This article is part of an editorial series, “Discipline Discussion” brought to you by Fort Worth Moms. Join our subscriber list so you don’t miss a moment of “Discipline Discussions” and all Fort Worth Moms has to offer throughout the year.
Gentle parenting, conscious parenting, old-school parenting . . . These have all crossed my path in my four, short years of motherhood. My husband and I both grew up in homes where spanking was the method for discipline, and although neither of us feel like we have long-lasting trauma from our childhood pasts, we choose not to spank our daughter.
Now, I won’t lie to you all: We have fallen off the wagon a few times and tapped her hand for her misbehavior. But it’s our last resort, and usually when we feel like we’ve exhausted all other options.
I sat down with my husband to discuss our discipline philosophy. In fact, we had a pretty candid discussion. I believed we really didn’t have a philosophy, and we just did what felt right. My husband, on the other hand, felt like he did have a solid philosophy, which we will call progressive parenting.
He believes his discipline progresses for each incident that occurs. For example, if he asks our daughter to put on her pajamas for bedtime and she doesn’t listen the first time, he will give her a warning.
If he has to ask again, he will use a more stern tone the next time. If she still doesn’t get it, he would then escort her to her room to get her pajamas and have a discussion with her about why listening to our parents is important.
After listening to him explain this process, I agree. He does try to make sure he progresses in his discipline and doesn’t start off with the harshest consequence. I, on the other hand, always fall victim to my patience (or lack thereof). I am a self-proclaimed IMPATIENT PARENT.
Impatient Parent Problems
My tolerance for toddler tantrums, whining, and not listening is zero to none. I’m a bit ashamed of my self proclamation, but I’m aware and working on it. Because of this, I do tend to just discipline by how I feel at the moment, which can sometimes mean I’m super patient and can adhere to my husband’s progressive parenting tactics or I yell at the first sign of defiance. There’s really no in-between.
Y’all, it’s hard parenting, and my husband and I certainly don’t want to be the yelling, screaming parents. But it happens.
Our biggest objective is that we find connection with our daughter, that she respects us, and we respect her. But long days, lack of sleep, countless chores that need to be completed, and dinners to be prepared cause us to fall short sometimes. I have to remember we’re not going to get it right each time, and that my child knows we love her even when we yell.
So here are some tips for my fellow impatient parents:
- Try not to sweat the small stuff. My husband has to remind me that she’s only four. She’s going to do things that four year old do.
- Pick your battles. Everything isn’t worth fighting for.
- Remove yourself from the situation. If you can take a break when you feel like your emotions are getting the best of you, do it! Tell your kiddo: Mommy needs to take a break and I’ll be back once I feel better.
With the past two years being out of some sort of horror film, I know parents everywhere are struggling, so, like we’ve been preaching all year, “Give yourself some grace.” This parenting thing didn’t come with a full-proof manual.
Tell us how you discipline your child and what you do to make sure you build that special connection with your kiddos. We’d love to hear about it!