While we were in CO Aidan got to have another birthday party with Rob’s side of the family. One of his presents was covered in candy, and gum, which he of course loved. Right after we returned home the whole family was in the car and I turned around, to discover, not one, not two, but ALL THREE of my children had their gum outside of their mouths, and were making a huge mess of it. So, I told them there would be no gum for two weeks. The next day Rob’s parents were visiting and we all went to town. While we were there, Grandma bought them gumballs from the machine and Perry Null’s. Not wanting to wreck their treat from their Grandma who they don’t see much anymore, I didn’t say anything then, but later that night, I told them the two weeks would start over again the next day.
For the last two weeks, they (especially Aidan because he has all this birthday gum) have been patiently awaiting the day that they could have gum again. That day came yesterday, so Aidan went and got his birthday gum, and I asked him if he would share with his sisters. He was more than happy to. They came in with a pack of Trident, and a pack of Bubble Yum. I think the Bubble Yum pieces are a little big for myself, so they are especially too big for the kids. Ryan had chosen a piece of Trident, Aidan and Kaylynn had chosen the Bubble Yum. I told Aidan that if that was the kind of gum that they wanted, they needed to split one piece instead of each having a piece. Aidan, was not happy about that. So, we went a couple of rounds of arguing about the size of the piece of gum, and I was adamant that he should only have half a piece. He got angry and shoved the whole piece in his mouth.
So, now, I have to deal with direct, in my face, disobedience. The disobedience makes me sad, but what really makes me sad, is that I decide the best way to discipline him is to take his birthday gum away for another week. I could have spanked him, I could have put him in time out, but neither of these punishments have seemed to have bothered him lately. And, I feel like since those two things have not been very useful in training lately, that would be the easy way out. Just do it and get it over with, and then I don’t have to hear him cry about not having his birthday gum for another whole week. I don’t have to feel bad about taking something from him that I know he really really wants. But, if that’s what’s going to help him remember that obedience is not an option, that’s what needs to be done.
He cried to Rob, and then he came back crying to me, and I explained to him that I was very sad that he could not have his gum too, but it was a sin for him to disobey his mommy, and that he needed to be disciplined, so that every time he was wishing he had his gum, he could remember that it is always better to obey. I told him he needed to say that he was sorry, and I forgave him, and we had a nice long talk about honoring your father and mother. He doesn’t believe that I’m sorry, but I am. I know it’s true when most parents say it hurts them more than it’s hurts the child. It does hurt, I hurt for him. And, I have to stick by my guns for a week. Which is easier said than done, it would be so much easier to decide today that he’s learned his lesson, and give him his gum. Maybe he has learned his lesson, but there’s another lesson at stake here. He needs to know that what I say I’m serious about. Not even just when I’m punishing him, but when I say I forgive him. I want my word to be good, and I want my children to know that I mean what I say, and I want my actions to back up my words.
Even so, it’s a bummer, I really wanted him to be able to enjoy his birthday gum yesterday. Sometimes character training stinks 😦