Thursday, June 11, 2009

Back to Basics, Old School Style

Apparently, being five is hard. That's the only explanation I can conceive for all the backtalk, whining and unprovoked sibling pummeling Katie is doing lately. I am hoping that turning six next week will help alleviate some of these issues! Yes, I know it won't be a magic pill, but it's a mental milestone on which to focus.

Just in case the big six doesn't help turn things around, Dan and I are shortening the leash and reining in our little princess. After some pretty special treats (a trip to Six Flags followed by a sleepover - without Jackson - at her grandparents' house, followed by a special movie with the grandparents at the theater AND lunch at Chick-fil-A), Katie was acting out of sorts: grumpy, whiny, and just plain ungrateful and rude. So I sat her down yesterday and we went through the family rules again. We wrote four of the rules about a year ago, and then added another one yesterday (with her input). Then we also added another column listing what the punishment will be for breaking the rules. Here's our list!
  1. Remember the Golden Rule.
  2. Always tell the truth.
  3. Do your job. This means: make the bed, empty the dishwasher, clean the table, put laundry away, put toys away, get the mail, put groceries away, put the trash can away (outside)
  4. No fighting about hair, food or clothes.
  5. Be respectful. This means: don't hit, don't interrupt, use your manners, have a good attitude (don't whine or grump), forgive others.

If the rules are broken, punishment is:

  1. Time out.
  2. Go to your room.
  3. Lose marbles in your marble jar.
  4. Lose privileges: computer, pool, TV time.
  5. Take away a stuffed animal at bedtime.
  6. Write the broken rule on paper ten times.

Of course, the punishment isn't ALL of those things - just whatever the situation warrants. But I'm definitely going to be using #6 a lot! She already did it twice this week:

The honest truth is that Katie is a good kid. Really. She just backslides sometimes (don't we all?) and needs a little realignment to get back on track. I'm hoping we're navigating into happier territory with these family rules. Dan and I know she has a good head on her shoulders, a deep sense of right and wrong, and a caring heart. What more could we ask for?

The deeper I get in this parenting challenge, the more I realize the gravity of our responsibilities. It's our job to teach these little tyrants how to respect others, think for themselves, be kind and loving. Today I started thinking about my parents and that they did a pretty good job with me and my siblings. And then it hit me that because they did a good job, I was able to stand on my own at an earlier age than most others. My parents died prematurely, and I haven't had their advice or guidance to fall back on during these parenting challenges. I want to do as good of a job as them (maybe even better?!) so that one day my children can walk on without me. And that is how I will define my success.

Oh, and this too:

"I love you Mommy. I love you so much Mommy and Daddy. You are so creative. Good-bye Mommy and Daddy. Oh no I do not want to go away from you Mommy and Daddy."


Gina said...

I think we can safely say that she is such a good kid because you are such a good parent. WOW. I am very impressed. And I am totally stealing those rules for L in a few years.

Donna said...

Doesn't that note just melt your heart. I think the discipline thing is hard in the sense that you know they really are great kids. For me the discipline is more a sense of helping them realize that we all live together in the one house and we have to be conscious of each other...the compromise and give and take that living with other people involves. As they get older it gives them a sense of other peoples needs and I think, it makes them less self centered and more open to others. Or maybe that's what I'm hoping....time will tell I guess.

kate prado said...

Thank you for putting so many lovely things all together! Katie's birthday pics are adorable and I love all the special things you blessed your children are to have you. (A cupcake cake, loved it!)

To see you go into the water to be Baptized was so amazing.So glad we have all the technology to share these treasured moments.Thanks for writing the words to let us walk with you on the journey.Keep sharing.

Hugs and Happiness-
Kate Prado


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