Tiger Mom to Loosey Goosey Disciplinarian
This is for anyone who is a wishy-washy disciplinarian. It can be applied to your parenting, to your self-care, to work. Parents- If you issue a command and the ensuing thoughts are “ Pobrecita (poor little thing) or “But, I feel so bad!” Then, you are parenting out of guilt and not out of what makes inherent sense to the situation at hand. Many parents complain that their kids don’t have the stamina, the drive, the grit, the motivation to get things done. Well, when it comes down to it, how often do you backtrack on what you’ve announced because your child pouts or complains about it? As the parent, you are the authority. But, if you pendulate from Tiger Mom to Loosey Goosey, then you’re just as out of it as your child who is trying desperately to gain some direction from you.
Guilt obfuscates discipline because the target shifts from raising a cooperative responsible kid to one that acts on what the feeling of the moment is. Feelings come and go and discipline is supposed to be the foundation for future development. It doesn’t make sense.
How do you deal? First, decide. Take a moment and think, why is this discipline important to me in raising my child? Why do I need to stick to it? What am I trying to teach my child that will only work if I am consistent with it? What happens if one day I feel like following through and other days I don’t? Next, evaluate your discipline strategy. Is it age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate? What does that mean? Is what you are asking of your child something you think they can do or something they can actually do? If you see the potential, can you help them reach the goal? With patience, repetition, and guidance? Is there enough time for them to get the task done? Does your child have the ability to get it done? Sometimes, these questions are tough to answer on your own because you think your child is the next Einstein. And perhaps he/she is. So the capacity is there. Now, check if the skillset is there? If it isn’t, then you know where to start. If it is there and things aren’t getting done, then check on what other factors are getting in the way of success. Honestly, this is a tough one to do on your own without the help of another person’s perspective. If you struggle with guilt getting in the way you are parenting or your disciplinarian methods, contact me for support.