Saturday, December 3, 2011

Learning to Discipline

I remember when Molly was a newborn. People would always tell me "don't worry, it'll get easier." Today I'm looking at those people like they are freaking crazy. Sorry new moms, I hate to break it to you, but it does NOT get easier. Does it get more fun? YES! But easier? No way. Yes, you have a lot of sleepless nights with newborns, and the dreaded "witching hour" every evening. But then they become mobile. At first it's just a roll-over and you need to make sure they aren't on anything high or near something dangerous. Then it's the crawl, and you need to keep your not-so-babyproofed-because-this-snuck-up-on-us house in order and your eyes on them all the time. Then the walking starts and they no longer want to sit or be held in public because, hey mom! I can walk! When they are newborns, man it is EASY. I watched more Grey's Anatomy than I care to admit. Now I've lost 20lbs, run around all day, and hope my kid doesn't stick her finger in a light socket, because I'm sure that like, next week, she'll be tall enough to do it.

My battle right now is with discipline. From day one, I have been very blessed to have a happy child, and she still is one. But she's starting to push it. With her grandparents and at school, she's an angel. Dad gets a bit of attitude, but mom, mom's the clear winner. I get hit. I get my hair pulled. I get my sweet lovable laughing child turned she-devil as she thrashes in my arms and her high chair. Where, I ask you, WHERE did this child come from?

It's not all the time, but often enough that I'm starting to realize a hard, cold fact - my kid is becoming a bit spoiled. Whine a little - do you want a snack? Cry really hard - oh I'll hold you and we'll sing. She's on to me.

Fundamentally, I get discipline. I was a high school teacher and you can't be a high school teacher without understanding the very fine balance between friendship and authoritarianism. I know when it is obvious she's just wailing for attention that I need to ignore her and she will stop. But it is HARD. Today, while she played me a fool while laying her head on my shoulder and patting my back just so I wouldn't put her in the exersaucer, I stood there bawling my eyes out because I am so scared of disappointing her or making her hate me. And yes, I know, this is how kids become spoiled and parents become walked on like a New York City sidewalk.

I try to remind myself that it actually is a good thing when she acts out. She has feelings. She has emotions. She's smart enough to know what's going to force a response for me. She's developing which is exactly what we want her to do. But doing what I need to do is so very hard for me.

So, fellow moms, what tips do you have? Not tips on how to handle the discipline with your child, but how to handle YOURSElF when disciplining. Do you walk into the other room and cry like I do? Do you stare into their eyes as they look at you with hatred and sing your favorite song about the Caribbean and think of margaritas? How do you handle yourself when you know you have to do what's best for your child and hardest for you?

And please, don't tell me it'll get easier. :)


  1. Lilla has always had a crazy temperament and attitude, everyone likes to tell me "just like her mom" haha! We've been starting to deal with discipline too, it's hard because most of the time she doesn't really understand what we're trying to say. We mostly just distract her from what she is doing wrong but more recently she has looked right at us and continued to do whatever is it. She has been getting a few "time outs" but we won't be spanking at all. But as for how I handle myself, it upsets me when she cries during her "time out" but I know that it's going to make her learn, eventually--I try not to get angry and always use a normal voice instead of yelling. It's hard!

    The best discipline article I've ever read was this one:

    I hope you enjoy it! :)

  2. oh my sweetie little girlfriend is growing up. It is very easy to tell someone else how to handle their child, but when it comes to your own, as you are finding out, it is much harder. Like you tell your mom, you have to be consistance. Your a great mom and I am sure with all the people you know, you will get some great advice. And Kristina, she doesn't and won't hate you. love you

  3. just wait till she's 4!! Our oldest girl is 4, and we just introduced our 2nd little girl into the mix 6 weeks ago... holy cow. Ayda loves her little sister--but she does NOT love sharing the attention. She acts out in crazy ways (screaming demands at the top of her lungs, walking by and smacking me, using surprising language, you get the picture) to push our buttons--espcially her Dad's. I Discipline the best I can, but honestly, I feel helpless! She is unfazed by my attempts. Like you, I'm reduced to tears on days--more out of frustration and the feeling of failure--but most often I step back, walk away, and come back to the situation after a few deep breaths. When I've really had enough, I simple look at my husband and say, "you're turn". :)