Thursday, May 1, 2008

The trials of being a parent....


Wow....it's not even 9am yet and I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. I made M's lunch for school...and turn around to find J (the 2 yr old) and Ruthie (our dog) sitting under the dining room table...eating it! AACK!

Then my kids just get so mouthy with me. I feel so disrespected. Of course, they don't swear or anything like that. It isn't that bad...but they say things like "this is stupid" or "i hate that" etc etc. Yesterday...while grocery shopping, J was sitting in the seat of the cart and kept kicking me in the stomach. (not meanly and hard...but still kicking nonethe less) When I told him to stop...he thinks it is funny and continues. He was grabbing things off shelves and just really being a stinker. I know kids are kids...but it is just so exhausting. And I just don't know how to correctly discipline in public.

I think the thing that upsets me most is that I know that it is my parenting skills that must be the problem. But I don't understand why. I discipline. I give my kids attention and love. I know I am not a perfect parent...but I do try to be the best Godly mother that I can be.
I don't speak to them in disrespectful way...so I don't understand why they do that to me. I know they are just kids...and they aren't horrible....by any means. But I know the way they speak to me and each other is not appropriate. I just feel that I am not doing well as a parent. Advice? Suggestions?

16 comments:

  1. Oh Katy, we've all been there, even at my kids ages, 17, 14 and 10,there are days when I could just crawl in a corner and cry. I love each of my children dearly and treat them with respect, don't get me wrong, they are fabulous kids, but I feel like I am being taken for granted and some days I just hate when that school bus arrives (not being horrible) I just feel like "oh no, the bickering starts" or "the "can I have this, can you buy me that" starts and honestly, some days I am just not up for it.
    As for you, I know you're a good mom and I'm sure your kids are very normal,wonderful kids, but like every other kid....they do things that we scratch our heads over. I have not been any help...I guess because I'm feeling much the same today, and I'm tired and cranky!
    Here's a ((hug)), that's the best I can do today! LOL
    Take care
    Marion
    (who did not mean to write a book here!)

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  2. Oh my gosh,I know exactly what your going through!!I am just about the worst one to be giving advice in this area!I have three stinkers myself.The best advice I can give you is to read Shepherding A Childs Hear,by Ted Tripp.The pastor of our church is the author.He has done classes worldwide reguarding this book.He even met with Kirk Cameron last summer.I think it might help you and I know you love to read.

    As far as you feeling like you are not a good mother,don`t feel that way Katy!! It`s sin that dwells within our children that causes the bad behavior and harsh words,not you!Plus it`s the age,and the fact that he`s a boy.Boys are more wild than girls,I think.
    Try to find this book on Amazon.If you can`t find it,let me know and I can get you a copy!!have a blessed day!!

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  3. By the way it`s Shepherding A Childs Heart.I noticed there was a typo!!

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  4. probably doesn't help that their whole childhood.. they've heard the rest of us talking to each other saying "that's so stupid".. or "i hate doing that"... even if we don't mean it in a certain way - they've just picked it up. its not just you... its everyone they've been around their whole lives so far.

    i'll try to be at your place around 6 - does that work?

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  5. Oh dear Katy, don't be so hard on yourself, all kids go through it, testing the waters, they too don't know how to handle themselves at times and it's just easy for them to act up like that. I've raised 5 kids so I know what your going through, just hang in there, demand respect no matter what so they know how to treat others, and pray for patience. It does get better, the best gift we can give them is roots and wings! Hugs!!

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  6. We've all had those days. Yesterday, my 4 year old, was throwing himself on the ground when he didn't get his way. Where did that come from???
    Just continue being the great mother you are. I hope the rest of your day is a better one. :)

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  7. Katy,

    Parenting is very hard. You asked for suggestions so I will give you mine. If I were you, the next time that one of the children does that in the grocery store, I would immediately leave the store with the children (just leave the food in the cart), take them home, and spank whoever was being naughty. Not spank in anger but as a discipline. I would explain to the child why he/she is being spank and that behavior is not acceptable ever. I would tell the child I love him/her. I would not let them do as they please just because they are in public. I'm afraid if you do not nip this in the bud, it will only get worse.

    I know some people think spanking is wrong. I never had to spank my children more than a few times ever.

