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November 8, 2012
Yesterday reality punched me in the guts. I realized I am an “empty threat parent.”Somehow my parenting has morphed into a series of “If you do it again you’ll go to your room,” Or “Crew do you want to lose your candy today?” I shoot the evil eye and whoever I’m threatening stops whatever act of domestic terror they’re committing for about 15 seconds.
Yesterday I took both of the little boys to my oldest son’s parkore class. They were like rabid monkeys on crack by the end of the class. My evil glares and threats, that they knew were empty, did nothing. It was embarrassing to say the least and when we got to the car mama was done playing games. The unthinkable happened…. I had to follow through. There was no halloween candy after dinner and the much anticipated date with daddy scheduled for after dinner was cancelled. Ok so it doesn’t sound like much but you would have thought the end of the world was actually upon us. I had to take my youngest back to his room for a timeout not 2, not 3 but 4 times because he was screaming his guts out over the discipline. I’m sure he had no clue what was happening, usually he just has to say, “Sorry mom, I promise I’ll be nice,” and life goes on. Ughhhh!!! It’s like all at once I realized the last year of my parenting has been everything I’ve always said it wouldn’t be.
Following through sucks, you feel like a crap parent. I hate disappointing my boys but holy cow it’s like we have been doing just enough to keep the peace since the build. Busy schedules and issues with my oldest have contributed to our problem and it’s gone unnoticed because in public their usually crazy but not rude… yesterday was eye opening and the official end to my season of empty threats.
My kids don’t have to be perfect little robots… they don’t even have to be calm, but what they do HAVE to be is respectful. Me yelling disciplinary threats I know darn well I’ll never follow through with is not exactly developing character and pushing my boys in the direction of being kind and respectful.
Anyway, I know we all do it from time to time, in front of friends, or in public or when we just want 2 seconds of peace. I just hate that it snuck in and became my default parenting technique. Parenting is hard, having to follow through SUCKS, but at the end of the day I want my sweet, amazing, wonder boys to be the best they can be as they grow up. That means as much as possible, mama’s got to pull up her big girl panties and be the best she can be for them. Uggghhhhhh! Here we go, wish me luck!
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