Shifting Paradigms

I’ve seen a paradigm shift in parenting:  discipline became bribery and children wield power.

“Honey, I’ve told you, no candy.  Put it down.”

Child wails; parent hands him candy.

This strikes a nerve.


This is my response to the Trifecta weekend prompt:  This weekend we are asking for exactly 33 words, 30 of your own and three of the following:  topple     paradigm     underneath     nerve     honey     loop


I think we’ve all seen the grocery store check out battle.  It breaks my heart a little when the kiddos win 🙂

I probably shouldn’t have tackled this topic, given that the last couple of days have been a nightmare with the children.  Back in my day, certain behaviors were just not tolerated and were backed up with the threat of a spanking- or worse, “wait til your dad gets home.”  They weren’t idle threats- they were carried out.  I had a few (well-deserved) spankings in my childhood, but I don’t consider myself abused at all.

Don’t even get me started on how society has tied parents’ hands.  I don’t think spanking is a first choice, and my kids know this…which is why they often push the limits in public.  The “no TV for a week” punishment does nothing to stop the behavior in the moment.  I’ve received judgmental stares and glares whether I discipline or not.  I can’t win.  I have actually had my kids tell me that I can’t spank them because it’s child abuse.  That frosts me.  So they think they can be disrespectful and rude without consequences?  I don’t think so.  If I would have said some of the things to my parents that my older son yelled at us last night, I doubt I’d be able to sit here right now typing this blog post.  Just sayin’.

To society:  cut me some slack.  I’m struggling here.  I’m trying to raise children who are not brats or future members of the U.S. prison system.  I don’t have the answers and it seems my parents’ ways are no longer accepted.  If you have all the answers, please send me your address.  My children get out of school next week and would love to spend the summer with you.

Sorry.  Got side-tracked on my little rant 🙂  If you want to check out other responses, or try the prompt yourself, click on the tricycle picture to go to Trifecta’s site.  I hope you have a beautiful weekend!

104 thoughts on “Shifting Paradigms

    • jannatwrites May 17, 2013 / 10:00 AM

      I think everyone suffers, Newwhitebear. Thanks for reading and sharing your comment!

  1. September Dreams May 17, 2013 / 9:13 AM

    Aah… The power today’s children hold… Or rather the power given to them. Nice post Janna 🙂

    • jannatwrites May 17, 2013 / 10:01 AM

      You’re right – they wouldn’t hold the power if it wasn’t given to them! Glad you stopped by, September Dreams.

  2. suzicate May 17, 2013 / 9:26 AM

    Children often rule the households these days….I see it often. People don’t realize children crave structure though it is their nature to test the boundaries…this is how they learn and experience their world. I think we’ve all been in a position of caving in, however every child should have a parent who isn’t afraid to say no sometimes.

    • jannatwrites May 17, 2013 / 10:03 AM

      Oh yes, I’ve caved and not followed through (which is part of the problems right now.) Thanks for sharing your thoughts, as a parent who knows!

  3. Kir Piccini May 17, 2013 / 9:48 AM

    OH Janna,
    I will admit to being that mom some days, but I will also admit to being the mom who still spanks, when it’s necessary.

    just last week one of my twins was warned that if he didn’t behave he wouldn’t be going to a birthday party. I didn’t want to hold my ground, but I did. He sat home with his dad and I went to the party with my other son. I know now, days later, that he fully understands that I am not fooling around when I say something.

    it’s so hard to parent these days, all your ideas, opinions, choices under the microscope. I agree that we’ve allowed ourselves to be influenced too often by the behavior of our children. I don’t know if there is a middle ground, but I’m looking for it.

    • jannatwrites May 17, 2013 / 10:12 AM

      We all have moments of weakness where our only goal is to make it stop (‘it’ being the whining, crying, or whatever behavior is grinding our last nerve into the ground.) I’ve also had times where I forget to follow up (I swear, if I don’t write it down, it’s gone!)

      I’ve had to keep my older son from a birthday party, too. My husband drove him there, had him give the gift to the parents and tell them why he couldn’t stay for the party. When I gave that threat to my younger son, I almost laughed when my older one said, “you better be good, she’ll do it!.”

