A mom who likes to live outside the norm

Archive for the category “Discipline”

Hard Parenting Moments

I had one of those parenting moments today that just makes you cringe and want to hide.

My 7 year old son is one of the oldest in his Art and PE Co-op (a group of homeschoolers who get together to hold classes).  I help with the babies during the PE portion, and I’ve been hearing for a few weeks how my son doesn’t participate well, interrupts, and gets upset easily.  I just chalked it up to some exaggeration and maybe a bad day.

And then I saw it first hand today.  I came out because the moms were short-handed.  My son, 7, was complaining because he wasn’t picked first.  After every time picking a kid to take a turn (there were about 20 kids) my son was interrupting and wanting it to be his turn.  Most of the 4-6 year olds were patiently taking turns.

Later, he was talking to other kids, distracting them while the mom leading the class was explaining the game.  I told him to stop talking and listen.

Then they played a tag game, and he started to melt down when another girl accidentally scratched him when tagging him.  Her mom started to pull them both aside to talk about it, and he jerked his arm out from under her hand and started to yell at her daughter about her scratching him.  I jumped in, apologized to the mom, and dealt with it immediately.

We went to a back corner to talk about it.  He had to sit out the rest of the games and watch the other kids.  The whole time he was whining and complaining about the other kids getting to play his favorite games.  I reminded him that punishments aren’t always fun and he needs to remember to play nicely next time.  And if it happened again we’d stop staying for PE time.

We dealt with similar things with him a few years ago, but it got a lot better once we cut out high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and most preservatives.  I guess his body enjoyed the break from those things and there’s something else that’s bothering his body.

When talking to my husband about it today and some other moms, I realize he may be borderline ADHD, which I thought before 2 years ago.

I realized that if we were still eating a “mainstream” diet that it could be a lot worse.

I also realize why some parents are so willing to give their child medication.  This is hard, and it’s not even that bad in comparison.

I’ve always held to a “80/20” system.  I focus on 80% of my family’s diet and consumption don’t stress about the rest.  I figure if I’m diligent that much their body can better handle the rest (and our 20% is lighter than the norm for most of the population and still doesn’t have HFCS and hydrogenated oils most of the time).

I’m trying to find a balance in doing what’s best for my kids and also still having some convenience and not having to do it all.  And they have so many friends who eat out and such I don’t want to cut out everything or make them seem different (and we never eat at the typical fast food joint, Chick-fil-A is pretty much it…though I am disappointed at the level of additives and preservatives in their foods).

We’ll probably start a food diary where I can write down everything he eats and we can make notes on how he feels and his behavior.  Maybe we can find an actual trigger to avoid.  But medication is not an option for our family unless it’s actually something serious and medication is one of the only ways to correct/cure it.  Difficulty controlling emotions and an embarrassed mommy is not grounds for meds.

No mom wants to be the mom of “that child” that doesn’t listen well and can’t control himself.

But I guess I am.

Do any of you parents relate or have any tips?

I had a great talk with my daughter today

So, my 4 year old has been testing the limits lately.  Not obeying quickly, talking back with attitude, even a few times looking right at me and saying “no”.  I am a believer in controlled spanking.  The Bible clearly talks about using “the rod”, and I believe that is both a guide like a shepherd’s staff but also a tool of discipline.  But that doesn’t mean I want to spank more than necessary, I’d rather get to the heart of the issue and not have to spank at all.

To explain a little further, I believe you should never spank in anger.  I try to always send the kids to their room, calm down, and decide a course of action.  I also find this method makes it seem more serious to the kids and I therefore do not have to spank very hard.  I always reassure that I love them.  I am starting to always use the Bible to explain what they did wrong and give them ways to obey in the future.

But back to the talk today.  This attitude is a heart issue.  So we had a talk about what the Bible says.  We talked about when Jesus was asked what the most important commandment, or rule was, He answered “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself”.  We talked about what that looked like, speaking in a kind voice, sharing, taking turns.  That if you really want something, that probably means someone else probably really wants the same thing and that the kind thing to do is let the other person go first.

Then we talked about how children are to obey their parents.  That means listening when they are talking, answer in a nice and respectful voice, obeying as quickly as you can.  And how parents usually have a reason for why they want kids to do things, and that God gave them a job to do in taking care of their kids.

We finished by me telling her how I have higher expectations now.  That now she knows how God expects her to behave.  How I love her and hate having to punish, and sometimes spanking her.  Now that she knows why she needs to act kindly she gets one reminder or there will be consequences.

I’m hoping that by getting to the heart of the matter, it will diminish the behavior.  But I think the main goal should also be: where my heart is in dealing with these things.  Am I being lazy, am I angry, am I delaying consequences because I don’t want to deal with it?  By dealing with my heart and actions, I am modeling the behavior I expect in my children.

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