Posts tagged daughters
Posts tagged daughters
My dad is staying with us for his annual two-week visit. While my man and I work all day and my daughter is in preschool, my father basically has his run of the house. He did not want to rent a car, so he is stuck either surfing the internet or watching television. I can tell that he is growing tired of this routine as evidenced by the five or so phone calls I received from him yesterday. One phone call was filled with his questions about how to use the television and cable box. Apparently, he somehow turned the cable box off, but was convinced that it was not him who couldn’t figure it out, but that there was something wrong with the cable. I told him to go for a walk and we would look at it when I got home. Well, he couldn’t wait.
He walked down the street and found a cable van parked in someone’s driveway. He waited until the cable guy walked out of the house and asked him to come over to our house and look at our cable. My dad says, “I did a good deed. He’s going to be here in five minutes.” I told him “No, dad, there’s nothing wrong with the cable. Don’t let this guy into our house when we’re not there.” Do you think he listened? Of course not! I call my man who was just as upset as I was at the situation and I decided to call my dad back to make sure that he’s not letting a perfect stranger into our home when we’re not there. He didn’t even know if the cable company this guy works for was the one we use.
“He’s here right now looking at it,” my dad informs me. “What?” I exclaim. “Absolutely not! He needs to leave right now,” I so eloquently yell in my office. I hope that none of my coworkers, or god forbid, my boss hears me. Apparently, the cable guy heard my urgent pleas on the phone and said, “I was never here,” slipping out the back door. He could certainly get in a decent amount of trouble for entering a home without the home owner’s presence or permission. ”So what did he do?” I ask my dad. “He turned the cable box back on for me,” my dad says proudly. I fight the urge to yell at my dad for something I already told him.
While this scenario seems harmless enough, it caused me enough stress that I raised my voice, something I do not like doing. While I want to enjoy my dad’s visit because I only see him once a year, I feel as if he makes it virtually impossible to do so. I wonder if the animal kingdom has it right. I’m pretty sure that when an animal has babies that after a certain point they go their separate ways and do not continue to associate with one another for the duration of their lives. Maybe humans should be this way too. Why is it that we stay connected with our parents and extended family long after we are fully grown? For some families, it is nice and comforting to do this, but for others, we might be better off following the examples of animals and part ways after a certain point.
I admit that my daughter is quite willful and tests our patience often. It made me wonder if all parents experience moments that we do where we think, “This could be so much easier if she would just listen.” There is no doubt that my daughter is strong willed, but I wanted to see what the experts have to say about giving children choices and disciplining when they don’t listen.
Robert MacKenzie has a book titled Setting Limits with Your Strong Willed Child. In an article on babycenter.com called “Eight Discipline Experts Reveal Their Secrets,” he claims that “having soft limits and ignoring or overlooking misbehaviors” is one of the cardinal sins that parents commit. In the article, he states, “Don’t do for kids what they can do for themselves,” as his discipline philosophy.
This seems like sound advice, but it is quite challenging to stay consistent with limits. We have enacted the time out, which worked for a little while until she started to not care about being in time out. We then realized that there need to be consequences for getting time out, especially when we learned that she was going in time out at preschool. Now, if she goes in time out, at home or at preschool, she cannot watch any television for the day. This has been pretty successful.
Of course expert, Jane Nelsen, an advocate of Positive Discipline would not approve of this technique. In the same article, when asked what type of discipline she would like to see banished, she states, “Every form of punishment.” She then goes on to address the parents with the question, “How would adults like it if they were told to go sit in a naughty chair when they made a mistake?”
These experts have really got me thinking about my own discipline techniques and wondering if I am doing the right thing. I certainly want to figure this out before my daughter reaches her teenage years.
Another expert featured in the article, Devra Renner, also feels that time outs should be banished because they are “utilized incorrectly and under the wrong circumstances.” I could definitely agree with this statement as I’ve found myself threatening a time out when I maybe didn’t need to do so. Sometimes it’s the easy fall back when my daughter misbehaves.
It seems that many of these experts are advocating for positivity and connection rather than straight discipline. Actually, I find two schools of thought on the issue. One is having clear boundaries and consequences and the other is positive discipline. Maybe the key is in determining what is worthy of punishment as Sal Severe says in the article, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
Possibly the best bit of advice I found in this article was from Linda Sonna, who tells parents, “The word discipline comes from the word disciple. Parents need to do their duty by serving as loving teachers and guides to their little disciples.”
I suppose a balance of both positive discipline and boundary setting might just be the way to go. As Sonna states, “fitting the method of discipline to the child,” is definitely important. After all, there is no one size fits all to disciplining your child or parenting, for that matter.