the smaller arguments I’ll let him have his way in hopes that he’ll learn that what his mom and I tell to do is for good reason. Like when he refuses to put on a sweatshirt to go outside and 5 minutes later he’s cold. I’ll ask him “What did you learn about the weather today?” and he’ll tell me “Put on a coat when it’s cold outside.” See, he learns. Unfortunately, it’s like me… the hard way. What happens if I put my head in this cinder block? Oh, it gets stuck. (I plead the fifth) However, we have come to learn that some of his arguing and anger has been learned by observing a classmate. He’s mimicking poor attitude. Let the talks commence. We will talk to him until we are blue in the face and hope that something sinks in. He will lose privileges and gain chores and homework. He does have teachers for parents, after all.

Furthermore, he’s going to be held to more responsibilities. He’s had chores before, but somehow they got pushed aside and forgotten about. Not anymore. I’m going to put reminders on the fridge. Dry the dishes. Load and unload the dishwasher. Vacuum. Make beds (all of three of them). Help with laundry. Clean up his toys.

Things are going to change around our house. It’ll be for the better, even though Crash and Bang won’t recognize it as “for the good of the family”. Order will be restored.

Do you have any creative disciplining techniques you’d like to share? Has the behavior/attitude of one family member affected the whole family? How did you resolve it?

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15 thoughts on “Inadaquate Parenting

  1. I really don’t know what to say here. I feel like so far we had an incredibly easy ride with both of them. They are great listeners and explaining things so that it made sense to them worked almost always. If it didn’t, we took things away. Usually they were not allowed to do an activity or it was screen time. Taking away one of their activities worked best…

    Liked by 1 person

      • We’ve had moments of clarity when he’s done exactly what we’ve asked as soon as we asked it when we were expecting an argument or attitude. So, maybe it is working, just a slower process than what were hoping for. I think we’ve identified the source so hopefully we can start making up ground. 😀

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  2. LM loves to argue and will given the opportunity. And it’s hard not to get caught up in that sometimes, the back and forth, since he expresses himself so well. But lately, on top of the taking privileges or telling them that he has to earn them a day in advance in my behavior reward chart, I deal with the mouth by telling him that he’s the kid, I’m the parent, and he’s going to do what I tell him and we can talk about the why (what leads to him arguing) after he does what I tell him to. That helps. Today anyway!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing! I know two arguers doesn’t justify it, but it’s comforting to know we’re not the only ones. Sometimes we get up in the back and forths, but if I can see an argument coming I try to shut it down by telling him it’s not up for negotiation. Then afterwards I explain why. Sometimes, I truly believe he’s only arguing for the sake of arguing.

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      • Indeed–we have some smart boys, so I’m sure they are going to exercise their lawyer skills as much as possible 😃

        Liked by 1 person

  3. So very with you on the whole discipline thing. My biggest frustration with little missy has been the “copying attitudes” thing. She’s a good kid, she really is, but MOST kids, when given the opportunity, will copy the bad behaviors of other kids in their lives, and she is no exception. This tends to make me less frustrated with her and more frustrated with the parents who aren’t disciplining the bad behaviors of the kids she’s copying. Then, of course, you don’t want to be judgemental, because you don’t know what’s going on in any person’s life, but I often find myself screaming internally when I feel like my daughter is picking up bad habits because of other peoples’ bad parenting. It’s a vicious internal struggle for me.

    I’d share some of the methods that we’ve used, but what I’ve learned over the past four years is that kids are just too different to assume that any one thing will work for every one. Some of the most tried-and-true methods of the internet did absolutely bupkiss to help us, just as some of the things that have helped us don’t work at all for the niece or my cousins’ kids. It really pretty much comes down to trial and error for each child, and that’s one of the true tests of being a parent. @.@

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  4. It really does happen to the best of them, isn’t it? I have a sweet girl going on a rebellious threenage phase, who likes whatever is the opposite of what I offer. It drives me crazy. I read a book The Child Whisperer (by Carol Tuttle) that proposes that a child has a dominant energy type (there are 4), and recommends parenting in a manner that honors their energy type. I meant to write a post about it. It has been helpful in getting me to try the communication style that works to their nature. My daughter is a Type 2, sensitive type, and communicating to her emotionally (acknowledging her feelings first, talking to her in private, eye level, side by side, etc) has gotten me positive results. It is effective. But as we all know with kids, nothing is ever perfect. 🙂

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