      Right now, the biggest rub is with my older son and my husband. My son is hateful to his dad and I’m nudging my husband to address it calmly, not ranting like a child himself. (They are so much alike, it’s scary.) He can’t be doing this at ten or he’ll be a nightmare years down the road. Needless to say, my older son isn’t going to have a pleasant weekend. We’ve got lots of chores for him to do.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience, Kir. This parenting thing is hard 🙂

      P.S., if I find the fabled middle ground, I’ll let you know how I got there!

      • Kir Piccini May 17, 2013 / 10:58 AM

        well Janna, you know that when i write a paragraph comment like that, that I am looking for advice and help. 😉

        I also agree with nipping it in the bud early on. My sons know that if they leave something on the floor all I have to do now is sigh and one of them will say “I know Mommy, you’re not the maid” because I remind them of that often. I am the mommy, not the maid.

        and the same with the way they treat us. From being respectful to our mutual love of one another…I thought getting pregnant and staying that way was hard, but this is much harder and well worth it. I am raising two gentlemen and I try to never forget that as I stumble.

        I love our discussions Janna, you are wise and wonderful.

        • jannatwrites May 17, 2013 / 11:40 AM

          Your kids are good. Mine ignore the sighs and reminders, only responding when I bark it to them as an order to do it NOW! Then they tell me how mean I am to them. Ugh! (My older son just pulled that this morning with swim clothes he’d left in the middle of the floor since Wednesday.) I wrote their daily chores on a white board so if they forgot what they needed to do every day, they could look at it. I found myself still reminding them, until I finally told them I will be checking chores at 6PM. Whatever isn’t done and done correctly will cost them 50 cents from their allowance and they still have to do it right. I haven’t paid allowance in three weeks. Even this morning, my younger son (loudly) complained that he stepped in dog pee on the tile (I have a Yorkie who thinks the indoor pee tray we bought is a bed, but that’s a whole ‘nother rant!). As he left for school, I asked if he cleaned it. “No.” Really? At seven, he is quite capable of using paper towels and disinfectant.

          Kir, I’m just so frustrated! I feel so far from wise that I teared up when reading your kind words. I’m praying for direction here!

          Raising gentlemen is hard. May we have the strength to succeed 🙂

  4. Jennifer Dillon May 17, 2013 / 10:21 AM

    Hard to tell which I liked better the rant or the 33 words.

    • jannatwrites May 17, 2013 / 10:32 AM

      Thanks, Jennifer. I have a feeling it will offend some, but I guess this is what happens when my sons wake me up at 6AM screaming at each other – and then yell at me when I tell them to knock it off 🙂 I’m still on the cranky side, but hope some mid-morning chocolate will fix it!

  5. angieinspired May 17, 2013 / 10:25 AM

    I do believe you have hit a nerve! Good job.

    • jannatwrites May 17, 2013 / 10:33 AM

      I write from my heart, Angie…and right now, my heart is tired (and my nerves tender) 🙂

      Thanks for reading!

      • angieinspired May 17, 2013 / 10:43 AM

        I commiserate. I hope your weekend with kids is sprinkled with goodness.

        • jannatwrites May 17, 2013 / 11:20 AM

          With a wonderful thought like that, I don’t know how it couldn’t be sprinkled with goodness, Angie 🙂 It all rests on my mood, I think!

  6. Gina May 17, 2013 / 11:00 AM

    “No” is the hardest concept for them to understand and for us to uphold. “Yes” is sometimes/most times easier but in the long run, everyone suffers. Parenting is the toughest thing in the world. Wonder when the paradigm shifts again? Mine are 20 and 22.

    • jannatwrites May 17, 2013 / 11:41 AM

      Oh, your comment doesn’t give me comfort, Gina. I don’t drink, but perhaps I should consider starting 🙂

  7. djmatticus May 17, 2013 / 11:08 AM

    I also received a few well deserved spankings growing up, and was nasty enough to pull the “I’ll call child protective services” card too. My dad’s response: “go ahead, and see what kind of family you end up with then…” That threat kept me from ever making the phone call because as much as I didn’t like being disciplined I knew that my family was still a good one to be part of.

    • jannatwrites May 17, 2013 / 11:43 AM

      This reminds me of one time when my older son was about eight (eight!) and he said he hated us and wanted to live somewhere else. We were in the car and my husband stopped, unlocked the doors and told him to get out. He considered it for several seconds, but ended up crying and staying in the car. I only hope that my kids realize, like you did, that home isn’t a bad place to be.

