It’s Just Speaz

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Sometimes character training stinks. August 24, 2008

Filed under: Parenting — justspeaz @ 5:42 pm
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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 😦

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11 Responses to “Sometimes character training stinks.”

  1. Rob in Gallup Says:

    And that right here is why you are a great mom. It’s tough but important to follow through, and I’m proud of you. I think we’re both absorbing a little Marilla attitude lately, and I think it’s helpful.

  2. John T Says:

    Good Job, it’s what you have to do if you want GREAT kids.

    Love you Dad

    PS I’m glad I wasn’t there.

  3. Micah Says:

    i think the best thing i’ve read in a long time is that a mother is not afraid to spank her kids. i applaud you for not being scared of your kids. it’s a shame that so many parents (mothers, especially) are scared of a simple spanking anymore. i was swatted growing up and i turned out fine and don’t hate my parents. it was effective.

    but bigger applause for knowing right away which punishment is going to be the most effective for the situation.

    you’re a great mom!

  4. Terri Spratte Says:

    Great blog! when I was a kid the same thing regrding being disobeident happened where I would get certain things and privillges taken away for a week or so until changed my behavior. Yes I cried etc, but in the end learned that when I obey that things goes smoother and I don’t miss out on things. Great job Liesl for standing your ground and teaching a very vauleable lesson.

  5. Krista Says:

    You are a great Mom, Liesl. I hope I can stick to my guns like you once my kids are older and need to learn lessons like that.

    Krista

  6. Mom Says:

    I can tell that it hurts you just by fact that you have written about it and taken the time to examine your thoughts and feelings. You are doing a fantastic job as a Mom, Liesl. I’m with Grandad, I’m glad I wasn’t there. Ryan is sometimes quiet with her feelings and Kaylynn can produce emotion at will it seems, but Aidan wears his heart on his sleeve and therefore when you hear him cry, it is the cry of a broken heart! I’m not saying that he always cries for worthy or even real reasons, or even that it is not immature (‘course he is a little kid) but I think what he FEELS is always real. It is hard to be consistent because of exhaustion as a Mom, convenience – it’s easier to give in, mis-constructed feelings of love, ego – wanting to be liked always by the child etc. etc. I love you dearly and I am so sorry for my mistakes in parenting, but if it causes you by negative example to be a better parent, then I’ll take it along with your forgiveness. I think most parents want the best…just keep relying on the Lord and in His Word! Good job; great kids. Love, MOM

  7. Emily S Says:

    Great job girl! You would make a great teacher 🙂 Logical consequences for actions like that are going to make it stick longer for him. Keep it up!!! 😀

  8. Sgt. Turpen Says:

    I would assign a 0300 stand to, followed by push-ups with the goal of push the earth out of orbit, lastly a 2 mile run. 🙂

    Seriously, it is wierd thinking that you are an offical mother! I know it’s been several years of such but it’s just crazy for me to think about. I can remeber the days when were are having our “birthday gum” taken away. Love you!

  9. Mom Says:

    We have 3 Sgt. Turpen’s now, you know, which one might this be? Call your mother; that’s an order!

  10. Aunty Penn Says:

    Sgt. Turpen: Why didn’t I ever think of that?
    John: Ditto. Liesl obviously learned from you and your bride. You have great kids!
    Liesl: Good job. And as a veteran bubble gum chewer (and bubble blower: don’t get Granny started…), those new gum pieces are REALLY BIG. Way bigger than Bazooka or Double Bubble. You made the right call. The right calls!

  11. Katie Says:

    Stick to your gum, Liesl! Hee hee. Just kidding…

    I can’t wait to be a parent, and I truly love learning from parents like you as you train your kids with love and wisdom. I think it is an amazing task, and that you are doing a beautiful job.


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