Monday, October 20, 2008

Tough Love...for both of us

Tonight was really hard for me. With La turning 5 next week I've set my mind on giving her "real" punishment when she acts up especially in school. At the beginning of the school year I laid down the rules and swore to stay consistent.

A few months into the school year and she's been doing great. There have been 1 or 2 "pink" cards but a long stretch of "green". I figured she has matured alot and we were going to have a good year. La is a really good girl but I know with her if I give her an inch she'll take a mile.

All last year she got mostly "green" but surely had her share of "pinks" but never "blue" or "yellow". She hasn't had anything worse than "pink" this year either. Until today.

I came home from work and she met me at the door with the news. She got....a....BLUE card today. WTH! I couldn't believe it. My baby had never had to be warned more than a few times but never lost recess time. I didn't know what to do. I have a really hard time disciplining her because she's mah baby!

Today was different. I knew I had let it slide too many times and she was testing the water. I was invited to my girlfriends house for dinner where me and La frequent. She loves playing with her kids and asks everyday to go there. Originally I had planned to grab La and run over for dinner before I went grocery shopping. But once I got word of her behavior of the day I knew I had to make it known that I mean business.

I explained to her that I wasn't going to reward her for bad behavior and I left. Yup, mom that never goes anywhere but work and the gym without her sidekick left her home with dad. She couldn't believe it and fell out crying. I almost cried myself and had to close the door behind me before I gave in. I don't know if anyone else understands but I have such a connection with my baby and when she's upset if physically pains me. To have her crying out for me was excruciating. I had a good dinner and talked it out with my friend who gave me lots of encouragement.

When I got home, she was sitting on the floor and her eyes were swollen. She came to me and we talked some more. She cried and cried and cried and I cried with her and I explained that I love her but I want her to grow up following the rules and to be a good honest person. I know she young and it may be hard to understand now but if I don't start while she's young I'm afraid she'll be a spoiled brat and I want her to be spoiled, but within reason.

Maybe I'm going about it all wrong. Once again, I'm new at this. It's like closing pinning the tail on the donkey, close your eyes and hope you hit it on the tail.


  1. You have to follow through. It will do you both some good. WAY TO GO MOM!!! The way you did it was perfect. She will remember, if not then I guess I won't get a LA hug for the day. See you soon. Good job and keep it up, she and you will thank you for it some day.

  2. Congrats .. you are passing the parent test ..

    I have 7 kids .. 3 by birth and 4 by marriage. So, I am a parent. it is my hardest most rewarding job.

    Let me preface this by telling a story about work. I worked construction as an electrician. I was in my very first position as a foreman. After two weeks, I gave my boss a list of the man in my crew in the order I wanted to keep them when layoffs began. It is a hard fact, we were working ourselves out of a job. My boss was amazed. He explained that none of the other foremen had done this. They wanted him to pick the layoff. I told him that I understood this as part of the job when he asked me to be foreman. I accepted this as well as the extra money.

    Parenthood is like that. There are parts that are harder than other parts. The joy of parenting is tempered by those. I never understood what the words my parents said to me meant (this hurts me as much as it hurts you) until I was a parent.

    Your dedication to doing the right thing will pass on to her. Good job, mom.

  3. So true about the tail on the donkey - great analogy!

    You did the right thing. No one ever told us being consistent would be easy or fun. Discipline is SO not fun for me either, but I know it's much better than dealing with a 16 year old who knows they don't have to listen and laughs in my face. I don't want to have to deal with that one day! So I follow through, so I can see my boys grow into respectful men. The reward will be well worth it! :)

  4. Hey woman you have been tagged come check it out and see...

  5. Sometimes tough love is the BEST love!!! If we don't teach them young, they will never get it!!

  6. Good job. We all know how hard it is, but I think we have also seen the kind of parents who don't ever follow through. I know I have, and their kids are not pleasant to be around. I don't want my kids to be that way!

    It's easier to just give in. But they never learn. I try to follow through, but I am sometimes weak, and they sure do exploit it when I am! :)

  7. It sounds like you did just the right thing.

    For me the easiest way to feel good about disciplining is to remember that although the child my cry or feel hurt (not physically, of course!) right now, they will learn how to behave in a way that will bring them lasting happiness, and not just bursts of pleasure mixed with too much sadness/rejection/anger.


Those laughing with me...or at me.