      Thanks for reading and sharing your experience, from a kids’ point of view, djmatticus!

      • djmatticus May 17, 2013 / 11:52 AM

        Hmm, that car story sounds awfully familiar too. I think my dad must’ve done something like that at some point as well…

        All the joyous things I have to look forward to now that I’m a father!! 😛

        • jannatwrites May 17, 2013 / 12:01 PM

          Hahaha! Yes, there is lots of joy…just wait for the “you only had kids so we could do all the work” argument, if you haven’t heard it already 🙂 If that were the case, we’d have saved a ton of money by hiring a maid (and the end result would undoubtedly look better, too!)

          Good thing parenting is not all bad, though. The smiles when they spot you in the audience at a school function, the feeling when they give you a hug without begging for it, and watching the joy as they talk about something that interests them are all exciting and far outweigh the frustrations. We must focus on the good. Enjoy fatherhood, dj!

        • djmatticus May 17, 2013 / 12:08 PM

          Wait, wait, wait… you mean he won’t be my personal minion? Oh dear, nobody told me that?!
          He’s only 2 months old… so I’ve got a long time before I’ll have him doing chores.
          Yes, it is a grand adventure, and I’m thoroughly enjoying all of it.

        • jannatwrites May 17, 2013 / 12:19 PM

          *Wistful sigh* Infancy…the peaceful time before talking and walking.
          Only kidding – there’s good stuff about all the ages, sometimes the good just needs a little dusting off. (Of course, I only know up to ‘almost eleven’ (as he reminds me). Teens could be dicey, or it could be other parents trying scare me – will find out soon enough)!

        • djmatticus May 17, 2013 / 12:45 PM

          Enh, I still remember me as a teen (as much as I’d like to forget); I’m pretty sure those years will be dicey.

        • jannatwrites May 17, 2013 / 9:37 PM

          That doesn’t help, DJ 🙂

        • djmatticus May 18, 2013 / 7:39 AM

          Who said I was trying to be helpful? 😉 At least you are closer to the teen years, which means you will be through them long before I have to deal with them. Imagine what kind of world I’ll have to help my teen(s) navigate in 13 years… *shudders*

        • jannatwrites May 18, 2013 / 9:38 PM

          Erroneous assumption on my part, DJ 🙂 I think each generation has a new set of worries to plague the parents…I can’t even imagine what the world will be like. Good luck 🙂

  8. christina May 17, 2013 / 11:11 AM

    yeesh, strikes a nerve with me, too.

    • jannatwrites May 17, 2013 / 11:44 AM

      I don’t particularly like the whining in the check out, but the pacification is scary. Thanks for reading, Christina!

  9. philosophermouseofthehedge May 17, 2013 / 11:30 AM

    Hang in there. Keep steady – toughest route, but it will pay off. Actions have consequences- so many have never learned that. Kids (everyone’s a winner) are “too smart for their britches” (to use my grandmother’s phrase) and see how others their age/on TV manipulate other parents ( Boohoo – I want my child to be my friend…so I’ll explain and explain – while kid smugly wins) Sometimes “Because I said so and I pay the bills” or “You were given parents for a reason” has to do.
    Kids fight and buck authority – it’s their job and developmental. But they stay balanced as long as parents are firm and consistent and fair. Clear expectations and guidelines of behavior.
    Been there. It’s exhausting – they will thank you for it – eventually ( and other kids secretly wish their parents “cared enough”)
    Now go get some chocolate…be kind to yourself when you can

    • jannatwrites May 17, 2013 / 11:51 AM

      Too smart for their britches is right, Phil 🙂 There are so many battles we could fight, right now we’re still figuring out which ones are worth it. There are also certain traps we fall into in communicating with them. I’m under no illusions of being their BFF, but I don’t want to constantly be at odds with them, either.

      Thanks for your words of encouragement and the glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. (Never mind that the tunnel is really, really long!)

      I’ve medicated with chocolate and I’m feeling a bit better now 🙂

  10. Ann Bennett (@AnnBennett12) May 17, 2013 / 12:21 PM

    I’m a retired teacher. Those parents and children pay a price.Being able to accept things not working out for you is invaluable.