    If their attitudes are bad or if they are disrespectful to you in how they speak to you, I would take away their privileges (ie tv, games) for the day and explain why you are doing so. In addition, if they children are old enough, you could have them write a paper about why it is bad to speak to parents that way or a paper about how they should speak to parents. Something along that line.

    Remain consistent or else you will lose the battle.

    Sorry if that sounds harsh. I don't mean it to. You can do all of the above in love.

    Gina

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  8. I personally put my children in time out wherever we are if need be. I will not leave the store because of their actions. (they will learn that if THEY want to leave, then all they have to do is act up!) I have put my kids in time out in the middle of the grocery store/mall/bookstore and they were so mortified each time (it only took a few times for them to realize that I was serious)that now all I have to do is give a warning and they straighten up. Also, our "smart discipline" plan where they have 3 strikes before losing privileges has worked wonders! I have blogged about how that works....

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  9. BTW, hang in there.....you are a fabulous mom and all kids go through testing what they can get away with. It is especially important that they realize that they can't disrespect you and that Chris really stands up for you and says that they can't disrespect you. Maybe once he is home, he is the one that needs to call them out on it as well to really drive it home.

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  10. Dearest Katy, keep on keepin' on! Like everyone else had said, just keep being consistent and pray, pray, pray! Parenthood is hard, but we're all in the same boat together!

    Hugs to you,
    Love, Tina :)

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  11. Stay the course, Katy. I'm certain that you are a fabulous mom. Sometimes kids just feel the need to drive us bonkers. Keep teaching them by example and hang on when you're just having "one of those days". We've all been there before and we'll be there again. Honey, you're in good company!

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  12. You're not alone, Katy! All parents have trying days. Our kiddos like to test us and see what, if anything, they can get away with. You just have to stand your ground and be consistant. You are not messing up as a parent...it's nothing you are doing wrong! Wrong would be letting them continue to do it and not saying anything!

    Aften decided to throw a fit tonight at Shane's ball game at the end. I took her to the car....carried her to the car because she refused to walk. The whole time she was yelling, "No!" at me. I got her to the car and the brat ran from me, so I had to chase after her and get her in the car, where she proceeded to yell some more! Af turned 5 on the 17th. We have NEVER left her get her way but she still does this stuff. She still tries. My Gran told me that other day that she hated to tell me so but she reminds her so much of my mother. I realized that, too. Mom still wants things done her way! LOL I hope we can get through to her better than my Gran and Pap did with my Mom!

    Hugs!

    Leslie

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  13. I just wanted to cry out the same thing! Maybe I'll just copy and paste your blog post, *lol*

    I know it's the same everywhere. Heck, I've been a kindergarten teacher and all of THOSE were like that.

    But now that I'm a mom (plus a former teacher who knows how discipline should be done!) I too feel overwhelmed a lot of the time.

    I'll just find hope in the advice of the older moms: This too shall pass! ;)

    Greetings from the netherlands!

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  14. I am loathe to give parenting advice - but I will tell you this - Daniel and I read a few books before I was even pregnant for Eve, and they really helped to shape our parenting style.
    The first one is "Boundaries with Kids" by Cloud and Townsend, the second was "Raising Great Kids" same authors, and the third is " How to make kids mind without losing yours" by Dr. Kevin Leman. Perhaps one of those books might help. :)

    I just know you are a wonderful mother! It's hard to see that sometimes because we tend to concentrate only on our failures. I fail so much I feel as though I am constantly asking for forgiveness from my kids and God.
    God gave you those children because you are the BEST mother for them. Chin up girl - pray for wisdom and He'll give it to you abundantly!!

    -Andrea

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  15. Hey Katy, I was just feeling the same away about my Colton just yesterday. Even after successfully raising my two older boys to be fine young gentlemen, I found myself questioning what do with him yesterday. Do I need to be more firm? Do I need to be more loving? I think that Mom's who love their children often question themselves during those difficult times.

    There are two great books that I have found most useful in my parenting. Toni has already mentioned the first and very best for me "Shepherding A Child's Heart" by Ted Tripp. Excellent book! It really touched my heart and, for me, had the right balance of love and discipline.

    The other is "To Train Up a Child" by Michael Pearl. This book focuses on "training" to eliminate the need for constant discipline.

    Both are written from a biblical perspective.

