My hubby and I had a discussion about our parenting styles. I felt he is too much on the children’s cases, telling them off for this and that. He feels I’m too inconsistent, one minute strict the next turning a blind eye.
It’s so hard. We were good parents once. We had it sussed. We had our routines and rules, nothing over the top, just clear and manageable boundaries. But then grief stepped in and cocked it all up!
One day I’m set on re-establishing rules and boundaries, the next I’m beating myself up with guilt for depriving them of the things they want or shouting at them for making a mess or not doing what they are told.
The title of this post might seem odd. Perhaps it should read ‘How could you…?’ Why would you discipline a child who was grieving for a lost friend or relative (in our case sibling) and recovering from the trauma of that loss when all they need is love, understanding and security?
We feel we are as fair as possible with our discipline methods. We try to give our children freedom to be themselves within a stable home environment. We’re certainly no experts and of course as children grow and change so do the discipline methods, but over the years I’ve come to realise that discipline is different in every family so I no longer worry that we’re doing it ‘wrong’.
We try to lead by example as we’ve noticed that when we are ‘well behaved’ our children are too, but when we’re too tired to care (which happens perhaps just as often) their behaviour follows suit … to go ‘off routine’ is a risky move which almost always ends in disruption. We aim to teach them the basics such as good manners and the importance of taking responsibility for their actions, but they’ve all been so different in personality that we’ve had to adapt our approach to suit each child. For example, one gets upset at being shouted at and would rather things were explained, the other prefers a quick blast of order and is usually happy to move on.