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Parents: Who is the Disciplinarian in Your Family?

Tell us how discipline a handled in your house.

This is a pretty sensitive topic in my household lately. My husband recently took a new job which requires a lot of travel. So naturally, the kids spend even more time with me! Sometimes I feel like the luckiest person on the planet to curl up on the couch with my kids at the end of the day. Other days, I feel the stress of what a single mom must feel like with no relief in sight.

Days with a 5-year-old and 2-year-old aren’t complicated, but they are busy and stressful.

And after a long day of asking and re-asking the kids to or put away their shoes. Then there are time-outs, resulting from one hitting the other. There’s yelling because they won’t come inside for dinner. Sometimes, there is threatening, bribing, or other things that don’t put me in the running for parent of the year.

But whether you’re a single mom, or just a parent home alone a lot, you can feel lonely. You might even feel that your kids tune you out. And what it leads to is frustration.

And then what puts even more sting in your wound— walks through the door. I'm at my wits' end, and the kids go running, hugging and so happy to see him. Don’t get me wrong, I’m right behind them, grateful he’s home safe, but more importantly to give me an extra set of hands.

But because my husband travels, it’s up to me to deal with the meltdowns and misbehavior, and they’ll probably nickname me “Mean Mommy” sooner than later, as I’m the one who does the time-outs, cajoles them to eat their dinner or takes away their Nintendo. But I’m also the one who kisses the boo-boos, sings songs, does art projects and reads books when I tuck their exhausted bodies into bed at night.

So why is it that if Daddy asks the kids to get their shoes on so we can head out to dinner—BOOM, like magic, shoes are one and they are buckled in their car seats. Why are his words so much more effective? Why do the kids forget I’m also the one that takes them on daily fun excursions to the pool, library, movies, miniature golfing? Why do they tune me out?

Hmm, maybe I need a business trip!

It’s consistency. It’s not that they don’t love me or don’t hear me, but they see me constantly. So naturally, I’m the relentless, nagging . Parenting is a tough job, especially if you find yourself in control most of the time.

Maybe I need to just lighten up a little. So what if we’re 10 minutes late? Who cares if my play room looks like a landmine? Kids are kids, childhood should fun. Sure they need to eat their vegetables, but perhaps if I use my authority more strategically, it will be more meaningful.

Who is the disciplinarian in your house? Mom or Dad? Or are you lucky enough to have more of a partnership? Tell us in the comments.

Stacey Schantz July 11, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Tim, I often find that I say, you're teacher would only have to ask you once!!! LOL. You're right, it's exactly about being comfortable and knowing exactly how far they can push the limits. For me they know they can push further... Doesn't make it go away, but the rationality behind it does make it easier to swallow!
Stacey Schantz July 11, 2012 at 12:12 AM
Paul, I appreciate this comment. I don't take it as picking on me at all. I did step back a little and while I was writing the story think my word is "No, No". Rather than stop doing that... It's almost as if the word has lost it's meaning. I'm working to be more positive, and redirect... Doesn't mean the frustation gets easier, and when a parent is frustrated it's easier to yell or threaten than step back and really figure out the problem... More often than not my kids are overtired, so the nighttiime meltdowns are prob because I have a tough time sticking to a regular bedtime. Especially in the summer time.
Stacey Schantz July 11, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Thanks for the link Bev...We all strive to be non-yelling parents, don't we? But we all have our moments we're not proud of. I'm going to check the link out right now!!! I can always use some extra ideas!
JD1 July 11, 2012 at 03:02 AM
Hey Stacey - sounds like you are doing a great job! Don't sweat the small stuff. You are forging a relationship with your kids that will last a lifetime. My wife stayed home when our kids were little and worked her butt off. Structure is good and the kids like it - firm naptimes and routines work miracles. She had a close friend who was inthe same boat andthatbhelped a lot - they met at a local park. Take the kids to the library, the park, ...etc and you'll have the chance to interact with other "big people.". As far as the messy house, let me tell you it gets worse when they are teen agers. Fortunately my wife and I worked as a team and have some awesome memories being home with the kids. You can clean he house anytime but they are only little once. Be a good listener - little kids can be incredibly insightful! I wish you all the best. Sing together, fingerprint together, cook together, dig in the dirt together, make a water table and splash around together, and you will have the happiest kids and family in town!
Tim July 11, 2012 at 04:35 PM
I know her kids very well. She IS doing a fantastic job.

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