Thursday, May 30, 2013

Step Mom Talk: Discipline

During the day (let's face it, also when Papi gets home), I am out numbered by kids. 4 loud, wild, sometimes whiny, sometimes emotional and sometimes downright mean to each other kids. I have to discipline them and I have to keep things under control. But as a step mom, where does the discipline line fall? I try to control the yelling, and keep it to a You're about to get hurt/hurt someone so I'm yelling yelling. We absolutely do not spank, hit, pinch or any other off limits "punishment". We use timeouts and a reward system, mixed with a few stern, "Hey that's not cool" 's thrown in there.
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Still, on the days that I know the girls are going to their mother's house, I feel like I have to go a little easy on them. You know? Like, send them off feeling like I am a cool parent. Unfortunately, this usually backfires and the girls are in super fighty mode ALL DAY. They can sense my weakness.
What do I do? Pump them up with sweets for every rule I enforce? I still have my child to deal with, too. So.. after the girls are gone I am left with sugar high'd 7 year old?
Other step moms: What are your thoughts? Do you struggle with the same dilemma?

11 comments:

  1. I only have one but she can easily equal to 10. I used to think the same way until one day I said no, she misbehaves and she will learn not to again. What I usually do is if she misbehaves I give her a warning, if she continues, I speak firm, if it continues a privileged is taken away. At this point she's pouty and quite. So I talk with her father, we sit down with her and talk to her about what happened. It usually always ends in her knowing we love her and understanding why the privileged was removed. When she leaves back to her mama, everything is okay. Remember, the girls will always love you. They will remember all that you've done for them and they're relying on you to care for them. They won’t hate you.

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    1. I hope hope hope that is true. I live in fear for the moody teenager days to come! I was THE WORST.

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  2. I really cant add much to this since I have no step children. I do think that when you give kids boundaries and discipline, it lets them know you care. They may not like it at the time, but deep down, you caring enough to set limits and consequences totally makes you the "cool mom" to them. With my kids, leading by example is the most important. Also, I find self-fullfilling prophesies work. For instance, I talk about how "so and so is such a great sharer. He/She is always thinking about others, etc." I think when they hear me praising them to other people, they naturally want it to come true. Like when we go to a restaurant. I always say things like, "You guys really know how to act at restaurants! You sit nicely and don't throw food!" Then when we get there, they like to show me how well they do that so I will praise them again. Know what I mean? I think you are doing great, by the way....: )

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    1. That sounded confusing. I mean I praise them, not other kids. I say, "Josie, you are great at sharing and so nice to Donny!" When I say that, she seems to try harder to make it true. Thought I'd clear that up.

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    2. Hahaha No, I get ya! I will try that one. Positive reinforcement should be my first line of defense. Why do I always have to get to the end of my rope to remember that?

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  3. I could have written this myself. On days Aiden goes back to his Mom's, I'm always trying to be super nice & fun. And he misbehaves because he knows I'll be nicer than usual. I'm really no help because I'm still trying to find the balance of it, too. Because like, you I have my own kid to deal with too & once Aiden leaves, he still thinks it's party time.

    Here's a hilarious tidbit: We were once told by his mom that I should never discipline Aiden & that all punishment should wait until my husband came home because Aiden isn't mine & I don't have the right to. Um, you are cray. I have a three year old at home & what in the actual fuh kind of lesons would I teach him if we did that? He may be HER son, but he is also HIS father's son & MY step-son. There has to be room for all of us to love him, right? Ugh. Bitches be cray.

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    1. I'm sorry you have so much crazy to deal with. WHY?!? Why are people like this? I don't think I will ever get used to it. I just continue to say, "There are rules at your mommy's house and rules at our house. Our family has different rules that your mommy doesn't get to make. Because she is not in our little family. And gosh, I hope you are super respectful to her when you're at her house, too. (I always throw something asskissy like that in, because I KNOW nothing positive would ever come out of her mouth about me)"

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  4. I do the same thing! The whole week before mine goes to her grandma`s house, I`m all clingy and nice and "don`t forget about me! don`t tell them how mean i am!"

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    1. YES. I want to be the awesome bonus parent. I want the happy feelings to linger!

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  5. i think it's just hard to discipline several small kids in general :p my kids are less than a year apart and i realized my biggest problem is being inconsistent when i'm worried about one of them waking up the other during naps or at night. my kids are supposed to share a room but the oldest sleeps with us because i know around 3am she's going to start crying uncontrollably and wake up the baby and then i have 2 kids screaming :o

    i always read that consistency is key to having children respect you, and that once you say no, never go back on it because thats the make it or break it rule of respect

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    1. Hah! Inconsistency is such a culprit around here! Great advice!

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