Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Discipline

 
I adopted a piece of common sense from a wise mummy friend many months ago and that is, if I cannot enjoy my children's company, no one else can either.
 
Those who know me very well are also acutely aware that patience is not a virtue of mine, at all. Hence the act of disciplining my children has never been a struggle. After all, I did grow up under the operandi of "spare the rod and spoil the child".
 
What I do struggle with is how it makes me feel when I get the desired reaction out of the kids - it hurts me more than it hurts them {I think}. To the point, I have had to avoid eye contact with my children for about 3 minutes while I wipe the little tears that sip out from the corners of my eyes. Despite how I feel, I am of the believe that it is my role and that of my husband's to raise and shape our children to be happy, well-behaved and independent beings who know right from wrong.
 
Thank goodness, the husband and I share the same parenting styles so the kids know they cannot play one parent against the other. It really helps.
 
Disciplining Charlotte
Charlotte responds very well to a loud voice spoken in low tones. I get down to her level so she meets my eye and I NEVER BLINK while I tell her "NO! NO! NO! You do not {the act of her misbehaviour}. Mummy is very angry with you!". Her mouth will start quivering, she looks away and tears will roll down her cheeks. She stands rooted on the ground until I walk away. She runs after me and desperately feels for some part of my body while I continue to avoid her eye contact or speak with her for the next 1 minute.
 
I sit down on the floor while she climbs on my lap and hugs me as close as she can. I hug her close and tight while trying desperately not to cry {sometimes} or calm myself down {from being really angry and annoyed}.
 
Then I would ask her to look at me and when her eyes meet mine, "Mummy loves you very much and it hurts me when you misbehave. Do not do that again. Say Sorry." {She can't say that word yet} She nods her head. I smile and she hugs me even tighter.
 
Disciplining Daniel
I adopt the same loud voice spoken in low tones. Get down to his level so he meets my eye and I NEVER BLINK while telling him "NO! NO! NO! You do not {the act of his misbehaviour}. Mummy is very angry with you!" More often that not, he laughs straight back at me while I desperately try not to laugh or scream even louder {which is very hard}. When this happens, I smack his hand hard. This works very well as I get the desired outcome from him. CRY, SCREAM, WHALE. I walk away from Daniel and he throws a full on tantrum - rolling on the floor left to right and right to left while crying, screaming and whaling at the same time.
 
I let him carry on in this manner for the next 1 minute while trying desperately to ignore him or not look at him while he is looking at me. It is tough.
 
Next, I pick him up while he is still in tantrum mode {yes he is stubborn. Like me}. Hug him very tight and close while he carries on {yes by this time, my ear drums are ringing}. When he eventually calms down, this might take about 15 minutes, I look him in the eye, "Mummy loves you very much and it hurts me when you misbehave. Do not do that again. Say sorry." {He can't say that word yet} He hugs me closer and I hug him even tighter.
 
So what does one twin do when the other is being disciplined? He/she watches. Therefore, it is even more important to be consistent.

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