Wednesday, May 27, 2015

If I am mean and cruel...

...then I totally embrace being a mean and cruel person with no apologies whatsoever.

My sweet neighbor stopped by to give us some cuppy cakes.  She is a little younger than me, I think, and she has two young boys...ages one and a half and approaching four.

Oh my gosh for boys.

My eldest is a boy.  But he was never like these boys, ever.  Don't get me wrong.  My son can be wild and crazy with the best of them.  But either we were blessed with a personality that is at least slightly calmer, or else we did something right in raising him, or a combination of the both.  I'm going with the combination.

My neighbor's sons are both still young and I am certain they will grow into courteous young men.  (That's not even sarcasm, by the way, I really expect they will.)  But at the moment, they are *wild*.  Getting into things, not listening, hitting, etc etc.  And their mother really tries to deal with it.

But her method is...try to talk sweetly to them, informing them of correct behavior.

I'm sorry...but that *does not work*.

It doesn't; not at this age.  Eventually, you can reason (sort of) with older children.  At this age, it doesn't phase them in any way.  Except that the eldest would drop on the floor, avoiding eye contact and completely ignoring his mother.  And she would just take this.  Because what else could her method possibly allow?

Totally not in my play book.

She was asking me how it is I can paint and leave all of my art supplies out within reach of children.  I can see how she would be mystified by this.

My children learn young.  Very young.  If a whap on the butt makes me a mean and cruel parent, then by all means I will be mean and cruel.  It gets the job done.  It gets it done quickly and efficiently.  We can move on with our lives.  We don't have to drag out the punishment, which again they do not understand at a young age, and we are *done* dealing with the situation (though repeat lessons are needed, the repetition is far less than with other, more "kind" methods).  Drama still arises frequently, especially from certain quarters, but I assure you it does not last long.

I am not always as disciplined a parent at discipline as I wish...and I frequently wish for more control and less chaos...but I do have moments where I get a glimpse of what life *could* be, and I breathe a great big sigh of relief.


Jessica P said...

OH MY GOSH that drives me nuts too. it's completely ineffective. "Don't do that again or I'll tell you not to do it again" approach. I knew someone like that, and I was watching her son (5 at the time) who was badly misbehaving. I told him I was going to tell his mother and let her deal with him. He looked me straight in the face and said "What's she going to do? She'll slap my hand and say not to do it again and she won't do anything. It doesn't matter."

His mother DID use spanking to no effect.

I do not hit Daya, ever. I used to flick her really hard on the nose when she was a toddler because I needed something immediate. That's how I taught her to not run away from me in public. It worked. Other than that, I never used pain.

My art studio was always out and still is. Oh my gosh I just taught my child to stay away and I expected her to listen. Her sitter had a lot to do with that...the lady down the hall used to watch her. They had (fragile) knick-knacks in their apartment, and lots of little kids. They just taught the kids to leave it alone- and they all did!
My art studio was never an issue with Daya.

That being said, there are real differences between boys and girls. I think you just got lucky with Gavin being mellow. Boys literally bounce off the walls. All my friends who have boys experience this. Boys are more physical, girls are more mental. (and ohhh are they mental SMH)

No one is a perfect parent, and that's ok. But being mostly-consistent is good, and having boundaries which are enforced. As long as Daya respects boundaries and what is expected of her, I really don't care what she does inside of those boundaries.

Jessica P said...

I forgot to say this because I got distracted and sidetracked.

You are SO ABSOLUTELY correct in that you just cannot reason with kids under a certain age. (say, younger than 4...and then it is a gradual developmental thing) Their minds just don't work like that. It's not in their scope of communication. Not yet. But in that stage they learn what they can and cannot get away with....and those habits last for years to come. Basically, my approach was always to make sure Daya knows I really do mean what I say- yes is yes and no is no (or as close to it as possible), and completely ignore tantrums. Kids want enforced boundaries; it makes them feel safe. They test it to make sure they are safe (and to see what they can get away with).

I'm the kind of person who likes as few rules as possible, but I do not like my boundaries crossed. It is a balance between appropriate freedom and reigning in.

It is exhausting.

Becca Drach said...

Carey...well done, I can't imagine your life with your family, but I have met them and you and it all are right , children do need limits...was just thinking recently of an acquaintance here who seems to allow his child to run the household...will see in time how that works any rate congrats on your good record so far...