Monday, November 19, 2012

The New Parenting Plan

I’ve hit my limit.  There were days and previous blogs where I only thought I reached the pinnacle of my tolerance but I was not even close. This is a pivotal moment in my career as a mom. It’s the make or break, do or die, go big or go home time.  It’s the moment where Jerry McGuire realizes he loves the Rene Zellweger. It’s when Patrick Swayze gets Baby out of the corner. It’s when Ally picks Noah. It’s when Rose let’s go of Jack. (Even after she promised to never let go. But whatev – I need to move on) both of my kids have an abundance of passion and spirit that they seemingly have no filter for or a clue how to function around other humans.  Here’s where my role comes into play.

First off, I have tried every other method from Dr. Phil and Super Nanny to the Duggar lady. Kudos to those who can make the peaceful and kind approach work for them. Nothing would be more amazeballs than being able to talk things out peacefully and distribute punishments and learn lessons from our mistakes. That’s just not how it goes down in my house. I have a 6 year old who could hold her own in a debate with Nancy Grace and a 3 year old whose screech can crack glass. Without the diagnosis that my kids have some rare form of ADHD that makes them lie, talk back, disobey and go deaf when I speak, than medicating their symptoms is not an option for me.  (But medicating me is still on the back burner and has not been ruled out yet)

The Game Plan. I’m writing this blog to hold myself accountable as well for anyone who might possibly see my kid’s butt cheeks in the next two months. I anticipate it will take approximately 2-3 months for the new plan to be the new normal.  I’m prepared to go longer if needed.

Introducing – The Bad Decision Paddle. One side has an L and the other has a K. Each time I am forced to use this they will make a notch on it with a sharpie before the punishment is distributed so they will have a visual reminder of how many times they made bad choices.

Step 1: Warnings are over-rated and will no longer be distributed. When I ask them to do something, stop something or to continue something, that will be their “warning.” If they don’t comply with my instructions then the BDP (Bad Decision Paddle) will be utilized.
Step 2: Sibling rivalry and arguing will be disciplined equally. Both children will be sent to separate time out locations. I no longer (nor did I ever) care who started it or whose fault it is. Assigning blame is not the objective. If they decide they are incapable of getting along in the same room, they will be secluded until they decide being nice is more important that being right.  

Step 3: NO is now considered a cuss word and will be removed from their vocabulary. At some point in their short existence on earth they were given the misconception that they have earned the right to use the word NO. This is a privilege they will receive when they turn 18 and get out of my house. Until then, they don’t have an option to tell me NO unless it is the correct answer to a question. It is not to be used in response to an order I or any other adult has given them.

Step 4: TV is a privilege not a rite of passage. Kids these days (yes I just used that term. I’m officially old) have such a bogus sense of entitlement to stuff. Whatever happened to earning things? They will now earn the benefits of watching TV when they submit to steps listed above. Rumor has it children can survive without the television being on so we are going to test that premise. It will become rare luxury they aim to obtain.  
Step 5: Kindness > hatefulness. It is no surprise that much of what leaves Kylee’s mouth has a bit of a sassy twist to it. Most of the time it isn’t what she is saying, it is how she is saying it. Kindness will be displayed. Period. End of discussion.  

Step 6: Lies = BDP, early bedtime. This isn’t an issue with Logan yet. However I find myself catching Kylee in little white lies daily. Therefore, if TV privileges have been earned at the time of the lie, they will be revoked.  

These steps are in no particular order. The gist of my new parenting method is, obey or be punished. So simple. My kids are extremely smart. They know exactly what I expect from them and they have a choice to comply and be happy or disobey and be unhappy (and maybe a little bit bruised) But I’ve decided that I am going to live a happy, stress free (or as close to stress free as possible) life. Kids can be a joyous addition to that type of life if they choose to be. But I refuse to spend their entire childhood frazzled with high blood pressure.

My kids are with me the majority of the time so I assume the responsibility of implementing this new militant approach. I’m hoping when I share my new game plan with the Ex-Man he will be more than in agreement with it, but will take an active role in helping me execute it. Because the kids are with me most, the role of jury and executioner falls on my shoulders more often than it will on him. Being their friend is just not an option for me right now. This will be uncomfortable adjustment for all of us. We will each have to change our mindset, our actions and our hearts to see positive results.

I believe what the scripture says. Proverbs 13:24 says whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

As a single mom, we are required to be stronger than we feel and tougher than we look. Prayers are needed.