I have been reading Dr. Sears’ book on Discipline. Sometimes, I am afraid that I am too lenient.
Per usual, my mother looms large in my decision making process. That fastidious woman ran a very tight ship. Five kids, and the house was impeccable. Dinner was on the table at 6:00. We said please and thank-you. We had to say, “May I be excused,” to get up from the table.
Fear was definitely a weapon in my parents’ arsenal. They relied heavily on corporal punishment, and did not spare the rod. And she was quick to remind me that ever lasting damnation awaited little girls who disobeyed their parents. We obeyed.
I understand that it’s a parents’ job to help form their kids into responsible adults, but I don’t want my children to be afraid of me. However, I fear I go too far in the other direction.
Lately, my son has become very interested in the table. He will stand on his tippy toes, and peek over. He then tries to grab whatever he can. So I have taken to putting organic cereal at the very edge. Meanwhile, the dog is right on his heels.
This is what they like to do. He grabs the cereal and tosses it on the floor. He and the dog both dive under the table and wrestle with each other to get to the little O’s. The dog usually wins.
I see this and think, this is something my mother would not have allowed.