Tail Trouble

in , by sarahmfry, March 18, 2010

I don't know about your perfect children, but the perfect children in this house go through these cycles of testing.  We'll all be one big-happy-kissing-smiling-family for awhile, then all of the sudden they growl and stretch and their clothes pop open and green monsters come out!  They decide they're the bosses of their world.  So we spank 'em give them time-outs for awhile and then they shrink back into happy, kissing, smiling kids again. 

Well...let me just tell ya'.  We're in  spanking  time-out season around here, folks. 

I gave three...count them....THREE spankings time-outs tonight during and after church. (Then more of the fun to follow later at home while Daddy was gone to a meeting!)  You might say I wasn't giving hard enough time outs if a repeat performance was necessary.  But trust me, the time outs were sufficient.  My kids are just hard-tailed  headed, I guess.  (I had this most amazing, wonderfully rare pediatrician in Alabama.  I told him once that my hardest-tailed kid had laughed when I spanked her.  He told me, "Well, then - you're probably not spanking hard enough!"  He was so cool and great and actually respected a mom's intuition. Our first pediatrician was also cool - and very "old school."  He recommend a little shot of whiskey to cure what ails 'em.) 

Oh mercy...I digress.  Wasn't I talking about time outs?  Or....something.

I do think the strange schedule this week and just not quite enough sleep are big factors.  But whatever it is that sends them into their green-monster-stage,  I have come to almost enjoy these seasons of testing.  Okay.  Enjoy is too strong-a-word.  I have hope in the midst of tribulations and testings.  One really encouraging thing is we're getting to experience with our oldest (who is 7) the peaceful results of hard work in the very early years.  And consistency most certainly pays off.  After they've put their tiny little hinys over the line enough times that they remember how things work in their world, they settle back down into a more contented security again. And kid perfection is once again resumed. (If you don't know I'm kidding, you are most certainly new to my blog.) One of my blessed children (not the one who was screaming in the church nursery - the other perfect one) actually stuck her finger in her ear (!) while I was giving her the "obeying-mommy-and-God-and-I-love-you-so-much-before-a-spanking" talk.  Guess the little spitfire didn't have the courage to stick both fingers in. But one was enough for this mama.  Let's just say the talking stopped and now she understands that THAT's not a bit of disrespect she ever wants to try again.

 Dr. Dobson talks about how much more secure kids are with firm, well-marked boundaries.  I totally agree.
Because I'm a bit of a chicken, my mind is whirling even as I write, trying to second-guess all of you parents out there who may be inclined to load up your perfect-parenting-pistols and mentally shoot me with all kinds of theologies and philosophies and formulas and ways to avoid the testing cycle.  And maybe I agree with you on all of it.  But I don't have time or energy to explain my whole parenting philosophy tonight.  I will say that I believe in heart-and-grace-based parenting, peppered with the lovingly-applied-rod as necessary.  And I know my Momma is right.  I am the best mom for my kids.  I know them and understand them (as well as you can understand a pack of monkey hyenas.) And like I said, I am okay with these toe-over-the-line-testing seasons.  'Cuz they're finding out that they can trust us to mean what we say. 

I remember my mom teaching us about how kids almost always come to you for reassurance and affection after a discipline session.  But it still amazes me how (if done effectively) after the weeping and wailing stops, their hearts are softer and closer and more open.  They don't all express this in the same way, but it still boggles my mind.  As my mom says, "Trust the Maker's instructions."


Add your comment