Friday, January 8, 2010

Am I that mom?!

So I was standing in line at the grocery store checkout. In front of me was a mom with her two girls, also waiting to checkout. One girl was maybe 4 and the other maybe around 2. Well, the 2 yr old started to whine, so the mom puts her in the grocery cart and says "which pack of gum do you want". The 2 yr old picks out a pack. The mom then says "Okay, but we can't open it and eat it until we pay for it."The 2 yr old kept pointing at the gum and mom said 2 more times "no, we aren't having any gum until we pay for it first". The 2 yr old wasn't really whining or throwing any fits so I'm not sure what was going through the moms head, but again the 2 yr old points at the gum and asks to have some. The mom then proceeded to open the pack of gum for her daughter which hadn't been paid for yet, and gave her a piece of the gum and she herself took a piece. Then the 4 yr old asks for a piece of gum and I couldn't believe what came out of the mom's mouth. "no, we haven't paid for the gum yet. You'll need to wait to have a piece." To which the daughter said "that's not fair!". Which then the mom corrected her for her attitude towards her for saying it wasn't fair. All the while I was thinking "really, it wasn't fair that you and the 2 yr old who you repeatably told her no gum until it was paid for were enjoying a why couldn't your 4 yr old?"

Then I stopped and thought about the times I may have said something and then caved for one reason or another. Its is so important that if we are expecting to teach our children correct behavior that we, as the Ezzo's would say, "go as we mean to go!". In other words if in fact you don't want your children to have gum at any time at a store (or any item for that matter) before it is paid for, then by all means be consistent with your message. You can't say one thing and then do another. Kids are smart! They know next time mom says "no you can't have this until it is paid for" that last time you caved, so they know they can get you to cave again. It is so much easier to stand your ground up front then to fight battles that you failed to stay consistent on before.

I was thinking through my day at some of the things I don't stand my ground on. The biggest one right now is when Owen is to have quiet time in his room. Just today I told him 3 different times that he needed to quiet down since Anna was sleeping and if I had to come in to tell him again (which I said on the second time) he would need to lay in his bed with no books and with his hands folded since he was demonstrating to me that he couldn't read quietly while in his room. Yet, when I went in for another verbal warning, I didn't follow through with what I had told him previously! So of course, this will be an ongoing battle we will have every day until I stand my ground and "mean what I say and say what I mean."

Do you catch yourself saying things throughout the day to your kids that you are not standing your ground on? Who's in charge anyway?

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