    • jannatwrites May 17, 2013 / 12:29 PM

      Bless you, Ann. I respect teachers so much because they do a job that I know I could not do if my life depended on it. (That lack of patience thing gets me every time :)) I’ve had great relationships with all my kids’ teachers and I’m not a parent that gets offended with ‘constructive feedback’ about where my kids need work. If my kids miss an assignment, I’m not begging the teacher to accept it. If my kids get a poor grade, I talk to my kids, not the teacher. Knock on wood, they have both done very well with keeping up with assignments.

      I have friends that are teachers and have heard stories about parents’ demands that just make me cringe.

    • jannatwrites May 17, 2013 / 9:22 PM

      Ear muffs just might be the next ‘in’ thing, Bjorn 🙂

  11. nrhatch May 17, 2013 / 2:43 PM

    There’s the reason I decided NOT to have kids ~ no owner’s manual. :mrgreen:

    That said, I have had great success babysitting with the simple application of “No” WITH follow-through:
    “No means NO.” . . . .
    “Because I said NO.” . . .
    “N~O spells NO” . . .

    And my personal favorite:
    “What part of NO don’t you understand?” 😛

    Being a parent is hard work. Some battles ARE worth fighting . . . once kids realize that cajoling, whining, and pleading do NOT change the outcome, they stop cajoling, whining, and pleading. Kidz iz smart.

    Hang in there. One day you’ll be child-free again. 😀

    • jannatwrites May 17, 2013 / 9:26 PM

      Kids are smart, Nancy! I know the day will come when they have moved on….and I’ll probably look back and see this as ‘the good old days’. Hard to believe, right now 🙂

  12. Lance May 17, 2013 / 3:59 PM

    Mine are a little older so things are different but my 9-year-old and I saw this at the mall today. A 4 year old pulled this with his mother. My daughter looked at me and said “whatever”…lol

    good job

    • jannatwrites May 17, 2013 / 9:30 PM

      That’s cool she saw the ridiculousness of it. I’ve thought of video taping my younger son during a tantrum so I could show it to him later. I bet he doesn’t know how silly he looks…maybe it would help… Thanks for reading, Lance!

  13. Tessa May 17, 2013 / 5:33 PM

    This goes on with my one daughter and her son. The child always wins and it is becoming a real problem because he is not just nasty, he is violent. Talk has begun about therapy. He needs help now.

    • jannatwrites May 17, 2013 / 9:33 PM

      Both of my sons have had tantrums where they try to destroy things. Getting the idea of appropriate ways to express anger seems to be a tough one to grasp. I hope your grandson is able to get help, Tessa. The earlier, the better.

      • Tessa May 19, 2013 / 5:34 PM

        Thanks, me too. I hate fearing a 6 year old and having to babysit him. My daughter shouldn’t be afraid, her mother, her brother, my grandson’s father had all had therapy and hospitalization.

  14. Neetika May 17, 2013 / 8:51 PM

    That was heartfelt! I guess being a parent is a tough job and there isn’t any right or wrong way about it. You’re right that our parents ways of raising us simply don’t work with the younger generation and i suppose it can get pretty frustrating at times. But this phase too shall pass and then you’ll be sitting wondering how quickly they grew up 🙂

    • jannatwrites May 17, 2013 / 9:35 PM

      You are so right, Neetika – phases do pass. Thankfully, I’m more relaxed this evening than I was this morning. (Perhaps it’s because the kiddos are in bed? 🙂 ) Thanks for taking the time to share your words of encouragement.

  15. pirate May 17, 2013 / 10:39 PM

    Janna – wonderful post and background. I have 3 girls and saw parallels. My eldest is going through sporadic hateful moments against dad which were kind of getting to me, so your words are a blessing – think I do need to draw the line instead of ‘understanding’ all the time! Of course, being girls they do tend to have the upper hand with a father all the time, knowing all the tricks! I often wonder who are harder to handle. Seeing my nephews I’d say boys, but I think a father can be tougher on boys.

    • jannatwrites May 18, 2013 / 9:45 PM

      I’m sorry you are having the issues with your oldest daughter, Pirate. I think personalities has so much to do with it. If you and your daughter are like my son and husband, you are probably quite similar. I do think drawing a line is important.

