Most people who read my blog know a few thing about me - I love my family more than anything. I am addicted to shopping. I have a love/hate relationship with carbs. And I can't say no to my children.
Yes, I have a problem with discipline. It's not that I don't say the word no. I say 'no' all the time. Every day, in fact. My children know that word well. They are just not sure what to do with it.
And I'm not sure either, to be honest.
How many times do I say no before giving up? About two times. Which lasts a total of five seconds.
Typical situation? I see my 2 year old grab another piece of chocolate to eat.
I say: "Dimitry, no more chocolate. You already had enough today. Give that to mommy."
His big bright eyes look up at me. He smiles.
"No more chocolate. I mean it!" I say, in a firm 'I mean it' tone.
Smile. Then the pitter-patter of little feet, walking away from me.
I sigh. And empty the dishwasher.
I can't lay down the law in my house. I am not the boss. I am ruled by a 4 year old and a 2 year old.
Luckily, my children do listen to my husband. And I now find myself in the position of saying: "If you two don't stop fighting, I'm calling daddy!" Because they won't listen to me! In all fairness, yes, sometimes, they do listen to me. And for the most part, they are well behaved children. But kids will be kids, right?
I give in too easily, I know. I can't handle seeing them upset, or crying, or throwing a temper tantrum.
Especially in public. Good God. That is embarrassing, isn't it? I'm sure you've all been there - trying to pick up you crying toddler, who has perfected arching his back so it makes lifting him nearly impossible - and the tears! The drama! How can I deal with that calmly? I can't.
If my toddler wants another book, I will buy him another book. I know this is a bad habit, and one I must try to change. But it's really hard for me to say no. Mostly because I hate seeing my children upset. And because it is easier to take the easy way out in situations like that.
Sometimes, though, a child just wants to play, or do something that you know will only equal more work for you later on. This is when I think saying 'no' is not fair to the child. For instance, if my child wants to play in the kitchen sink, 'washing' dishes - it means I have to stand beside him, supervising. I will always say 'yes' because it brings my child pleasure. I think sometimes saying 'no' is also the easy way out for the parent.
Of course, each situation and each child is different - and no one method of parenting is 'perfect'. I understand that I need to be more firm and set more rules for my children. For their benefit, and for my own.
What are your tricks - how do you say 'no' to your children?