Saturday, April 03, 2010

Discipline and The Act of It

I think we need help. Our opinions differ sooo much. We have no idea how to discipline a child *together*. We don't agree one bit. And I am ready to give up. Fine. If you don't like how I do it, then you do it. All by yourself. Don't come in and tell me to apologize. I'm not sorry and I think he deserved it. I am tired of being told not to do something right in front of small child. No wonder he cries, "Daddy, daddy!" all the time. No wonder he doesn't care what I say. I think we need to have a series of "consultations" with older, wiser couples who have had years of experience raising and disciplining children. Maybe I am too strict. But if I am, I would like to know how I should be doing it, and still get my child to listen to me, to sit when he is supposed to sit, to be quiet when it is time to be quiet, and to respect me, and those who need to be respected. And I think we need to be able to agree on how to raise this boy. Right now there is still time to get our act together. But we don't have long until he could morph into a monster who knows exactly how to divide and conquer his parents to his benefit. So, yes. I am asking for help. How do we come together as one parental unit and actually begin acting like it?

11 comments:

Martha said...

Prayers here. I don't want to just throw and answer at you. I love you all.

"reader"- Hmm...

Kim said...

My dear Beth. You have now entered that part of parenting that all new parents must face. When two people came together from two different backgrounds, and diffenent parents. They begin to disagree on how to parent their children. Chrildren need boundries, and discipline. That is a given, without them there is chaos. How, and when, and to what degree, are usually those things we battle over. Karl and I do now agree on discipline. He is much more permissive, and believes in almost total grace. He believes you can talk to them, and they will choose to do the right thing. I do not agree with this. I believe, you set boundries, and they abide by them. We have had many heated discussions about these such things. Finally we agree to disagree, and discipline our own ways. He will talk, and occationally lose his temper. I will make them tow the line. He will not ever call me out, or give me the EYE, in front of the kids, and I will give him the same respect. We will discuss disagreements in private. If he disagrees with what I am doing with them. He will back me up in front of the kids. This is so important to OUR relationship, and How the kids respect me. I Do the same for him. We have come up with a level system. It started when they were about two. It teaches them that everything they have, and do is a privledge. Nothing is, because it is deserved. So every behavior his a level, according to how well it is done. Picking up toys for instance. It can get a score of 0-4. 0=not doing it at all, and 4 if it is done well. Other numbers are foe fair to midlen jobs. So if there is a list of expectations. Brushing teeth, toys, bed time. sitting still when told to. treating others well. Anything you decide has a value. There is the verse do not let your hands be idle. that goes with chores, as it were. And a verse about loving one another and respecting parents. for attitudes and acts of the heart. I can give you more if you would like. If at the end of the day he has a certain amount of points, he can watch a show, or stay up 15 minutes, and get a special story, or what ever privledge he has earned. lower levels get lower privledges. earlier bedtimes. no tv, no toys what ever. It makes it cut and dry. No fighting between parents. No yelling at the kids. No disagreements. He gets what he has earned. What is great, is that if he has bad days. He starts new the next day. GRACE. Just like our Lord is with us. Forgiven, and new beginnings. It has worked real well with us. especially as they get older.Biggest benefit, is mom and dad work together as a team and there is a note on the level system about dividing parents. causing an instant zero for the day. I hope this makes some sense.

Annie said...

As much as I would like to say that it's just as simple as someone telling you how to make this work, but like life itself...it's not that easy. The difference in opinions on how to raise Jonathan was ultimately the demise of my parents marriage. Not encouraging, I know, but just know that if you don't agree now...or find a way to agree...it doesn't get better...it gets worse the older your child gets. Might I suggest finding something you do agree on and growing from there. Couples counseling or family church groups might help too...it might help you see things from your husbands point of view and he from yours. Just don't give up hope my dearest Bethany...there's common ground there somewhere...you just have to both agree that it needs to be discovered.

Rachel said...

