How often do you wake up like Mary Poppins but go to bed as Cruella de Vil?
Do you find disciplining your children difficult?
The funny thing about discipline is you only really notice it when it’s not there.
As a former Deputy Head and teacher for 22 years I saw loads of perfectly well behaved kids – who I had been teaching all day – run out into the playground to meet their parents and turn into the children from Hell – horrible out of control monsters – whining, moaning, demanding and running wild while their confused and baffled parents look on helplessly wondering what to do or say to reign them in.
We all know parents, friends and even family who are out of control. You know – the kids you dread to see at the front door because they whine all afternoon, beat up your cat or your kids and demand “juice” all the time. Or you’ll know the parents who let their kids stay up all night on Playstation or Facebook chatting and talking, allow them to come home at all hours and allow them alco pops or beer in their garden at BBQ’s and they are only 14 !
But getting co-operation from kids has never been easy – it’s always been a problem since time began. But how come some parents have got it “sorted” “sussed” or “mastered” – What’s their magic formulae? What are these parents doing “right?”
Well, parents who are successfully disciplining their kids do it for one simple reason:
It makes life with children easier. 🙂
Disciplining your kids – fairly, and firmly makes your life easier and more rewarding – it makes your life and theirs run smoother in the long run. Taking the long term view is crucial to successful parenting whether it is in deciding the destination of your parenting in the first place or setting boundaries and having rules – giving kids discipline is vital and is next to unconditional love in my opinion.
Giving in to kids doesn’t make your life easier – it sends out the message that you don’t care enough about your own principles or care enough about them to set them boundaries of love.
By not setting clear, concise boundaries everyone’s life is more chaotic, stressful and insecure – as no one knows exactly where they are.
I remember when I was in Teaching Training College many years ago and I saw a cartoon with some sheep in a field – it was a great analogy for kids about discipline and it has stayed with me ever since and I hope you’ll find it helpful and though provoking.
Imagine you are a sheep in a field with a really tight pen – where the boundary fence is too close to you and you feel hemmed in and smothered – imagine how you feel.
Now imagine you are a sheep in a vast field where there are no boundaries at all around you – there is no sense of security from danger and you feel no one protecting you and keeping you safe or even caring about what happens to you. You are frightened and out of control.
Imagine how that must feel.
And finally imagine you are a sheep in a pen where you can walk around, make decisions for yourself sometimes but can’t stray too far. You have a flexible but sturdy fence around you that moves a little bit further out as you get older, more mature and independent. It isn’t too close for comfort to you and it allows you to bounce against it sometimes to test out it’s strength but it stands firm and solid protecting you and always having your best interest at heart because it loves you. It makes you feel safe, nurtured, loved and respected.
Imagine how that would feel.
So – which field would you rather be in?
What sort of fence are you creating for your kids at the moment?
Stop and just pause to ponder for a moment and imagine you are stepping into the shoes and socks of each of your children.
What do you see?
What do you hear?
What do you feel?
What have you learnt about yourself as a parent from doing that exercise?
Well this blog is not about beating yourself up or feeling a lousy parent – in fact it’s about the very opposite – it’s about building up your confidence, developing your skills and being brave enough to try new things.
So what small changes could you make this week or do differently this week if you discover you don’t like what you’re currently doing?
Be more assertive, speak in a firmer tone, or look serious when you are telling your kids off?
Just relax that’s right and go over in your mind some small change you could make this week that would feel comfortable to make but will make a real difference in your discipline.
If you would like more of my practical ideas download my Secret To Well –Behaved Workbook and CD TOOLKIT is all about giving you some simple tools that make disciplining your kids easier and all about using methods that work quickly and effectively. It’s about solutions so you can all get on with business of living your lives in more harmony able to have more fun and relax and enjoy your family life.
or download my Secrets To Well Behaved Kids app on your iphone.