This child of mine is testing my patience to the n’th degree at the tender age of 4.5!  Now I’m generally very patient with my kids.  I can repeat myself for days.  I can listen to their nonsense and watch them do silly things for hours on end…okay, maybe not hours, but I certainly do give them a lot of attention.  I do the mummy guilt thing so well to the point where going out is never a spur of the moment because my life literally revolves around my children.  But Ethan is now on another level where my two top thoughts most days are when is bedtime and when can we go out alone without the kids.  This child wants his own way all the time.  He’s adamant that you listen to what he has to say.  He dictates exactly what he wants when he wants it.  And isn’t shy to demand that we buy him x, y and z.  Yet if we need him to listen to us, zero.  Nothing, nada.  The amount of words that he actually hears…I sometimes wonder if his ears need to be checked by a professional!

Anyway, over the last few weeks, we’ve been finding that he’s getting more and more naughty.  He’s been trying to push the boundaries to another level.  I’ve found myself screaming at the top of my voice for the smallest things just because the small things are happening so much more often, that I get to breaking point much quicker these days.  But this weekend was the ultimate for me!

So we were sitting outside enjoying ice lollies in the sun.  It was Riley, a little boy from the complex, Ethan and me.  Ethan walked into the house and came to the sliding door, where we were sitting, with a gel pen in hand.  He asked me for a piece of paper so that he could write.  No please, no nothing – just can you get me a piece of paper.  I responded saying that I’d get one for him soon, but then he started writing (while we were talking) casually on the sliding door.  Firstly – WHO WRITES ON THE SLIDING DOOR?!?!  Secondly – how do you justify what you’re doing with a cheeky…well, you aren’t getting me paper so where must I write comment.  I immediately gave him a smack on his bum and sent his friend home.  Ethan’s response…he giggled and walked off to his room where I’d demanded he go.

Now I do not ever remember giggling when my dad gave me a hiding.  In fact, if he even so much as eluded to the fact that I was going to get one, I would be crying long before he even reached me.  But nooooo, my son thinks that a smack on the bottom is funny.  Anyhoo, about 10 or so minutes later, I call him to come back outside.  Now we don’t live in a mansion!  From the verandah, Ethan would have clearly heard me calling his name even if his bedroom door was closed as the windows were both open and are just a few metres from where I was sitting.  On the first call, I got no answer.  I called a few seconds later – still nothing.  On the third, he shouts back YES…no MUM attached to the sentence…just a big.fat.in.your.face.YES.  I shout back that he should come out to me.  A few minutes pass…no Ethan.  So I walk in only to find him walking with a blanket covering his head jokingly pretending to be a ghost.  That in itself got me angry as he was supposed to be in his room sulking or whatever kids do when you banish them to their rooms!  But when I realised that the blanket came from MY ROOM which means that he hadn’t even been in his room, my blood started to boil.  I reprimanded him for going to my room when I’d instructed him to go to his own room.  Mister looked at me trying to stifle a giggle so I gave him another smack…he full on laughed at that.  I couldn’t believe it.  So I then proceeded to give him a full on hiding and sent him to his room where he cried like somebody had murdered him.  I must admit, I felt terrible afterwards, but I couldn’t believe the sheer disregard he had for me, not to mention the cheek to laugh in my face when I was disciplining him – have you ever!!!

I know that many of you don’t hit your child or believe in hitting children and it’s not something I practise on the regular – but remember – each to their own.  I honestly don’t know where this stubbornness is coming from and I’m not sure how I’m going to keep him in line going forward as I assume that this is just the start of it 😦 😦 😦  Well, that is if we don’t keep him in check!!

I wonder if it’s a boy thing?!?!?!

How do you discipline your children?

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2 responses »

  1. MamaCat says:

    OK, so I subscribe to no hitting, but I definitely feel like revising it sometimes. My child has been doing the same thing, and he is in the same age group as Ethan. His class teacher explained that they go through a teen phase at this age…testing. I do the send to the room thing (but that is for me, when I need to calm down myself). It takes time and patience and it is not the easy way…but talking does help. I think the trick is to explain and talk in a context they can understand. For example we may say: Stop with the nonsense…and they may not know what the word nonsense is. Perhaps you have to explain that to write on the door is the same as if you wrote on his favorite toy. I am a stickler for please and thank you and I will not respond without the proper address, however, this means I too must always remember my manners. The other thing that works is to take away a favourite toy, and it stays gone all afternoon….but in the same way, I feel you must reward good behavior, like he cleaned his toys away without being asked.

    • Jodie says:

      Ah thanks for the comment – so good to know that it’s not just MY child! 🙂 We follow the punishment with a talk and explanation on why the hiding happened which we’ve always done. And I hear you on the context, good point. And I’m totally with you on the reward. In fact, I firmly believe that reward is more important in driving good behaviour as opposed to punishment being dished out!!

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