Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Discipline. Doesn't the word just immediately conjure Dickensian thoughts? I think of it as the necessary evil of parenting. Without it life is a chaos of frustrated, cranky parents and confused, hyper kids.

Yesterday the six year old was being very sassy. It's her new favorite thing to do and is usually fueled by being at school. After pick up, we were headed into town to do some chores and spend some pocket money at the toy store. The six year old, very unwisely, decided to practice her new smart mouth techniques.

You can picture the end result. Wailing apologetic child in back of the car being driven home without the toy store treat, manically saying sorry in the vain hope that this would change her consequence. Cue the stereo wailing.
The one year old decided that if her sister was crying then perhaps she ought to join in with great gusto.
What's a mommy to do?

The easy thing would be to rescind the consequence, accept the apology and head to the toy shop. Only, I know that this just teaches the six year old that if she very quickly says an insincere "sorry" she gets what she wants. The sassy mouth returns within five minutes of getting the toy. I take the toy away and we are back at square one. Except that we are $10 lighter and the toy is forever tarnished with the bad memory. Uuugh.
I could have asked her to stop crying because it was upsetting her sister. Then she is mad at her sister. Aaargh.

I know that this is my (very poorly paid) job. I know that I am supposed to use these experiences to teach my children but seriously, sometimes I DON'T WANT TO!
Sometimes, I just want to ignore the sassy mouth, get the toy, keep the baby smiling and go home. Sometimes I want to be bad at my job. Really bad. Irresponsibly bad.
Sometimes I just want to take the written warning and bitch about my boss in a bar later.

Only, that's not how it works.
Instead I am supposed to feel good that I taught my six year old a valuable life lesson and the poor baby just has to suck it up as the second kid.
I guess my Mother's Day high has officially ended.


  1. I'd love to know what the sassy comments entailed...

    You do what you gotta do. I don't think we're supposed to feel "good" necessarily after we've had to discipline our kids. I feel like crap normally, and tell my daughter that's how I'm feeling. I think it's beneficial to them when they realize that their behaviour touches not only them but those around them (including baby sisters!).

  2. Absolutely. I'll second that. I can think of at least one 'discipline session' has ended with me in tears and my daughter trying to make me laugh.


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