      I remember several years ago, my mom told me about a fight my cousin (male, I think 19 at the time, but living at home) got in with his mom (my aunt). My mom told me what he had said to my aunt and I blurted out, “I don’t think I’d be here today if I said that to you!” She didn’t disagree 🙂 If kids learn early that they can disrespect parents without consequences, I fear what would happen in the teen years, or later.

      I think boys and girls are both difficult, just in different ways. Best to you as you work through parenting. We’re all learning, right? 🙂

  16. pattisj May 17, 2013 / 10:55 PM

    Praying for your family, Janna. I wonder if there isn’t something else at the root of the problem behavior. Maybe the stress of the move is wearing on your son, that’s a big change in his life. (and yours).

    • jannatwrites May 18, 2013 / 9:49 PM

      Well, we have had periodic issues before the move. But stress does make him worse. When we know of something that could be stressing him out, we try to cut him a little slack. Most of the issues are between him and my husband, so I’m kind of caught in the middle, talking to each of them on the side, trying to get them to talk differently. Ah, but they don’t listen 🙂 Thank you for your prayers, Patti!

  17. barbara May 17, 2013 / 11:45 PM

    no words of wisdom (or snark or high horsedness) from me . . . I hear your pain. Hang in there, mama. I just had this conv with a friend earlier today – sigh

    • jannatwrites May 18, 2013 / 9:50 PM

      No snark? Really? I’m so disappointed in you, Barbara 🙂

      Thanks for your comment, it did make smile. Thankfully, today was a new (and better) day.

  18. Eric Alagan May 18, 2013 / 1:11 AM

    When baby-sitting, grandpa had a perfect remedy for quietening his grandchildren. He had chronic cough, or so he told us, and would let the kids have a swig of his cough syrup – that would lull the brats to sleep. Years later we learnt it was not cough syrup – but strong brandy!

    Disclaimer: No kids were harmed in the writing of this fiction 🙂

    • jannatwrites May 18, 2013 / 9:51 PM

      See what I mean, Eric – the ways of our parents (grandparents, in this case) aren’t socially accepted anymore 🙂 Thanks for the laugh!

  19. Eric Alagan May 18, 2013 / 1:14 AM

    On a more serious note – no words of wisdom from me, Janna but you have my prayers and best wishes dear. Peace, Eric

    • jannatwrites May 18, 2013 / 9:53 PM

      Thanks for the prayers, Eric. I’m also praying we find the right way to communicate with him. For now, I’ll be the ‘middleman’ between him and my husband.

    • jannatwrites May 18, 2013 / 10:03 PM

      That was a good post, MOV. (I think I commented, but it didn’t show in the list…)

      It can be tough sometimes- must keep my eye on the ‘responsible adult’ prize 🙂

  20. Mike May 18, 2013 / 7:47 AM

    A great piece which has provoked lots of interesting comments. The greatest problem is that so many busy parents nowadays find the simple word ‘No’ so difficult to use and even more difficult to mean. It’s a hard battle and children are seasoned campaigners. As a parent who has come out the other side, trust me, it’s a fight worth persevering with.

    • jannatwrites May 18, 2013 / 10:07 PM

      Thanks for the encouragement, Mike. You are right, kids are persistent. The key is not letting my own fatigue get in the way of the reasonable ‘no’ 🙂

  21. Valerie May 18, 2013 / 7:55 AM

    My daughter is 17 and a wonderful daughter as well as a really nice person. Whereas I was disciplined with spanking and cruel words, I disciplined Amy with time-outs and taking privileges away. My mother in law said she considered that to be child abuse. ( ??? I didn’t agree.) In the end-you have to do what feels right for your kids. And also in the end, I’d guess that despite the choices we make in the way we discipline, most kids turn out to be respectable members of the community when they grow up;)

    • jannatwrites May 18, 2013 / 10:12 PM

      I think personality has a lot to do with which disciplines work. I don’t see how time-outs/lost privileges are child abuse, either, but I guess everyone has an opinion 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, Valerie. I liked reading your perspective.

  22. Draug419 May 18, 2013 / 9:02 AM

    I see this all the time where I work. I don’t think there’s any “golden” solution to disciplining children. Every kid’s different; every situation is different. You have to do what you can with the least amount of damage to your sanity and the kid’s psyche. And I wonder how many of those glaring peeps have had times like that and just don’t want to admit it…? (:

    • jannatwrites May 18, 2013 / 10:15 PM

      I agree, Draug – each kid and situation is different (which doesn’t make this any easier, by the way. Just when we thought we had it figured out with our older son, our younger son comes along and we find we’re totally ineffective!)

