I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older, or what, but disciplining my child takes a lot out of me. She is ten-years old and acts more like a thirteen-year old at times. I know that disciplining is a good thing and I can’t shrink from that part of my parenting job, but I sure wish I could make it easier. Easier on me and still as effective on my kiddo. Her strong-willed nature makes her buck any kind of discipline. It all turns into a drama fest, even when I’m not contributing (as in yelling back or engaging in debate). She comes from a long line of drama queens and she fully honors that legacy. Unfortunately, I tend to be more easily manipulated by my kids than some other moms.
Sometimes the crying and whining, and puppy dog eyes really get to me. Today, she told me she was “starving” while working on her math. Part of me was afraid she was going to pass out from hunger and as much as I wanted to relent, I KNEW she just had a granola bar and wasn’t going to die. So, I stood my ground. Ugh! That was just the beginning. I knew she knew the material. I confirmed with her that she knew the material, she just didn’t want to do it. So, she fiddled around. I kept telling her to get it done. A verbal tug of war was taking shape. I nipped it in the bud (or so I thought) with a time limit. That only caused the drama to accelerate. Finally, she suffered the consequence of disobedience (a wooden spoon to the seating area). Then miracle upon miracle, she finished her math in like ten minutes.
I’m not sure which wore me out more, the drama or the paddling. I’m pretty sure though, that if I had done the paddling up front there would have been much less drama. That seems to be the only thing that really works with her. I’m a wuss though. I hate spanking. It’s always a last resort for me and it probably should be the first response. “Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.” -Proverbs 13:24 NLT (http://bible.com/116/pro.13.24.nlt) I need to work on that. For now, I think I need a nap. 😴
“Epilogue”: I know that spanking is not a popular parenting tool in our culture today. Believe me, having been raised by a dad with anger issues and a wide belt I get it. I firmly believe that there is a right and wrong way to spank your child. I was well trained by a wonderful parenting class called “Growing Kids God’s Way”. My husband and I do not spank in anger. It’s all business and there is reconciliation afterward. None of our children grew up scarred from the fact that we spanked. In fact, just recently, my oldest son (22) thanked us for teaching him obedience that way. I was so shocked to hear that, that I didn’t hear much of what he said afterward. He grew up with a healthy respect for our authority and I think that is so much of what’s missing in the younger generation. They don’t know how to respect authority, or even themselves. I think that’s for a different blog though. I just want to make it clear that I do not, in any way, advocate spanking children out of anger or to the point that marks are left. ‘Nuff said for now.