    I would suggest that if you're having difficulty taking them to a store for example because of "acting up" ~ make trips to the store with the sole purpose of child training. No shopping. No browsing. Walk the aisles and focus on training them to obedience. Choose a day that is not "Senior Citizen Discount Day" or Friday when the store is full. But a quiet day where you can really focus on training. Practice sessions do work for me.

    If you would like to retrain their speech habits, make it a game. You might say, "Instead of saying "I hate this" lets say "I don't like this Mom". Then give points every time they self correct or are successful. Points that can be redeemed for a special video or video game.

    Well here I go writing another novel! LOL Just wanted to share some things that have worked for me.

    Did you get the tape I sent you? I was in a hurry so I sure hope I put the correct address on it.

    Smiles,
    Lea

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  16. Hello 'again'. Okay, you 'ask' for advice, so I can give it freely now, not the unsolicited kind that I left on other posts. :)

    My 5 favorite child training books are "Don't Make Me Count to Three" by Ginger Plowman, "To Train Up A Child" and the 3 companion books, "No Greater Joy, Volumes 1,2 & 3) all by Michael Pearl.

    Consistency, consistency, consistency is positively absolute.

    Know that there is a distiction (
    A HUGE one)between 'training' a child and 'disciplining' a child. Do NOT expect to 'train' them with 'discipline.'

    Any age child who back talks me or says inapproprate things, I simply explain in a kind but firm voice to them that that doesn't sound very nice (or correct or appropriate or right, etc) coming out the mouth of a handsome or strong or leader(or whatever age appropriate word you choose) boy or a sweet or darling or leader(or whatever age appropriate word you choose)girl, and then I have 'sometimes' will explain why. Next, I tell them in as few words as possible what they 'should' have said and 'how' they 'should' have said it. THEN, I ask them to repeat it back to me. Sometimes, they need to repeat it back to me 2 or 3 times. A young child that would refuse to repeat it back to me (remember, you have been very kind, but firm so far) I would spank them for disobedience. The first part is training. The second part (if you had to spank) is discipline. Once they've repeated it back to me nicely, I 'praise, praise, praise' them!!! and ask them if they can see / hear the difference. If the child is old enough the discussion can go further, such as do you see that a speaking kindly to others makes everything more harmonious, and everyone more cheerful? Remind them that God tells us to be cheerful in all we do. Remind them that God says a soft answer turns away wrath, etc. God will give you the approprite verses. "Proverbs for Parenting" is an excellent book! :)

    A child who would kick me while in a shopping cart or grab things off of shelves or out of the basket, I consistenly train. It is really simple. Mom (Any adult) gets mad after you've repeatedly told a child to stop and they don't. That's a fact. Everyone's patience runs out at some point. That's when people begin 'disciplining' in anger out of frustration and exasperation. Do not get angry or frustrated or put out, etc. With the VERY first kick, smile at your child, while 'firmly' saying "NO" or "No kick" or "No kicking" or "Mommy said no" or "You must obey mommy," etc., while AT THE SAME TIME, 'flick' the leg they kicked you with hard enough to grab their attention with your finger. They'll probably try it almost immediately again. Repeat what I just wrote and don't forget to smile, but remain firm and consistent. The same thing goes for a child grabbing things off of the shelves or out of the shopping cart. Smile, and at the same time say "no" and flick their offending hand hard enough to get their attention. After about 3 to 5 times of this they may begin 'really' testing you, as in 'slowly' reaching for the forbidden item or slowly extending their leg / foot toward you. This next part is KEY...The second you see them 'slowly' doing this (notice they are watching you like a hawk this time to see what you will do) be 'quick' to smile, flick and say, "no." Don't forget that once they've obeyed you, to gush all over them telling them how proud you are of them for obeying mommy!!! Be sure to comment to the grocery store checker or someone in the store that you know and run into what a big boy or girl and wonderfully obedient child they have been (Only do this if they have obeyed you when corrected). The point of this is to brag on your kids 'good points' in 'front' of your kids, in their hearing! They will jump through hoops to please you after a few times of this.

    Keep on having fun with your kids. :)

    I have to put a plug in for my web-site now. :) You can order books from the Christian Book Distributor's link on my web-site, http://www.abundantlivingandgift.com

    By the way... You ARE a good mom!!! :)

    Many blessings Katy!!! :)

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I am always so grateful to read your comments! I thank you for the time you took to visit and share your thoughts with me. :o)
May you enter as a stranger and leave as a friend!
Warmly, Katy