Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Discipline

Discipline is something I struggle with but also feel I'm really good at.
I believe that parenting is the single most important job I will ever have in my life. Yes, I do put that kind of pressure on myself. Our children are a gift, a blessing, truly precious. I know I'm going to screw them up... but I want to screw them up as little as possible.
I like to read books. Parenting books. I don't follow any one particular method or book. I've read many and agree with some and disagree with others. I think you have to find what suits your style, your child's needs, and fits in with the overall feel of your home and your family.
The books I always recommend are The Discipline Book by Dr Sears, The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block by Dr Harvey Karp, The No-Cry Discipline Solution by Elizabeth Pantley, and most any of the books written by Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman.
Haller and Moorman have started a movement called Uncommon Parenting.
There are lots of "types" parenting... mainstream, classic, attachment, gentle, purposeful, etc.
I don't think you need a label for your parenting style. But again... this is the most important job I will ever have in my life. The way I raise my children, the way I treat my children, the things I expose them to, the type of home they are raised in... has major impact on who they become.
So I read and learn and seek ideas and input. I try to be as involved as I can in parenting.
And I struggle.
Lately, it seems I struggle a lot. I feel like I don't have any patience when I come home in the evenings. Trying to get dinner ready, calm my crabby, hungry children, give attention to my husband, seeing the piled up dishes in the sink, the piles of laundry that need to be put away, the toys strewn around the living room... it quickly becomes too much. I sometimes feel like I just want to shut down. If I had my druthers, we wouldn't need food or a nice yard or a clean house and I could just come home and play and read and sing. Or we could afford to pay someone to come and handle all the responsibilities for us. But that would also go against the way I intend to raise my kids- personal responsibility and all that.
I've been too easily overwhelmed lately. Too quick to snap. Too quick to lessen my children because I'm the one having a problem.
And when I feel this way... it's often the ideal time to turn to my books. Reconnect with my ideals, my purpose.
So I'm cracking open my copy of The Only Three Discipline Strategies You Will Ever Need by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller. And my copy of The 10 Commitments: Parenting with Purpose (same authors). And even going back and rereading some of the early days from The Love Dare.
I want to feel like myself again. I want to feel plugged in with Jeff, connected to my kids. My home isn't unhappy... but I feel like not taking action now will take us there.
I know that part of it is that my kids are changing, their needs are changing. The energy level is higher, the needs are higher, the demands are higher. I have to adjust to it. I have to meet them where they are rather than expecting them to meet me where I want to be.
I know many of my readers have grown children- and I seek your wisdom and advice. Chime in with your thoughts on those adjustments, those changes, and connectivity.
Many of my readers are parents of young children- and I invite you to share your own struggles and your own ways of reconnecting, getting energized again.
And a giveaway...
I'd like to send someone a copy of The Only Three Discipline Strategies You Will Ever Need. Keep it for yourself, give it to someone else.

The rules...

For the next few days, I'm going to immerse the blog in parenting. I'm going to review and cover my rereads of the 2 Moorman/Haller books. Starting today, every comment you leave that is relevant to the subject matter will count as an entry. If you blog about what I'm doing and share the link here, another entry. No limit on entries- but comments have to be relevant or share links to relevant posts. So spread the word, make suggestions, journey with me. Or don't. I'm gonna do this anyway. I'm just stubborn like that.

13 comments:

Tom said...

Looking forward to reading more about this. Discipline is one thing about parenting that always makes me cringe, is not something that can or should be avoided, invariably comes up every day, and usually leaves me feeling drained and sorrowful.

This is a topic I will be watching very closely.

Jim and Garret said...

Uhhhhhhh, mmmmmmmmm.

Janet, The Organizing Genie said...

I am an Indy Mom, Professional Organizer and author of "Mom, Can I Help Around the House" & "Home Organization Secrets for Busy Moms"

I'd like to also suggest the book I wrote on home organization and teaching children to be an active part of maintaining the home - this requires discipline from the parents to keep the routine going and teaching kids critical life skills for today and the future.

Learn more: http://www.TheOrganizingGenie.com/downloadable-e-books

and

http://www.KidsandChores.net

Janet, The Organizing Genie

Mary Ellen said...

I am certainly not one to be telling other people how to raise their kids. I am of the belief that there are zillions of kinds of parenting that can all produce wonderful adults - I know this because I've met so many awesome people with an amazing array of stories about how they were raised.

However, I had (still have) a couple of basic tenets which I will share with you. I wanted to live in a peaceful home, and so I did. I did not tolerate fighting or meanness in any way, and anybody who did not want to abide by this rule had to go somewhere else and be alone. This included meanness to each other, to parents, to animals or to friends.

The other thing that I really believe in is the law of natural consequences. Rather than fight to get them to wear their coat, I would suggest that they would be cold without it, and if they chose not to wear it, well, they were cold. I once took one of my kids to preschool in his pj's, which was a bit embarassing to him. He never gave me a hard time about getting dressed again.

Some of my kids' friends thought I was kind of a strict mom, but my kids had chores and showed respect for others - and they still like me. Sometimes I think the biggest gift you can give your children is to teach them that they are NOT the center of the universe.

That's my two cents. Obviously, you are doing a terrific job as a parent. I can tell just from reading your blog, and I bet your kids are going to be terrific adults!

Alix said...

You mean letting my son grow weed in the attic with a "high" intensity lamp was a no-no?

Damn.

Jim and Garret said...

ROFLMAO at Alix!

Jackie E. said...

It sounds as if you are just a little overwhelmed right now and I'm sure all parents go through this at some point. I think this would be a good time to a)exhale b) prioritize c) don't sweat the small stuff and d) get some "me" time, even if it's only for 15 minutes every day. Whether it be taking a bath, listening to your favorite 3 songs for the day on ipod or going for a short stroll, I think you need to try to regain a little bit of yourself again, however you can.

And when all else fails, stick your fingers in your ears and close your eyes and just say "la la la la la la".......:-)

Heather said...

I'm totally not a parent, but the thought of discipline scares the crap out of me, so I am definitely going to be paying close attention to your entries-- Teach me!

Joanie M said...

I saw on Garret's blog that you are fomr a long line of PA coal miners. Me too! My grandfathers were coal miners. Thank goodness my mom moved to Philly after high school and my dad moved there after WW II when he married my mom, or I'd probably be a coal miner's daughter. My parents are from Frackville and Mahanoy Plane!

Lisa said...

Thanks for this, Liz. I'm struggling a lot now too. I'm going to get this book.

C. Beth said...

I already want to get this book. Getting it for free would be FANTASTIC!! With a strong-willed 3-year-old I need some better strategies, and this sounds simple, which is a huge plus.

Amy said...

I've been in shut down mode myself lately. And my house and my kids are showing the signs of neglect. The kids are crabby and fighting. The house is, well let's just say I wouldn't invite a camera crew over. I'm looking forward to summer when things can be a little more relaxed -- though I'm not sure how much more relaxed it can get around here.

Kristi said...

Oh my girls are so getting on my nerves lately. I love them to pieces, but whenever they are together they fight and I have thought about every possible thing I can do to help. I know spatting is a normal sibling thing but I can only handle so much before I snap and find myself yelling at them to stop. Which just makes us all miserable. I will be looking forward to what you learn from these books and share with us. I just may have to get a copy of these myself!