Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Formative Years

Of raising children, I often heard, that you have until they are about seven to mold them into the people they will become. If by 7 you haven't established yourself as someone to be respected, trusted and your expectations of them- it's almost too late. I don't know that I completely agree with this, but my kid is only almost three. I'd like to think I have longer than these "formative" years to make an impact- but I guess it's any one's guess.

Here's what I know about Cole: He's a pretty good, well mannered, disciplined kid. Sure, we have our moments, and there are times- but for the most part if I communicate to him what the plan is and my expectations- we're pretty ok.

Discipline is a very child specific thing. Some kids just looking at them wrong causes them much duress. Some children taking away privileges works. Some kids are just so wrapped up in their own wants and needs it feels like you always have to yell at them to get their attention. My brother, for example, was so busy that the only way my mother could get through was to spank him. For me, I wanted to please my parents so much- all they really had to do was tell me I had disappointed them, but I received my fair share of spankings as well...

I absolutely hate to reprimand Cole. I want him to love me and think I'm the greatest thing ever, but here's the honest truth..for any parent. I think discipline is about loving your child enough to teach them the right way to behave, interact, appreciate, respect, and the boundaries. BUT it surely sucks when your dishing it out.

This morning, Cole and I were on the way to work and for me to drop him off. We drove thru my Starbucks for my iced coffee (I found a new Starbucks). Cole already had a granola bar in his hand, and a toasted bagel packed in his bag for breakfast " Mama I want a donit" (not a type o- that's how he says it) "Not today Cole. You have a granola bar and I packed a bagel for you." He looked at me.. with the look. Huffed and said "Fine."

My head nearly spun off my body. Oh no he didn't?!? A teenager this is probably to be expected... but I had this flash back to the obnoxious toddler sitting on the plane behind me on the way to Connecticut last week and how he was totally disrespecting his mother the entire flight. I threw the car in park and turned around to look at him. We had our chat. He cried. I got a "yes ma'am" out of him. Lots of sniffles.

I hadn't even had enough coffee yet.. and I'm already dishing out the discipline??!! It's mornings like these that "I love him enough" becomes my mantra.

Well- there's work to be done. I've only made it through most of my emails and made my to do list for the day. Holla!


NancyJ said...

You're a good mom! Good philosophy. Well done. (and I LOVE the "Oh no he didn't??!!?" part! Perfect description!