Posted 7/9/2006 4:24 PM (GMT -6)
I don't have kids either, BUT...!!!! LOL!!! I am going to give advice anyway, because I do know something about kids, having been raised with a younger sister, a young cousin for several years, and 3 nieces around all the time. My sister used to get in my mom's face, with an "I-dare-you-to-hit-me" look in her eye...her jaw would jut out. My mom WOULD hit my sister. Frankly, my sister deserved a good swat!!! No child has the right to disrespect their parents that way. Now I'm not saying YOU should hit YOUR kids-some folks are totally anti-spanking. But really, spanking isn't necessarily the best way to deal with these sort of situations anyhow. Kids NEED discipline, but it must be consistent to be effective. That also means that you and your husband have to work together, as this is a "group project"! Always let your "yes" mean "yes" and your "no' mean "no"---for example, your child asks if he/she can go to the movies. You tell them that they can IF they do their chores first. If they do their chores, then let your yes mean yes-they can go. But if they don't do their chores, you have to stand your ground and not let them go to the movies, no matter how much they whine, cry, scream, etc. That is letting your no mean no! You and your husband have to cooperate and not let the kids play one of you against the other. If one parent has said "no", then the other must back up the other. This is part of being consistent. If you threaten them with restrictions or other consequences for disobedience, but then don't follow thru, they will never take you seriously. If you only carry out your "threats" half the time, you are sending mixed messages and it's confusing to the child. Every child has things that they would hate to have restricted, whether it's tv, phone, video games, etc. If part of the discipline is being sent to their room, don't let it become a "reward" by them having access to the things they like to do anyway! If a kid threatens "I'll call 911 and tell them that you're abusing me!", then you must call their bluff and say something like, "Go ahead. But you need to be aware that if they come and get you, you will likely be placed in a foster home and there's no telling what types of people will be over you then." If you let the kids control YOU, thru tears, whining, threats, or anything else, you are actually abdicating your parenting to them. Always treat children with respect and inderstand that part of being respectful to the children is teaching them to be respectful to you and others. You have to set the example. I know that parenting is a difficult job and there's no such thing as a perfect parent. All anyone can do is to do their best. And remember that sometimes, love has to be "tough". Just be sure that they know that you love them, even when you have to discipline them.
I hope this helps and all goes well for you. Keep us posted! :)