Praying for you guys. We're no perfect parents, but we do try to never disagree with parenting in front of the kids, but talk behind closed doors. This way the kids respect us both. I think it's good to talk to some older and wiser couples. I know BCC has Agape counseling, or can you think of a couple you would like to talk to that you think would give you some good advice?

Jessica Morris said...

I agree with those who have already said it's not a simple solution...
We do like Rachel - we've committed to not argue about it in front of the kids.
In our case *I* am the one prone to arguing if I think it's not going the way it should. Paul's pretty laid back. So if I can't bite my tongue and move on I'll (calmly!) leave the room until I have gotten a grip on my emotions and then go back.

It isn't easy - especially at the beginning where you're forming the foundations of your parenting style. But STICK WITH IT!!! It will be so much easier to work through it all NOW than to try to back track in 10 years.

I have been loving the book Making Your Children Mind Without Losing Yours by Dr. Kevin Leman. Paul and I also listened to his book New Kid By Friday together - that was a great one to listen to together and we'd pause it every now and then to talk about it. Maybe you could check out the amazon reviews on those two books and see if one of them seems to fit your style and you could make a "date night" of listening to the book on cd and eating popcorn together or something :)

Sherri said...

Like your mom I don't want to throw an answer... especially since I am almost as new as you at this. I just have a book recommendation. A while ago we did a mom's study on the book Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp. It was so good, and challenging. There were videos, it would be great to do it as a parenting seminar, we always said we wished our husbands were with us. I'll be praying for all of you... isn't parenting harder than we ever thought?

On a happier note, Josh was so cute dancing today in church. I just enjoyed watching his 2 y/o ness. He is a good boy Bethany, and you are a good mom.

Martha said...

Okay, so I am back again...

First of all I think parents need to realize that the child they so desperately love and adore is not perfect. Our children arrive with a sin nature and a streak of selfishness that they will battle until the day they die. All the psychology in the world won't remove our self-centeredness, it needs to be disciplined and controlled.

Second, our kids come wrapped in their own blanket of talents and tendencies. (I used to dream about how my children would have perfectly clean and well organized bedrooms...) You can not make your child (or even yourself) into something God never intended him to be.

Third, God made your husband the head of the home. Like it or not, agree with him or not, that is the way it is. Fighting that fact will only prove frustrating at the least and infuriatingly hopeless at worst. If you want your marriage to survive you have to give Adam that control and pray that he will learn the lessons God has to teach him. (Ask me sometime about how hard that is...)

Fourth, stay on your knees. Prayer is seeming insignificant but yields big results. It is prayer that will soften Adam's heart and change your own. Tedd Tripp, John Rosemond, and James Dobson have lots of good advice but without prayer it is pointless and ineffective anyway.

So, there is my "little bit" of advice. And, I agree with Annie too. Find something you agree on and grow from there.

I love you.

Dad said...

Okay, here it goes. Just kiddin. I love you guys.

Rachel said...

Very wise advice from your momma!!
I still say though, that Adam should agree not to disagree with you in front of Josh. If he disagrees with you it should be out of Josh's view, or Josh will be taught to disrespect you.

Kim said...

PS. PRAY PRAY PRAY. SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES. I COULD NOT PARENT WITHOUT MY LORD AT THE HELM. WEATHER OR NOT KARL AND I AGREE, OR DISAGREE. HAVE A PLAN OR WING IT. IN THE END, WE DESIRE TO RAISE GODLY YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN. THIS CAN ONLY BE DONE, IF GOD IS IN THE CENTER, AND YOUR HUSBAND IS THE HEAD. ONLY A DAD CAN FATHER A CHILD, AND ONLY A MOTHER CAN MOTHER. EACH OF YOU BRINGS IMPORTANT THINGS TO THE REARING OF YOUR CHILDREN. BUT MAKE SURE IT IS CENTERED ON THE GOSPEL.

clw said...

http://www.paintedgold.com/Kids/wisdom-new-parents.html

Check this out! : P