      It is so nice when someone has offered kind words when I’ve dealt with the kids’ moments. I actually broke down and cried one time when that happened…it was so embarrassing!

  23. Thomas Marlowe May 18, 2013 / 9:21 AM

    All too true! Nicely crafted and concise expression of a thought.

    • jannatwrites May 18, 2013 / 10:15 PM

      Thanks, Thomas. I appreciate you reading it!

  24. trifectawriting May 18, 2013 / 9:55 AM

    The worst part is, if you try to offer advice or stop harsh discipline, you’re suddenly the bad guy. Society can definitely be un-supportive at times.

    Thanks for linking up!

    • jannatwrites May 18, 2013 / 10:26 PM

      This is a tough one for me. I generally stay out of others’ discipline, except once when I thought it was getting a little rough. I commented that she seemed really upset and I asked her if she needed help or needed a moment. She said no, but I hope the pause was enough to get her out of the moment.

      My problem with stepping in is that things aren’t always as they seem. Here’s a real-life example. My younger son was about two and half and he figured out how to unbuckle his car seat harness. One day, I looked in the rearview mirror and saw he unbuckled it, so I pulled over. I explained that it wasn’t safe to unlatch it. A few miles later, he did it again. I had to pull over again. This time, I was more stern and told him if he did it again, I’d take him out of the seat and spank him. Sure enough, less than a minute later, he unlatched the belt again. So, I pulled onto the first side street, which was in a residential neighborhood and parked the car. I got out, pulled him out of his seat and swatted him. He screamed and threw a tantrum. As I was buckling him in, I noticed a lady doing yardwork nearby. She gave me this horrified, judgmental glare. What she saw looked bad – but she didn’t know that it was a safety issue and that I had already stopped twice and warned him. By the way, he never unbuckled his harness after that 🙂

  25. joetwo May 18, 2013 / 10:16 AM

    Oh Oh! Bad sign right there! Good one!

    • jannatwrites May 18, 2013 / 10:27 PM

      What’s bad is I’ve seen adults behave the same way 🙂

  26. viv blake May 18, 2013 / 11:20 AM

    I’m with you all the way. My grandson is brought up to be polite (inclined for the occasional tantrum at home, which gets him sent to his room). Yes to candy – in small quantity, kept out of reach and doled out after dinner, then teeth cleaned. He doesn’t seem to abuse it. I used to give my kids fruit instead of sweets, but the grandparents often spoiled that little plan!

    • jannatwrites May 18, 2013 / 10:30 PM

      Your grandson sounds like a charming boy, Viv 🙂

      We do allow candy (but they buy it with their allowance, and don’t eat it before meals.) We also don’t buy soda, but again, once in a while they will buy a can with allowance money.

  27. KymmInBarcelona May 18, 2013 / 12:42 PM

    Love it, Janna
    Both my kids (and their friends!) knew the minute whining started, whatever was on the bargaining table got taken off, for good. I’m the “mean” mother, but it’s been worth it.
    Now I can even laugh, recalling how small toys got tossed ipso facto in streetside containers. Only had to happen once each! Pick your battles is my motto.

    • jannatwrites May 18, 2013 / 10:33 PM

      I’d rather be the mean mother than the pushover, Kymm! Choosing the battles can be hard sometimes 🙂

  28. coyotero2112 May 18, 2013 / 1:20 PM

    This reminds me how lucky I was…my son never whined or bargained, rarely cried, and acted like a miniature adult until he was about sixteen. My only problem with him was he was a daredevil, like running down our gravel driveway and falling, abrasions and bruises all over his face, elbows and knees. Some interesting trips to stores and other public places with a battered kid. Same when he ran his bike into a stand of blackberry bushes…scratches and scrapes and whispers from a woman in line at a grocery store about calling DSHS. First and last…if you win, walk away and don’t look back. Had plenty of torment as a teacher though, if it makes anyone feel better, me not getting away from the entitled child torture.

