Grace Based Discipline
I woke up to a screaming Talia this morning because things weren’t going her way.
She has this tendency to become super demanding after a bout of illness. Maybe it’s because when she’s unwell and cranky, we attend to her every need and whim, and it spoils her. Or maybe it’s because she breaks down often when she’s unwell and it just became a habit to throw a tantrum at the slightest unhappiness.
She still has a cough but she’s no longer feeling sick , so it’s time to put my foot down.
“I want korkor to come back to my roommmm!!!”
“No I can’t make him do that if he wants to come lie on mummy’s bed. How about I carry you to my bed?”
“No!!! I don’t want! I want him to lie down in my room!”
I tried to reason out with her and it was getting nowhere.
To cut the long story short, I refused to reward her screaming and took away her Saturday tv time, which set her off EVEN more.
The harder she screamed, the fiercer I got. And no I didn’t beat her, though I really felt like doing it.
She even had to endure korkor having his tv time while she missed out.
Finally she got the message and the spell is broken!
A word of caution:
There is a difference between scolding with reactional anger vs firm discipline as a response to a misbehavior. It can be very difficult to draw a line between the two and I struggle with that especially in the heat of anger.
So I highly recommend the following book that has helped me immensely.
I had always been confused with the two extreme parenting styles. On one hand, I understood that little kids have big emotions that they struggle with, and if we ‘punish’ them for exhibiting their big emotions, we’re not allowing them to fully reveal themselves to us as parents. This leads to them withdrawing from us little by little until teenage hood when they shut us out totally and is no longer open to us.
Yet on the other hand, if I don’t discipline my kids, in this case Talia, all of us will be miserable, including herself. Fellow diners will be miserable when she throws a tantrum at dinner, she herself will constantly be angry and breaking down at the slightest offence and being unable to appreciate and enjoy anything for longer than 30 seconds.
There you have it. If I have to narrow down all the parenting books to just 5, this definitely makes it to the list!