After having my daughter, I started unconsciously reviewing myself as a parent every night. I used to always ask myself questions about my ways of parenting like How did I react when Thalla asked me this?, I should have answered in a different way OR I should have said that instead of this OR I should have spent more time listening and the list never ends. I am always keen to know whether today was productive and fruitful for my kids or not. And by saying fruitful and productive, I do not mean to do something big and educational. Some quality time talking with my kids is fruitful, playing and having fun together is fruitful,….these simple things work really well with kids. But do I do it everyday?
The thing that I am not happy about the most, is my way of discipline. I forget the reason behind discipline, and I only punish them because they are not listening or they are making some noise. and sometimes I only punish them because I am out of the mood ( I know discipline is not only punishing) and this makes me feel like I am the worst mother ever. This is the first misconception about discipline that I have. Discipline should be done to help our kids learn from their mistakes. It is mainly about development, teaching and learning. Sometimes I punish my kids and they totally do not know what did they do wrong and why they are even punished. I want to raise a well behaved, self confident kid. So I have to totally understand how to discipline them and why, what does it mean and how to apply it effectively?
First thing that came to my mind was that I have to explain for my daughter first the rules and what is discipline and why we should apply it. I explained for her that I am doing that for her own good and that I want her to be a better person. It is not about punishment, It is about learning and how to turn our mistakes into a lesson. Rules must be clear for her. I asked my daughter to come and sit with me to write down together the rules that we all should abide by. I explained for her the rules and what will be the consequences If she didn’t follow them, wrote them on a piece of paper and put it on the fridge. She was really excited while doing this process and kept repeating it to herself ( I hope she will be that excited when it is really executed). I started to mention for her what does she do that really annoys me and how to work on it together. I explained for her every point on the paper and we promised each other that we will try to learn from our mistakes everyday and most importantly, not to do it again.
In the picture you will find that I have stated the rules:
- Be Respectful : That means that we should speak properly to our parents and we should not scream or shout.
- Be honest: I asked her what does it mean to be honest? she told me to tell the truth. I told her right away to tell me or daddy the truth no matter what and that We do not care if the thing that she did sounds wrong for her, We want to hear the truth.
- Be Responsible: For me all i wanted from her is do her homework without crying and whining and i am not asking for anything else.
- Be Grateful: I stated for her that we should be grateful for everything around us, the things that we take for granted some people are deprived from it like food and shelter and home and toys.
- Be kind: I asked her to be kind to her friends and her younger brother.
Then I mentioned for her the routine ( that we already do) but I wanted to mention it anyways for her. Then came the worst part for her which was the punishment. She is the one who chose the consequences if she didn’t follow the rules, So we will see how it will turn out.
I was so keen to engage her in the process and this was part of being responsible and fully aware that every act has its own consequence. Since punishment didn’t work before, so let us see how this chart process will work. I have to add that while doing this thing together, I felt like we spent some quality time together. We were chatting and I was explaining for her everything. Also, she started to mention things about school, that she hasn’t tell me about before.
It is not easy at all being a parent, and I fall in this trap most of the times. I got so occupied and overwhelmed and forget about the fun part and how blessed I am for being a mother. This is again a reminder for myself ( AS ALWAYS) on how to turn hard things into fun with my kids.