Parenting & Discipline – Andre Young
I was recently at a store and saw two children and their mother out shopping. The two children were young and in a double stroller, one child in front and the other in the back. The mother was at the register and the young son (around 2 years old) began kicking the back of his sister’s seat. The kicks were hard enough to be annoying and moving her up and down. The young girl began to complain and whine, “Stop kicking me, stop kicking me”! You parents and bystanders out there know the sound of a child’s high pitched voice whining and crawling up your spine! The mother turned around, saw her son kicking the seat, told him to stop and removed his feet from the back of her seat. However, he quickly restarted and proceeded to kick his sister’s seat multiple times and the pleads of the little girl restarted.
The mother’s reaction impacted me to the core and was a major influence in writing this article. She turned and saw her son kicking her daughter’s seat and said, “I don’t know what to tell you, he’s not listening to me”. “You’re gonna have to deal with it; we won’t be in here much longer”. I was stunned, shocked, appalled, and many other adjectives. My thoughts were flooding me; “What message did her daughter receive?” “What message did the son receive?”, “How much power did the mother just give away?”, “What’s going to be the long term effect of this”? With that said, I fully understand the plight of parenthood and the level of exhaustion children (of all ages) can have on your spirit and sanity. Specifically, single-parents, it’s literally the hardest job in the world! In today’s society, even in two-parent homes, it’s easy to feel like a single-parent with work and kid’s schedules. However, this can be no excuse not to properly parent and discipline. If we, as parents, cannot effectively discipline and command respect from our children at age two; how will we be able to do it at age thirteen (when they are bigger, stronger, and all-knowing). I was a therapist for 15 years and worked in several youth facilities before founding M.E.N. & W.O.M.E.N. at www.youevolvingnow.com, and can’t tell you how many sessions I’ve conducted where this was the issue.
I want to share my discipline method called RECAP. Whatever your method of discipline, it is always important to remember two things: every child is different and will respond differently and discipline typically should be for them not for you. When discipline is for you; it comes out as anger and impulsive. When it’s for them, it’s planned and constructive. Ready for RECAP! R – (Reasonable) is the consequence reasonable. In other words, does the punishment fit the crime. E – (Enforceable) is the consequence enforceable. Are you capable of enforcing it emotionally, physically, mentally? If you ground a child for a month; can that child do a month (for whatever reason), can you manage a month with your child being in the house with nothing to do? C – (Consistent) the parent/s and consequences must be consistent. Children know the rules better than we do and what to expect when they break them. It’s important to be as consistent as possible in the home, with consequences, and within blended families between homes. A – (Act Immediately) consequences should be given as quickly as possible; of course with time to think of which consequence is most effective for the child to learn the life lesson. P – (Post Follow-Up) this is the step that gets neglected the most. After giving the consequence and after the consequence is over, we must talk with our children about the “Why”. A great lead in is; “You know I don’t want to have to consequence you; I didn’t wake up today wanting to do this”. Ask your child why THEY think they received the consequence. Sometimes, their answers will astound you! Some have no idea, some are thinking on a totally different level than you are, and some hit the nail right on the head. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know and the lesson from the consequence will be lost. Discuss what the child’s plan and the family’s plan is moving forward; to emphasize a team approach. Finally, end with love. “I love you” goes a long way. Find out more and EVOLVE at www.youevolvingnow.com Best yourself and your life in all roles you play as an individual, professional, partner, parent, and more! Receive my daily motivation, thoughts of the week, life-enrichment videos, social club memberships, and more!