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     There are days that I feel like I am always on the losing end of a constant battle with the kiddos. It started with time outs and escalated to taking toys now we take electronics. Then, oldest grew up. Now, we discuss consequences. However, since he is a teenager, he is never wrong...and since I am the parent I am always at fault. 
     When I became I parent, I always said I would never spank my children. I would never use phrases like "because I said so" or lie to them. I was so full of shit. My young, naive self had no idea that you do whatever it is that you need to, in order to make it through the day. There are three of them and one of me. They wear me down and then spring when they smell weakness. 

     I used to look down on moms who lied to their children. I always had this idealistic perspective that I would always be incredibly honest about everything, no matter what. That all changes the first time your seven year asks you what sex is, and won't take the basic answer. She is too smart, and knows there is much more than what you are telling her. So, you lie. You lie when your kids ask if there is anymore candy left and you are counting the minutes until bedtime, and you really want that last piece. You lie when they ask about Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and every other imaginative figure that makes them spring out of bed with glee. You lie when someone they love disappoints them. You lie to protect them. You lie to make the whining stop.
     Every day, I hear myself saying things I always swore I would never say when I was a mom. I have turned into my mother. All I can say is mom, you were right. This is by far, the hardest job, ever. I was a horrible, evil child. I am sorry. Yes, I am responsible for all of your grey hairs. On my kiddos's worst days, it is probably payback for everything I put you through. You were right. I think that should cover it. 
     The one thing I have held true on, is spanking. We don't spank the kids. Although, it would be so much easier.  There are so many times, in the middle of a debate with middle child, I ponder how quickly I could end it with a swift crack to the behind. However, that just leads to more crying and bitching, and it really gets us nowhere. So, we get creative with punishments. Typically, it is essay writing. Oldest and middle will have to write essays on particular subjects when they misbehave. It tends to be much more effective than spanking. The kids say that this form of punishment borders abuse, but I am okay with that. Then, I have them write an essay on abuse. 
     Raising kids is hard. It is so extremely difficult. I guess it would be so much easier to parent with fear, but it doesn't really help the kids. I am not saying that my way is correct, but it works for us. In reality, my kids have turned out awesome. I couldn't ask for anything more. So, I must be doing something right. 
 


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