You’re Grounded!                     

I hate disciplining my children.  Unfortunately, we as parents, cannot get away from it.  And the worse thing is, you’ve got one method that seems to work in modifying or correcting one kid’s behavior, that doesn’t work for the other.

Truly, I believe that there are some kids that are just downright sassy.  It’s woven into the fabric of their being. That no matter if you’ve been consistent in setting the ground rules, redirecting them, time-outs, groundings, and withdrawing privileges and/or possessions, that they resort back to their misbehaving during the disciplining or soon thereafter. Read more…

We are all created similarly, yet it’s visibly obvious we all have differences: different skin tones, body shapes, hair color, etc.  So, of course, our personalities and behaviors are going to differ as well.   Even within our own family: one kid strongly takes on some of my side of the family’s physical traits, while another one of our kids totally gets her looks from my husband’s side.  Their personalities certainly are different: their behavioral, temperamental, emotional and mental characteristics  are unique.

We have one child that follows rules to the letter.  She has been pretty respectful to the rules and respectful of my authority. With that said, she also corrects me when she observes me toeing the line or breaking the law.  Take swearing,  for example.  There are many words that are banned in our house.  One of them is the word “shut up”.  While it’s not necessarily considered a “swear word”,  in our home or car, it is not acceptable.  I will correct visiting minors if they use that word.  At the same time, if my child/ren push to me a certain point, I will tell them to “shut up”.  Sometimes, it’s the only way to let them know that I mean business: I have had it!  I suppose she can’t deal with it, when I break the same rule I hold her accountable for upholding.  I get it.

Misbehaving is defined or measured against some kind of societal benchmark.  Keep that thought in mind.

Moving onto another one of my kids.  This child is so headstrong.  This child breaks rules time and time again.  This child throughout life has been subjected to hundreds of  time outs, groundings, continuously has privileges and possessions taken away.  It doesn’t seem to matter.  I consider this child to be, in general, sassy.

While I type away here, I look up the word sassy.  One online dictionary defined it as “lively, bold, and full of spirit; cheeky”.  That’s interesting, I think.  That certainly does describe this child, yet it puts her in a whole different light.  Not to say that she should get away with being disrespectful and/or rule breaking, it’s part of her “make up”.  She’s unique in that way.

So I guess I need to take some time out here and digest all this.  I can’t change the physical traits given to my kids.  (Not that I really need too, they’ve been blessed in that regard.) Certainly, looks can be modified through grooming and dressing.  Can we change the way our kids behave?  Again, I think with firm, consistent direction and discipline, we may be able to modify their behavior.  We cannot change their personality.

So you just wonder, after all of the work you put into raising your children: praising or rewarding them for good behavior (easy, when you remember to do so), and disciplining them when their behavior needs to be corrected (difficult, on-going, never ends)…how are they really going to turn out?  You hope, in consideration of their uniqueness, that they end up being a gosh darn good adult, like you,  because you never gave up on them.

Stay “grounded”, parents,  in doing what’s right for them, even if in the short-term, it’s so dang hard.  I need to take my own advice.


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Jenny Anderson said,

    Amen Paula! This is our biggst challenge as a parent. Keep up the good work and reminding us to stay grounded.

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