The Effectiveness of Time Out

For what seems to be like the 100th night in a row (but in reality is only night four), ‘lil Miss A has been getting herself into some trouble. One night it is pretending to hit ‘lil Man. Another it is running away from her dinner and letting Rowdy get to it. Another is just flat out not listening (then back talking).

‘lil Miss A is three. THREE!

Ok, Mama Burgher. ‘lil Miss A is only three.

But she gets it. And she has since she was a tiny toddler. She understood Mama and Daddy would be disappointed in her if she did something we said, “No!” to. She cried when she saw us unhappy, sat a minute (or two or three) then came to tell us she loved us.

Lately? It’s been a whole different child. It’s been “how far can I push them ’til they break” every. single. night. this. week.

Part of me blames myself. I was never great at being tough on my students (although the good Lord did test me the year I was pregnant), but I was not afraid to use “the look” or the principal or a call home. I didn’t let the kids run over me, but I probably let them get away with some behaviors that I shouldn’tve (only because I REALLY needed to focus my energy on the positive). So, I learned to center on the positive, give rewards. This isn’t working for A as much lately as it has.

Part of me blames her smarts. She’s so darn smart, and really wants to be grown (as I type this, she says she’s making cotton candy–what three year old says that?). She knows Mr. Burgher and I have our limits, and she knows right about where they are. She’s smart enough to know that even when I threaten that Pappy won’t come spend the night with her on Saturday, that he still will.

Part of me blames society. We do focus on the positive, rewarding good behavior and ignoring the bad. We model good behavior, reward even borderline good because at least they have the will to do good. But when it comes to bad, what do we as parents do? There is no principal to call, no threat to call home. We are home. We have to teach them disappointment and disrespect and how that hurts Mom and Dad. We send them to timeout for a few minutes then let them get up to go back to what they are doing.

She’s learning, and I totally give her that. We’ve been lucky. She’s been a good kid, she’s just testing us this week (and will for the next 15 or more years of her life). She’s worrying about not eating beans, but won’t eat the chicken and pickles she asked for. Her troubles are few, her mind is advanced. It’s a tough place to be, and it is giving this Mama grief.

Time out is no longer working–she even puts herself on it–so aside from removing her from situations and letting her cry, I am at a loss. I guess those are the right things to do, but it’s just tough parenting such an amazing kiddo.

What have you found effective in parenting and discipline? We’re not anywhere close to needing Nanny 911, but is there a tried and true method? Should we set up a “super kid” store and let her earn rewards with points? Give us some tips!

Why it Works for Us

Mr. Burgher is an incredible Stay at Home Dad, and we are so lucky for that. Take today for example. Work has been a marathon for me, and working on photos, the blog, and ‘lil Miss A’s school folder have really taken a back burner. It was a book fair day, but I figured I’d just order her some books via the book fair’s website; however, the school called Mr. Burgher and asked him if he wanted to run money up to the school. He was able to turn right around and take some cash to her. He then executed getting brakes on the truck and healing his not feeling so well self. What a day.

While I hate that I am missing a lot of the day to day moments with the kids, I am so glad he’s getting to experience this life with them. He does the laundry and will even help me pack my lunch. We’re working on a “savings spreadsheet” to show him just how much his work couponing is doing for us, plus, there’s the fact that we don’t have to shell out about $1200 a month on day care. What’s not to love?

This article from Yahoo speaks perfectly to why having Mr. Burgher as a SAHD works for us. Sure, it might not work for every family, but we’re lucky we can. Mr. Burgher, I can’t say it enough, but thank you!

Parenting is Tough Stuff

Sometimes parenting is tough stuff.

There’s achy bellies you can’t cure, or sleepless nights followed by endless days. Teething and milestones tire babe and parent. First birthday parties planned to perfection and 1000s of photos capturing every face from ZOMG MY WORLD WILL END UNLESS YOU FEED/CHANGE/HOLD ME to ooooo mama me love youuuu.

They start biting, pinching, and kicking, not realizing it hurts. Obsessions with a belove stuffie lead to meltdowns if they don’t have it NOW. Favorite books must be read every night before bed or screaming commences promptly 8.2 seconds after you’ve settled into the couch with a good book and bowl of (forbidden) ice cream.

Bedtimes get later, and wake times get earlier. Four people (rarely) and a dog fall asleep in a bed for two. Date nights involve a trip to Babies R Us to get nursing pads and burp cloths while 2 tagalongs point out toys and ugly, plain blankies at every turn.

Running to the grocery store no longer takes 2 minutes because you’re not just getting milk, bananas, and bread on emergency trips. Those trips now cost $50 instead of $9. You have to consider not one other opinion but three. A teensy bit of precious pumped milk spilling IS the end of the world.

One talks non-stop from wake to sleep (and probably even then too) and is rubbing off on the younger. Ducky is an easy word to say, but forget Mama (that’ll come). Dadda Dadda is every 8th word (always preceded/preceeding WHY?).

Choosing diaper brands, bottle types, hospitals, doctors, schools, educational toys, vacations, discipline styles, time out spots, laundry detergents, and 2nd food flavors lead to mama meltdowns. Daddies handle scraped knees, ghost boo boos, empty plates, multiple juice boxes, and diaper sprayer installations.

Sometimes, parenting is tough stuff.

I think Mr. Burgher and I both would give anything to keep these kids in a timestop bubble, young and safe, even considering all this tough stuff. You kiddos keep us on our toes and make every second of every day worth the T’s and D’s. I promise one day we’ll look back and laugh as we watch your kiddos do this to you. On second thought, we should just laugh it off now.