Yesterday was a turning point in the rearing of my children. Of, course I have been embarrassed by them in public before, but never to this magnitude. Usually a public melt down by one or both of my kids can be contained rather quickly, but not yesterday
Done let these faces fool you. Evil lurks.
It all started with Ice cream after a carousel ride at the mall. I got Alaurie a kids cup of strawberry, and chocolate for Braden. I then cut each flavor in half and put it in the opposite cup so that each kid had a little of both flavors. Braden didn't like giving his sister any of his ice cream (even though he also got some of hers) and began to pout, as he has been doing a lot lately. He refused to eat his ice cream, so I gave it to his sister. In hind sight, I should have just thrown it in the trash, but at the time my thought process was that I didn't want to just throw money away. Braden pretty much lost it when that happened. Screaming that he wanted his ice cream. But it was too late. This pouting game has gone on for far too long, I was done with it, and giving the ice cream right back would have taught him nothing. At this point, Alaurie was being pretty good. She sat quietly eating her ice cream, but Braden was relentless. Attempting to kick out of my arms and screaming as loudly as his little lungs would allow. I couldn't subject the rest of the food court to anymore of this so I asked Alaurie to throw away the rest of the ice cream. She had already eaten hers and was half way through Bradens. She defiantly told me no. Not cool. I stood up with Braden in my arms (still screaming) and Alaurie took off running. Shit. Of course, by this point I have the full attention of everyone in the mall. Phenomenal. I catch Alaurie (not easy with a 2 yr old kicking on your hip), grab her by the arm and she flings the ice cream on the ground. I take deep breaths, trying not to lose control of myself since it's about the only thing that I do have control of at the moment. It took us no more than 3 minutes to high tail it out of there, one hand clasping the forearm of a 4 yr old and a 2 yr old still kicking from my left hip. Both were still screaming the entire way. They didn't cease screaming until half way home in the car.
This has been the straw (or tree trunk) that has broken this mule's back. My methods of parenting are changing and I will ensure that this type of crash and burn will not happen again. I never considered myself a softy when it comes to discipline, but there are definitely things that I need to change.
- No more empty threats. From now on, I will only say something once. Sometimes, perhaps I won't say anything at all. Upon the first act of insubordination they will be taken straight to time out. If the time out is protested in a dramatic way, then a spanking will occur. Yep. I spank. I was spanked as a kid, and depending on the situation, I think it yields results.
- No more treats, like carousel rides or ice cream for a very long time. They have come to expect these things and they shouldn't.
- I have to control my own temper around my kids. I inherited a bad temper and now I'm passing it on to them. So far today, the no threat immediate time out has helped me to no lose it with the kids. By sending them straight into time out, I prevent myself from being angry because they're not listening to me. It's a win, win!
These are things that I really should have been doing a long time ago. I just want my kids to learn respect and appreciate the fun things that they get to do. Hopefully they will appreciate me more after I unleash mommy dearest on them.