Sometimes I think I spend 90% of the time I have with my kids, nagging. Some rather silly extracts of the same as follows:
-Pick up your clothes from the floor! I am not going to be cleaning up after you, that’s your job! (But I will gladly spend the rest of my life reminding you of it…)
-If you don’t put the cork back on the pens, they will dry out and then you will not have any more pens!
-The way you are throwing that iPad left and right, it will break! And don’t think for a second that I will buy another one (by saying that I am basically saying that buying another one was an option to begin with)
-You are spreading that Lego here and there, we are losing pieces every day, these things cost money! (As if you must take care of things because they cost money…urgh so bad, Anna)
-Eat your food, you took that portion yourself, now you have to finish it. Otherwise you won’t grow bigger and stronger! (Ever heard of any child who stayed a child because he/she didn’t finish their food?)
The worst part of the nagging is how BORING it is to do it!
The little time you have with the kids should be “quality time”, but what does that mean? That we should constantly be smiling, laughing, dancing and singing, like we are all a part of some pampers commercial? That’s not realistic though. Not if you want to raise fairly functioning, balanced and happy individuals. Is not discipline and some kind of general sense of what’s right and wrong required to mold a healthy young person and later adult? Sometimes I think perhaps one should try it the other way; let them be, let them do, and then let them see the consequences and learn from that. But, then what is our function as parents? Aren’t we supposed to be there to prepare them and equip them with the right frame of mind so that they can avoid the usual pitfalls life will put before them?
The other thing I do a lot nowadays with my eldest are threats. If he doesn’t eat his food, he can’t go to the playground. If he doesn’t clean up after he has basically showered the entire bathroom (instead of just the shower-cubicle itself) then he can forget about watching Ninja Turtles during the weekend and so on. Threats, threats and threats again. Or perhaps we should rather call them consequences. I must admit, they do work, so far. He takes it serious, as once or twice I have had to make real on those threats, tough love. He gets it, but I am lucky that he does, I know on some children, threats have little to no effect. I don’t know what I would do, if that was the case, I am sure some rather primitive instincts would come upon me. Motherhood is truly a testament of your patience, and losing control most definitely means failure. Outside of the house, my eldest is such an angel and other parents always compliment him on how helpful, calm and courteous he is. And that makes me think I am doing something right. Kids should indeed stretch the boundaries at home, they should try out new language and behaviors in the safety of the four walls of your house, so that once they step out, they know what is acceptable and what is not. But it is hard.
I try nowadays not to apply any emotion to the situation, in order to avoid raising my voice too early. I simply ask him to do what he needs to do and when he doesn’t I calmly explain the consequence (or the threat) and then I move on with my day. It saves me the added stress and strips him off the opportunity to argue or talk back. Oh, that talking back, and the whiny voice when they don’t get what they want. Lol, I remember my mom saying: “Whatever you do, don’t give me that whiny voice!” And today, I totally and utterly understand her, there is nothing more annoying than that high pitch whiny I-want-that-yellow-lollypop type of voice.
Ok, enough ranting about the hardship of disciplining your children, I should say that mine are awfully cool and so far they do listen to what we are telling them, I just hope it will stay that way!