Last night, as I wrapped up some work (ok, so I was playing around and wasting time browsing online), I came across an article listing the 7 Discipline Mistakes ALL Moms Make.
Given two different situations that happened around here this week, I quickly clicked on the link and began reading.
The list was simple.
In short, Moms . . .
- are too negative.
- expect too much from our kids.
- model behavior we don’t want to see.
- intervene when our kids simply annoy us.
- are all talk and no action.
- use time-out ineffectively.
- assume what works for one kid will work for another.
But, the list should have included an 8th discipline mistake — the one both Hubby and I have made time and time (and time) again.
Moms (and dads) can’t keep a straight face while attempting to discipline a child.
Somewhere along the line, I missed out on the ability to keep my sense of humor at bay whilst trying to teach my children right from wrong … trying to show them how to behave … and trying to impart life lessons like why “purses are not good disciplinary weapons against annoying little brothers.”
There are just times when my “Mom Face” leaves me — stranded — with comedic lights dancing in my eyes and my entire body (and that of Barney Kneeknuckles’) shaking with mirth.
In those moments, the kidlets know. They know they’ve “won.” They made Mommy (and or Daddy) laugh . . . nothing bad is going to happen.
There were two situations this week that left me weak — ducking to hide my head on the off-chance I could camouflage my laughter.
First, Mr. Boy learned a valuable “get out of doing X, Y, or Z” tool.
- Don’t want to do something Mommy is telling you to do? Fake sleep.
That’s right; my 23 month old smartie-pants decided the best way to keep from having to eat his sandwich was to “fall asleep” in his highchair. He even faked snoring.
The moment I heard that snore — a semi-convincing one at best — I was done. And, when he heard my giggles, one little eye peeped open … and then he grinned triumphantly.
Second, the Little Lady learned to use “magic tricks.”
- Don’t want to get caught with an item you’re not supposed to have? Play the old “Is It In This Hand or That Hand” trick and then stuff the item in your underwear.
Kid. You. Not. This child, after getting caught climbing up a cabinet to get fingernail polish, declared she was going to do a “magic trick” and hid her hands behind her back, showing her hands one at a time when asked. Of course, each time, the displayed hand was empty.
But, I KNEW she had the polish and ordered her to show both hands. The Little Lady obeyed and put both hands out in front of her.
The polish was gone. Had I been mistaken? Had she NOT gotten into it? Was my Mommy-Radar failing me too?
Flustered, I sent the Little Lady to eat her dinner. As she walked to her chair, her little dress swaying with each step, I heard it. The sound of the stolen bottle fall to the floor.
She quickly looked at me, guilt all over her face, and — when asked where she had put that polish — answered meekly, “In my panties.”
And . . . I never saw her do it. No idea when she made that switch.
But she saw Mommy have to walk OUT of the room because of my laughter.
She saw her Daddy have to dive onto the couch to stifle his guffaws.
She saw that, like her fake-snoring brother, she had won the battle.
They’re only 4 and (almost) 2; we have many, many, many more years of naughty escapades ahead of us — not to mention that this pair will be joined by Barney Kneeknuckles.
Ye gads. Three against two. Three smart kidlets against two parents who laugh too much.
This may not end well.