    • jannatwrites May 18, 2013 / 10:39 PM

      The daredevil would be hard for my heart to take. Mine end up with some injuries (no broken bones…knock on wood) but they aren’t overly adventurous. Yet. Kind of funny about the peoples’ comments/concerns with his injuries – probably not so much if you had a caseworker show up on your doorstep, though!

      Being a teacher is not a job I could do. I admire those who can, that’s for sure. Thanks for sharing your experiences, Coyotero!

  29. diannegray May 18, 2013 / 8:10 PM

    Please feel free to rant away as much as you like on this subject, Janna! It’s one very close to my heart.

    When my kids were little I was driving my sister to my house and my son was being naughty in the back of the car. He wanted to stop at the shop and buy a treat. I told him we would – if he behaved himself. He didn’t behave himself, so I drove straight past the shop. My sister turned to me and told me I’d missed the shop. I said, ‘I know’. She was horrified because my son then screamed more and she told me to turn around and get him a treat. Of course I didn’t because he didn’t deserve it! LOL He’s turned out to be a wonderful young man who knows that what I say is what I mean – and that’s really important in parenting.

    • jannatwrites May 18, 2013 / 10:43 PM

      I totally agree with you, Dianne – I wouldn’t have stopped, either.

      The thing with my older son, is when things like this happen, he puts the blame all on us. I try to explain it was consequences for his actions – he made the choice, not us, but doggone, he won’t take any ownership of it!

        • jannatwrites May 18, 2013 / 11:10 PM

          He’s ten (11 in August) – old enough to grasp the ideas of consequences and accountability, I think.

        • diannegray May 19, 2013 / 12:53 PM

          Best of luck with him – kids have a way of changing when they reach puberty and then changing again when they’re past it and both these changes are often dramatic (and for the better) 😀

  30. writerwannabe763 May 18, 2013 / 9:40 PM

    I so agree with you…We spanked our children…we did not abuse them and when I ask them now if they ever felt so…their answer is an emphatic ‘no’….. Parents tend to give in way too easily these days… thereby losing the respect I believe of their parents….. Diane

    • jannatwrites May 18, 2013 / 10:47 PM

      Spanking has gotten to be a touchy subject because I think some do take it way to far. (It’s shocking some of the extreme cases of abuse that air on the news.)

      Giving in is easier than standing firm on a ‘no’. Thanks for adding your thoughts on this post, Diane.

  31. Mel May 19, 2013 / 5:38 AM

    You hit the nail on the head here! My husband and I both work in an affluent county in our area. The constant need to “be their friend” and “I don’t want them to hate me” mentality is an epidemic. UGH! I am NOT their friend, I’m their PARENT. I guide them, cheer them on, comfort them. Great entry!

    • jannatwrites May 19, 2013 / 12:23 PM

      I know what you mean about the way of thinking in the affluent area, Mel. Personally, I’d rather have my children respect me than to think of me as a friend. Friends can’t be parents, and parents shouldn’t be friends 🙂 Besides, if I’m doing the parenting thing right, there’s no way to avoid moments where my kids will hate me (I just won’t allow them to TELL me they hate me….my mom always said we could think whatever we want but better think twice before we say it.)

  32. Tina May 19, 2013 / 6:55 AM

    Yeah, I don’t have all the answers. I struggle with this, too. Spanking does not work for my son, just as it didn’t work for me, so creativity has been the name of the game. What has worked best has been putting favorite toys in time out, but that might not work tomorrow. I wish you luck! This parenting gig is hard.

    • jannatwrites May 19, 2013 / 12:26 PM

      I have found that out – what works today sometimes doesn’t work later. That’s what throws me off 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and joining the discussion, Tina!

  33. Suzanne May 19, 2013 / 7:12 AM

    Ah, such a great piece Janna! I hate when my son tries a power play in public as much as the next parent, but saying no and then giving in teaches them nothing good. I love your opening line!

    • jannatwrites May 19, 2013 / 12:28 PM

      I’m glad my kids aren’t the only ones that try to pull that. (My brother and I had times when we’d be obnoxious when parents had company over because we knew they wouldn’t yell at us in front of company. It didn’t take us long to figure out that all bets were off once the company went home!)

      I appreciate you reading and sharing your thoughts, Suzanne!

