Parenting and the follow through

posted by Jeff | Saturday, August 3, 2013, 4:12 PM | comments: 0

I don't write about parenting as much as I used to, largely because it's a lot easier when you don't have to hold your kid's hand at all times. A lot of things are certainly harder, but they don't consume as much of your time. That makes sense, and with years of working with teenagers, I can see how the complexity vs. time curve definitely inverts.

Lately I've come to realize that our biggest challenge is following through on explained consequences. I find myself doing too much bargaining... "Do this and you'll get to do this," or, "If you don't do this, then no this." Usually the outcome is something I want to do as well, so one way or another, that's what we do. The negotiation is totally a sham.

In the last few weeks, I've tried to stop doing that. Now I follow through on consequences, which results in a lot of screaming and crying (Simon doesn't like it either). The bed time routine is particularly troubling, because you want to get his ass in bed with the lights out quickly, but you also want him to undress himself and be less dependent on you.

The thing that has made it a lot harder is that we've been asking a lot of him. Moving definitely wasn't easy for him, and he is still 3, which is normally hard to begin with. I think I've used that as an excuse at times to let him get his way. I'm always trying to remember he's 3, and not have the expectation that he's older.

As far as course corrections go, this one is pretty easy. And I have to remember that it won't be long until I have to tell him that he can't take the car!


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