Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'm really too rough on my kids. Atticus isn't even 5 yet and I feel like I require too much of him. And since Shermy always wants to be with Atticus it feels like I need to treat them equally. Unfortunately, this leads to problems because they are as different as the sun and the moon. I've been thinking about my kids' futures and if I continue the same way I feel like their sweet little personalities and characters will be squelched. So I need to change but where do I begin? Do you ever feel like you've been doing something so long that you don't even know where to start? Well, today I've turned 30. It's a turning point for everyone I think. Birthday's are always a good time to ponder and think about your life. Right now my life is almost a total devotion of time and service to my husband and children. I know I can do better. Here's my main problem:

Every request I give my two older children is almost always followed by some kind of threat. Example: Run and get your pijamas on now . . . (and if they don't obey fast enough for me I add the threat) OR I won't lay down with you. The threats vary like no dessert if dinner isn't finished, or evil microbes will devour your teeth if you don't brush, or you'll have a time out if you don't stop hitting your brother.

So I'm thinking that having a threat for everything isn't healthy. I've actually known this for a long time but when I'm in a moment of desperation it just comes out. I can barely control it. I know rewarding is a more effective form of motivation. And I know children initially want to please their parents. But since the threat thing has become part of our lives, I think their desire to please us is gone. I have hope, however, that I can bring it back if I can just seal my lips and be patient after giving a request. We'll see how it goes.

Meanwhile, I'll be cleaning the chocolate cake off my walls, the mucus off the couches, and the unspeakable off the toilets in preparation for the babysitter who is coming this evening because Jonathan and I are going OUT! We'll eat some kumpir in Ortakoy, go to a movie, and then eat a real meal, according to Jonathan.



Aimee said...

Happy birthday (and Thanksgiving)! Love those kumpir...and they make a real meal, if you ask me. But hey, if hubby wants two dinners then go for it!

Sunny said...

Happy Birthday. Hope you enjoy your date! I've never heard of a kumpir, but it looks interesting.

Sarah said...

Happy Birthday! I'm sure you are a great mom, and you are certainly not alone in your parenting issues. Sounds like we parent the same. Hopefully we can both do better!

Lisa said...

Happy 30th!!! I too parent via threatening! I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one. It is definitely something I have thought about and something I am trying to work on. What I haven't come up with though is a good alternative that actually works!

Hillary said...

Happy Birthday! Sorry I'm a little late in sending my birthday wishes. I hope you had a good day!

Code Yellow said...

Happy (late) birthday!

We are peas in a pod, I'm serious. The threat thing is my biggest snafu. One thing that I have to remind myself of - over and over and over again - is, "What am I in such a hurry for?" I mean, really, how many times a week (besides the - I'll admit it - dreaded Sunday) does there need to be a time limit. I've found that slowing myself down helps immensely with my patience level and the number of threats that I issue. They generally aren't trying to be beligerent or disobedient - they just (thankfully!) don't have any sense of urgency and it's not fair to make our adult stress theirs. The other thing is to conscientiously say, "You got your shoes on right away when I asked you! Thanks so much. Now we can have more time to play at the park." Etc. Point out the positive consequences of positive behavior. At first it seems like the positive behavior never happens, but all the sudden it multiplies when they know that you notice.

And I am sooooo glad to know that I'm not the only one who cleans the house for the babysitter. You're awesome.