    • jannatwrites May 19, 2013 / 12:29 PM

      I wasn’t sure what to expect when I posted this, but the discussion via comments has been great! An ongoing battle – you’ve got that right, Barbara 🙂

  34. atrm61 May 19, 2013 / 11:30 AM

    You sure touched a nerve here Janna!Its true that parenting is a tight rope walk-to balance love and discipline is always tough!Times have changed and so we have to adapt and adjust too but as a parent I feel that one has to lose some battles to win the war.Every parent is different-so is every child-each society expects different things too-add to that the exposure our kids are getting,the pressures they are being subjected to-plus the negative vibes they are continuously receiving from the external world(violence,drugs,sex,abuse,
    rape-nothing to look forward to-simple pleasures all gone-leeched away),it becomes an almost impossible task.That said,I am n t condoning the bad behaviour of kids nowadays-partly the fault lies with the parents-for giving in-the first time-the kids are too clever & it becomes a learnt pattern-and partly the system’s.This discussion needs pages and pages,lol!Will come back after reading all the posts to go through the comments here 🙂

    • jannatwrites May 19, 2013 / 12:36 PM

      I think I opened the proverbial can of worms here, Atreyee 🙂 You bring up some great points about society’s impact on children. As a parent, I try to shield them from inappropriate experiences, but as they get older, it’s becoming impossible. I can’t make my mother-in-law not let them see rated R movies (no one can make her do much of anything) so I have had to limit visitation to only when my husband or I can be there. I can (and do) monitor music they listen to and some songs are forbidden in the house- but I have no way to make sure they never hear the songs. And so on, and so on…

      This post has prompted lots of discussion. I’ve enjoyed reading others’ input. Glad you stopped by to join in!

      • atrm61 May 19, 2013 / 12:39 PM

        Lol!True writing is about opening such cans I believe Janna & I find it very commendable when one is able to do that-like u did-with just 33 words:-)Am still ploughing through the posts & will be back to read all the comments on yr post xoxo

  35. Tad May 19, 2013 / 6:48 PM

    I loved this one, all too entertaining, educational, and insightful. Great piece btw.

    • jannatwrites May 19, 2013 / 10:24 PM

      Thanks, Tad! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m surprised (but delighted) with the engaging comments on this one 🙂

  36. Jo-Anne Teal (@jtvancouver) May 19, 2013 / 10:14 PM

    I have no children and can’t add anything to the issue swelling your comment thread, so I’ll just say I think you did a great job with the Trifecta prompts this week :)))

    • jannatwrites May 19, 2013 / 10:25 PM

      Thanks for reading, Jo-Anne. I had no idea I’d hit such a nerve with this one, but it’s been fun!

  37. annesquared May 20, 2013 / 6:53 AM

    Wow. Good one! I have 2, a son and a daughter. He was born old and wise – if he did something wrong, he would ground himself. She looks for a loophole or way around every rule. For both of them I have always done the same: consistency. Duct tape is effective, too.


    • jannatwrites May 20, 2013 / 11:05 PM

      Duct tape…hahaha. I thought about trying that when my older son refused to sit in time out 🙂 It’s fascinating how two kids from the same family can be so different. I was the one who was overly critical of myself. My older brother constantly searched for the loopholes and wove lies to cover his tracks.

      Thanks so much for stopping by to read it, Annesquared!

  38. Dayle Lynne May 21, 2013 / 1:05 PM

    “discipline became bribery and children wield power”

    Oh, so true! I used to teach preschool and I eventually gave up on talking to one mom about her kid’s behavior because it would usually end up with this – “Did you hurt your friend? . . . If I buy you a new shirt tonight will you promise not to hurt your friends again?” Grrrr!

    • jannatwrites May 21, 2013 / 6:54 PM

      I’m sorry you had to deal with those kinds of encounters, Dayle. It doesn’t sound like the prize buying worked for the little scrapper. (Shocking, right?! :))

  39. Sandra May 21, 2013 / 8:47 PM

    Hmmm, empty promises or threats don’t really indicate consistent parenting, does it? Consistency is key, so follow up with what you decide to say to your kids, right? That’s the only way they will learn what consequences mean. Just sayin’. 🙂 I know exactly what you mean in those 33 words!

    • jannatwrites May 21, 2013 / 9:34 PM

      You’re right, Sandra- consistency and consequences are vital. It’s not always easy, but we have to do it. Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts on the subject 🙂

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