I’m quite literally at my wits end. I’m took the point of reading parenting books. I’m scouring websites, blogs, videos and magazine articles to look for something, anything to put in my arsenal. I’m game for trying anything, new age, hobo, old school, hard core, you name it, I’ll try it, well to a certain degree.
For two days this week, I have taken my children out in public. I have subjected the world to my bratty, unruly kids and I’ve dealt with the shame, the disappointment and the sheer exhaustion of having two strong-willed, independent little boys who seem to suffer from a hearing problem.
On Tuesday, we decided to meet one of Davey’s friends from school at our zoo. As with every excursion, we have a sit down, come to Jesus discussion about what you can and can’t do, how it’s important to listen to mommy, how it is MANDATORY to do what mommy says, and how we need to be all around good children. I was promised by Davey that he would be good. His promises are empty and after today, apparently so are my threats and discipline.
I decided to throw caution to the wind and go to the Children’s Museum today with the boys. Once again, we had our same discussion and once again I was promised good boys. I heard it all before we left. “We’ll be good boys, mom.” “I’ll do what you say, mom.” “I promise not to run off, mom.” All of this and then some came from their mouths, but they lied to me.
I understand they are 4 & 2 (almost 5 &3). I am well aware that they are little boys. I also understand that they received a double dose of the independence and strong-willed genes, as both my husband and I have these very dominant traits, but something has to give. I can’t keep going around in circles with these two and I need your help. I’m open for any sort of suggestions, advice, criticism, you name it. Throw it at me, even if it hurts. I’ll take it.
As of this very moment, both boys are upstairs in their bedrooms where they will spend the rest of the afternoon. Henry will likely nap. Davey? I don’t know, but he has no toys in his room, only books. Their punishment today is also considered a reward for me…a few minutes of not feeling like I am the crappiest mom ever. I mean where did I go wrong? Neither one of them listens to me when I speak. They both run away from me unwilling to think about the fact that I’ve said don’t run in the street. I’ve even explained to them the importance of NOT doing it! You don’t want to get hit by a car! Henry throws tantrums and melt downs faster than Michael Phelps can swim 25 meters. And he’s become quite the pro at the meltdown, taking it to levels I never experienced with Davey. Davey never squealed. Davey never threw himself down on the floor. I’m smacked, kicked, told “no”, and flat out disrespected. So where have I gone wrong?
I discipline my children. They get spankings, they get time outs, they get toys taken away. And I consider myself to be firm with my punishments. When I say it, then I do it. There are no 2nd, 3rd, or 4th chances. When I tell you something the first time, THAT is your only chance.
I’ve even tried the approach of one of my girlfriends who reasons with her daughter. I’ve gone to explaining why I tell them they can’t do certain things, or why they need to obey me. I’ve tried to step past what always worked with me when I was growing up, the old, “because I said so, that’s why” modus operandi. While that may have worked with my mom, it does not seem to work with my children. Tuesday night, as I tucked Davey into bed, I had a discussion with him on why I don’t like for him to run away from me. I told him that someone could take him and he wouldn’t have a bed or any food, that they could hurt him, and wouldn’t let him have any toys. I told him he wouldn’t get to see us anymore, that daddy wouldn’t be able to play with him if someone took him from us. I don’t want to scare the kid, but perhaps scaring him will shock him back into the reality that you just need to listen to mom and dad. I know you’re asking how that conversation went, so here is the response I got:
“That would be fun to live with someone else, what if they had a tree house for me to sleep in, and I’m sure they would have food for me, mom, no one wants to starve and no one wants to starve a little kid.”
What about the person being a monster?
“You’ve told me monsters aren’t real, so I’ll be ok,” he says to me while flicking his hand, then pulling the covers up over his shoulders and saying goodnight. So what do I do? You tell me!
I’ve even talked about how God calls for children to be respectful of their mom and dad. How it makes God happy when little boys are good, and sad when they are bad. I get the deer in the headlight look from Davey.
Back when I was growing up, children were to be seen and not heard. In this day and time, people consider that stifling a child’s ability to express himself. At 4 & 2, I’m not interested in my children expressing themselves. I’m interested in my children not behaving like wild banshees and uncontrollable brats. They can find other ways to express themselves.
So, as I close out this blog, still reliving today’s nightmare, I have a reminder that just popped up…two of the parenting books I have requested are now at the library. Perhaps I can find something somewhere in one of these, or a suggestion from one of you, to help me with controlling my two children.
I’m already cringing at what the parents of Davey’s friend are thinking about my boys. Oh, the conversations to be had at their dinner table about the Devilish Duo, otherwise known as The Doser boys.