A couple of weeks ago my husband and I took our kids to a local place to go pumpkin picking and go on a hay ride. The place was filled with families who had the same idea as we did. On the grounds they had hay stack mazes, spider web climbs, and a petting zoo. Since Liam and Ava wanted to do different things Will and I decided we would each take a kid and follow them around.
It just so happen, that Ava was attracted to this one little girl who I quickly learned was named Skylar. Within the first few minutes of being in Skylar’s presence I heard her mother say, “If you don’t stop that right now we are leaving.” “This is your last warning.” And my all time favorite, “If you don’t start behaving there will be no pumpkins for you.”
Needless to say Skylar and her mother did not leave a minute before Skylar was ready to go, she had many warnings, and Skylar’s mother ended up buying two pumpkins. Part of me felt really bad for this woman because things had spiraled so out of control I don’t think she knew how to get it back. The other part of me was annoyed because Ava observes and mimics everyone. Due to this her own listening skills deteriorated. However, unlike Skylar, Ava served a timeout in the middle of the hay stack maze and everything returned to normal.
The truth is no parent wants a disobedient child. Still if you never put your foot down, you never are going to have control. Don’t get me wrong, when I have had to draw the line in the sand for either Liam or Ava and the tears begin to flow there is a huge part of me that wants to crack, and say “Just Kidding.” Then I have to remind myself if this was how I handled things I would not have the results that I do. Many times now when Liam and Ava are not listening all I have to say is, “Do you want a timeout,” and they stop because they know I follow through.
Liam and Ava are disobedient like any other children. However, at the end of the day, they know Mom and Dad say what they do and do what they say. I think that it is not only an important message to send to our kids for consistency reasons, but in the future they will know we are authentic. There is no wondering how Mom and Dad are going to be because we have always been true.