Monday, July 20, 2009

I get no respect

The May Queen has been on a disrespectful roll lately. After a showdown at the end of an otherwise good playdate at a friend's house, she came home and continued to push the buttons. I don't believe in spanking, but when I told her for a third time to get into the bathtub and she turned and waggled her bare rear end at me, it was a pretty tempting target. I did manage to keep my hands by my side. And then as I was talking to her about her behavior and she put her fingers in her ears and started saying "la la la la la..." Well. My friend thinks I deserve mother of the year for not making her go out back to find her own switch.

I'm laying down the law. This will end. I do a lot of things well as a parent, and I probably rank up there as a top playful and fun mom. But I'm not always good about expecting consistent obedience and respect. I wanted her to have her mind and not follow the crowd all the time. When we first moved to the south I was even a bit put out by all the kids saying "yes, ma'am." But I am now seeing the benefits of it.

I know that this problem has some roots in my own lax attitude. Yes, part of it is just the age and testing limits and all that. Still, I have to acknowledge that I have not been clear and consistent in my expectations.

Fortunately, she is much better with other adults. And she's not this way all the time. Normally she's a pretty sweet kid. Thankfully.

Right now she's struggling to find things to do since TV and computer priveleges have been suspended. She knows she'll start losing toys next.

Right now I think she'd vote me meanest mom on the planet.

But in the end, she will respect me for it.


Melissa said...

Gotta love that limit testing.

Stay firm and it will come correct. Mostly. :)

Kat said...

It is all about balance, I suppose. I think that I am too harsh sometimes. Maybe if I could be half like you and half like me it would work better. ;)

Sounds to me like you are doing all the right things. :)

kaye said...

yes she will, and don't feel guilty about being a mean mom.

alejna said...

Well, you've got my respect!

I have a lot to learn in the disciplining department. I have a tendency to be easy going and patient up to the point when I more-or-less snap. On the bright side, I have learned that sometimes I can get cooperation by asking: "do you want me to get angry?" (You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.)

Anonymous said...

OK, sorry, but I laughed a little bit there. Only because I've been there, done that. I, too, am a very fun mom who has a very long fuse.

Just this week I got pushed too far and had to remind the kids that when I say something, I mean it and I mean it NOW. They are not to negotiate or question, but simply to say, "yes, mom" if they can't keep their mouths shut.

Fiona says "yes, mom." Lorenzo covers his ears and says "la, la, la."

thailandchani said...

There's definitely something to be said about the southern way, teaching kids to say "yes, ma'am". It leads to a lifelong habit of respect toward others instead of kids talking back and smart-mouthing.

When all is said and done, even though I didn't have children, I would have been very strict if I had.


Kyla said...

Good for you! Once they start testing where those boundaries are, you've got to show them the limits. It takes some time and is miserable for a bit, but it will make things easier in the long run.

Aunt Becky said...

I'm dealing with it too. I really, REALLY don't know how to handle it. Not from YOUR kid, don't worry, she can disrespect me all she wants, but MY kid.

The older they get, I swear.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

You're right - she will respect you for it.

We tend to be like you are - we have a pretty good kid and we give him some leeway, but like MQ, there have been times... and then, yes, we have to lay down the law. And it's no fun. And it's hard walking that line sometimes.


Chantal said...

Oh my M started talking back to me recently, and he is only 4! HATE IT.

Rima said...

I hate those moments. It makes me feel so helpless and inept, an imposter masquerading as a mom, because sometimes I just really don't know how to handle those situations of defiance. But it sounds like you did just the right thing. It's hard to be a "disciplinaian," but in the long run, I think it's for the best.

Louise said...

Good for you! There are benefits to being "the meanest mom." And they WILL respect you.

I have to say that you are light years ahead of most parents who will do ANYTHING but realize they might have something to do with the problem. And no, the problem isn't only you. No kid is going to be good all the time, no matter WHO is their parent. But so many parents think that if their kid is not showing respect, there is NO WAY there is anything they can do to improve it. (And you DO deserve the "mother-of-the-year award!)

Mary G said...

Good for you. I think it is harder to discipline when you don't spank. You have to be more reasoned and more creative. Me, I think you excel at both of these and Herself is lucky to have you for a mother. Taking away privileges worked as well as anything for me.
If you ask my kids, I got the MeanMom badge a lot. Now they appreciate it... only took twenty years or so.

Tina said...

I cannot give any advice as I am having disrespect problems with my son, on a much bigger scale. All I can say, it be consistent. Without consistency, you will lose all control.

Magpie said...

just tonight, i picked the kid up and dumped her in the tub. it's hard to balance - i don't want to be the mean mom, but i don't want her to walk all over me.

i do think that my child behaves better out of the house - like at school, and at camp. i find that comforting, actually. if she wants to test boundaries, better on me.