Today I reached the point where I finally admitted to myself (and tearily to Troy) that I’ve made some bad parenting choices of late. Choices that have come from a point of love and a desperate desire for the very best for our son, but they have been poor choices nonetheless.
In an attempt to help Lachie feel some control over this great big world he is learning to be a part of, I have come to let him think he controls it all. It has happened gradually of course. With each increasingly loud protest over cleaning teeth, or getting dressed, or eating at the table I have come to yield more frequently. And so the demands and the tantrums have escalated to the point where I either give-in or yell; neither of which are constructive outcomes.
This point of mothering, where discipline is paramount, does not come naturally to me. Despite the challenges of the newborn and infant stages, as long as I fed and held and loved Lachie then I was meeting his needs, I was doing enough. Now, his needs are so much more complex. I must teach him how to behave, I must equip him with the skills to thrive in life. And in that respect I have been failing him. It feels awful to admit but far better than continuing in denial. Because now, now we have a plan. A plan to tip the balance of control in the direction it should have always been.
What we want is not to crush his fighting spirit, but to raise a person who respects boundaries and rules even if he doesn’t agree with them, who can deal positively with the disappointment of not getting his own way, and who can make good decisions on his own. We’re playing the long-game but the end-result is too important not to win.
What’s your latest parenting challenge? How do you deal with discipline in your home?