|Barked: Thu Dec 8, '11 8:40am PST |
|I am at the end of my parenting rope. My children no longer listen to what I say, rarely do what they are told and frequently are disrespectful. This came to a crux today when my 6 year old son told me, as I was helping him to peel his orange, that I was a bad Mama. He wasn't upset or angry. He had not gotten in trouble. It was completely out of the blue. I handed him back his orange and told him that he could finish peeling it as bad mothers didn't do that kind of thing for their children. A 40 minute tantrum ensued followed by 10 minutes of him scrambling to eat breakfast, get dressed, brush his teeth and grab his school things. While he was eating, I made a quick phone call to my dad for emotional support for my extreme parenting move. While he was in the van he was very loving (as sometimes happens after his tantrums) and even in a good mood. When I dropped him off, I went into the school to ask them about bringing him in in his pajamas if needed and about our decision on how to handle his recent behavior.
This isn't the first time this type of behavior has occurred but my husband and I have permitted it to go on for far too long. As of yesterday, I started using a version of NILIF with my daughter, 4 years old. I asked her to do something and if she did not do it after a second request and a reasonable amount of time I would take away a toy. If she did it right away, she could earn back one of her toys (her choice). If she dawdled, she does not get a toy back and is reminded that if she does what she is told/asked, she can get her toys back. So far, it has resulted in many tears and at the end of the day yesterday she had earned back all her toys. Today, 2 hours into the day she is down 3 toys. We'll see how the day goes.
Our son has ADHD (as do I) and we are working with his doctor on his medications. The loving behavior after a tantrum is often seen in those of us with the disorder as we simply forget how angry we were. Today, due to many behavioral problems we've been having with our son, I am packing away ALL his toys. My intention with such a strong move is that he starts with a clean slate. He will not be punished for previous behavior such as this mornings tantrum. He will have household chores/responsibilities and be put on a strict schedule. He will be able to earn back his toys but the key word here is earn.
I know that we have been FAR too permissive with our children. I don't think that complete authoritarian style of parenting will be good for our family for the long run. I just want to get a grip on the continuously escalating trend of defiance and disrespect. I am hoping that at some point we will be able to find balance.
What style of parenting did you find most effective? How did you put it into effect?
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