Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Parenting. Enough Said.

No one ever said it was going to be easy, but being this difficult was beyond me. I knew from the time Kollin was crawling and getting into things at only 4 months old that he would be a very strong-willed child to raise. I mean he was back talking at like 10 months. No joke. I swear. And then Kolt came along when Kollin was only 19 months old. I really think we had them so close together because Kollin was a baby for such a small period of time it seemed. His firsts were all early. And I felt like I blinked and had a toddler. So here comes Kolt. And then Kruz. And before I know it, Kollin has become...eeek. I hate to say the word, but a brat. There. I said it. A word you never want to call your kid. In the same thought though, Kollin is one of the SMARTEST kids I know. Too smart for his own good most days. Some of the things he comes up with just blows me away. But again, in the same thought (must be a big thought bubble) he also became bossy, manipulative, mean and disrespectful. Don't get me wrong, at times he can be loving, sweet and kind too. But about 4 days ago, I found myself during another 24 hour shift in tears in my living room. I had come to the point where being a SAHM had become unenjoyable. A chore. Stressful. I dreaded being here the next day, dealing with the bickering and disrespectful attitudes. I asked myself, 'When did we get here? When did his attitude get this bad? And when was it ever made okay?' I knew we needed a change in our home. No Mom wants to dread being with her own child. I mean geez, just me typing those words makes me cringe. And I'm already thinking to myself, I wonder what Kollin will think of this when he reads it 10 years from now. Will it upset him or hurt his feelings? Mommy guilt. It really will get the best of you, if you let it. Anyway, so Travis and I bought this book, Have a New Kid by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman last year before Kruz was born. We dabbled in it, but never got very serious on the steps. Surely not consistent, which is one of the most important parts of parenting, I think. And so the next day I began reading. And reading. And reading. Trying to get a grip on some of the steps needed to change this little creature that had been created. I thought I would share a few:

1. Say it once, turn your back and walk away. No repeating. No asking twice.

2. No threatening. No "fair-warnings" as Kollin likes to call them. No Ifs (If you don't stop...). Only action and follow-through.

3. Let reality be the teacher. (Read my story with Kollin below.)

Anyway, those are just a few of the very many. I highly recommend the book. I think I will make myself a list of the reminders and post them all over my house. Reminding me to stay on top of my game. :) And yes, Kollin's attitude has been getting better, but I know we still have a ways to go. Readjusting this attitude will take longer than 4 days, I know. But hey, at least we are on the path to victory! Although, I was telling my Mom earlier-the minute I see a difference I start to get lazy and slack on being consistent. I think the main thing needing to be worked on is respect. R.E.S.P.E.C.T. And yes, I am singing the song right now. I want to have children that are complimented on their manners and say 'Thank you' without being prompted. I know kids will be kids and brothers will fight. But I am learning that behavior and attitude should never be compromised and I am not insane to expect well behaved children. I mean sure it is easier when you are here with 3 kids to let some things go. Some mumble under the breath. Some slamming of the doors. But they begin to spiral out of control. And then comes the feeling of helplessness. Hope this doesn't sound too dramatic. But seriously, that was the point I had come to. Just pray for us. We are a working progress. :)

Here is a kicker for you, one of the scenarios I got put in with "letting reality be the teacher".

Me: Kollin, it is time to clean up the playroom. Let's work together as a family and use teamwork. We can do it together.

Kollin: (Continues to play) No, that's okay Mommy. I don't want to be part of the family. I think I will just be alone for now.

Me: Oh really? That stinks kiddo. I really wish you would be, but okay.

Me and Kolt continue to clean. Dinner time comes. Kollin comes to the table, to find no milk by his plate.

Kollin: Mommy, where is my milk? You forgot about it.

Me: No, I only fix milk for the people in the family.

Kollin: Oh. I want to be part of the family now.

Me: No. Don't worry about it. You don't have to be.

Kollin: But I'm thirsty. Mommy, please. I want to be part of the family again.

Me: Well, I wanted you to clean up. Sorry.

I could see the light bulb go off above that little head of his. The "Ah-ha" moment. My teachable moment. And yes, he did cry for his milk. And yes, I felt awful about it. But Kollin has to realize he can not say whatever he wants to and not be reprimanded for it.

And another funny story with Kolt. Oh how different they are!

I am in the kitchen. Kolt is in the playroom.

Kolt: (Walks into kitchen) Mommy, I said fart.

Me: Kolt, do we say that word in this family?

Kolt: No.

Me: That is an ugly word and does not bring honor to God. So we do not say that word in this family.

Kolt: I know. I'm sorry. I'll just go sit in my room for 2 minutes.

Today I am thankful for:

These kids that tend to drive me insane most days. :) Again, enough said.


  1. thank you for this! allie has been a train wreck lately and i feel like i have done something to "make" her this way. i am going to look for that book and download it to my nook!

  2. You are one of the best mothers I know. You love your kids and you teach them constantly. I admire you and your willingness to put forth even MORE time and effort into raising Kollin. He is going to be something amazing one day and he'll have YOU to thank! :-)