So we all want to be fun mom. We all want to be the cool parent and secretly we want to be better or more loved than Dad (except when we really need a break and don’t want to hear, see or smell a kid). I want my kids to positively adore me. So far my track record isn’t looking too good. I’m definitely bad cop. Which is fine… for now. I prefer to be the disciplinarian because I think my husband smacks too hard, shouts too loud, gives unreasonable punishment and basically doesn’t do it MY way… my husband tells me that I think I am perfect and if he isn’t doing it my way, then I think he is doing it wrong. By Jove, he has FINALLY gotten it! Ha, I’m kidding. Anyway, back to my point, as much as I want to be the cool parent, it appears that raising toddlers brings out the ugly in you sometimes, like I actually get tired of hearing my own whiny voice asking them to stop it, get off the counters, stop smacking each other, stop yelling, go to bed, eat your food, stop spitting… and the list goes on. How am I supposed to be cool, when I am so busy being bad cop?
My fuse is short; I admit that I have the patience of a toddler, ironic much? Don’t mess with me if you’re under 4 years old and have a self imposed hearing problem (i.e you choose not to listen!), I will win. I do not take kindly to rudeness or ill manners. I acknowledge that there is a vast difference between a child who is curious, testing boundaries and inquisitive to the point where it gets him/her into trouble, versus a child who displays abominable behaviour all the time. I should have been a school principal in the ‘80s with a cane, I would have rocked! Jokes aside, I do believe that discipline plays a vital role in raising one’s kids. Children need parents to create these parameters or boundaries, in order to feel safe and secure WITHIN the lines, and to also understand the consequences of stepping OUT of the lines. It’s not to make them afraid of you, but to create mutual respect, and it helps to create an understanding of how authority and accountability works.
Now I do believe that discipline depends on the kid in question. Some children just don’t need as much discipline as the next, or perhaps the boundary lines don’t have to be drawn with non removable paint (some kids are stubborn like that), as opposed to just lightly in the sand. Point in case, my sisters two boys. From the time they could walk and talk, they’ve just been kids who listen, who are chilled, who do what their parents tell them to do, who don’t need to be reprimanded every five minutes. My sister just needs to give them “the look” and they stop what they are doing. So they have never had to take extreme disciplinary measures with their kids. I’ve tried every blinking look in the book, to the point where it looks like I have a mental problem or a nervous tick, and it just doesn’t work. MY two on the other hand, are a little more “boisterous”, shall we say? I’ve tried many ways to “tame” them (all these euphemisms in a bid to keep the babysitters from running away) and I’ve concluded that corporal punishment works the best. SHOCK-HORROR-CALL-THE-COPS. I do use time out, I do come down to their level and talk in my stern voice, I do threaten to take away something meaningful for a set amount of time, but I seriously do not have the patience to be repeating myself to the point where I can’t stand the sound of my own voice. I’ve discovered that a little smack works the first time, as compared to going through aaalllll those other methods with sometimes no results and one angry mother. This is not an indictment on my children, in fact, I think they get their antsy –ness from me. They definitely get their stubborn streak from their father and they most definitely get their volume control button from me. They are so NOISY. But they are not horrible kids, I just simply cannot tolerate outright disobedience and I deal with it very quickly. Call me a hard task master, call me a bad mother, but I prefer to sort the matter out in the first round; it puts us all out of the misery of going for ten rounds in the disciplinary ring. Of course, all this is based on the crime in question… I don’t smack willy nilly, that would be wrong, but I have no qualms about smacking you on your bottom in a mall, at your granny’s house, even at CHURCH, if your behaviour calls for it. And it works. For us. For now.
I do not want to humiliate or belittle my children in public, and I most definitely do not want them to think I am Darth Vader in a dress, but without causing a scene and behaving like a fish woman, a quick wap-wap on the bottom almost always keeps them in line. I don’t buy that “the hand that loves you, shouldn’t spank you” or “spanking grows aggressive children” – sorry, that’s twaddle. I know children who do not get smacked and quite honestly they are bloody aggressive BECAUSE they know there are no consequences for their actions.
So while I’m definitely bad cop in our house, I think I am still the favourite, but maybe it’s just their fear. THAT was a joke. Ha. If disciplining and keeping your children on a tight leash and making them toe the line is considered uncool, then step aside, I’m winning the uncool award this year! But I do believe in the long run, this will benefit us both. There will come a time when I will loosen my dictatorial grip (I’m not that bad, I promise!) but for now, they need to know that what I say, goes, even if they don’t like it (unless you bat your eyelids and do that cute thing that you guys do, and all my resistance crumbles). I think they still love me? I mean judging by the serious love mauling I’m still getting every day from my munchkins, I don’t think they’ve put a hit on me just yet.