Sydney & Denny

Sydney & Denny
September at the Park

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Discipline and my kids

I'll just say this about my kids and discipline: There seems to be none! I try to straddle that line between a tough guy and their best buddy, but I end up on the buddy side more times than not. Even when I get upset and give them crap, I end up caving. I have patience issues with both of my kids and my wife, but deep down I'm a softy. I think it's partially why my kids seem to be favoring me over their mother right now. I am with them so much and being nothing more than a big kid myself, I play with them so much more than anything else. I feel guilty every single time I have to get after them. I believe that kids need discipline in their lives, and I don't know if I am doing a very good job of it up to this point. I can NOT get my son to keep from playing with electrical cords and outlets. I get after him every single time, in a variety of manners, but he just will not listen to me. I think it's somewhat important to keep him alive, and I THINK that maybe it's good idea to keep him away from the electrical outlets. Just a thought.
It goes back to my thoughts on discipline. How do I get my kids to listen to me? I was brought up to do exactly what my parents said, when they said it, or else there was consequences that were not desirable. I got my ass whupped more than a few times, and I don't really like the idea of my kids being afraid of me like I was of my parents. Yes, I have gotten after my kids with volume, and I have my patience issues, but I don't think they are afraid of me. I think that's good right? However, they won't listen to me at all. I mentioned the electrical outlet issue, but he won't quit opening the DVD player either. I have even whacked him on the butt, and swatted his hands, doesn't work. He does what he wants. Then just tonight, Sydney and I were in the basement and she grabbed a book from the box and I told her to leave it downstairs, that's where it belongs. She just kept it and went up the stairs. It really feels like I speak a different language than my kids. I guess my question to anyone reading this is, how do I get them to do what they are told, but also not be afraid of me? I need that happy medium and don't know how to get it. HELP!!!
Please leave me any ideas, because I want to be a better Daddy.
Thanks, and always remember it is what it is.


  1. Well, good question. I think we all have our strong points and weaknesses. Maybe you weakness is your playfulness :-). Not that it's bad to be playful or anything -- heck, kids love that. I know when I get my kids all giggly with my antics that it's almost impossible to get them to follow directions afterwards because they don't take me seriously. Buuuut, I like being funny with them so I've just learned that during those times not to expect any obedience from them. HAHA! I don't know, man. Maybe that's it, maybe not. You kids obviously love you a lot, so I'm guessing that's good enough.

  2. Hey Dennis,

    I feel you can be "fun dad" but they have to know that when enough is enough that is it. When mine were little I would say no once and if I had to say it again, I would physically remove them from the issue, sometimes kicking and screaming and in public but I didn't care.

    Not that this is "the" way to do things, it worked for me and now they are 7 & 11 I rarely have to go off on them, they just do as they are told.

    A thought

  3. That's really great advise, thank you. My problem arises when I don't just stop at one "no." I try to reason with them and I shouldn't. I have had to take screaming kids out of public places myself though. It's ALWAYS fun, and people NEVER stare. Thanks for the comment.

  4. Keith, thanks for the comment. I'm in the same boat, and like I've said I try to reason. It doesn't work. I'm really trying to find the right way to get the happy medium. Maybe I need to lower my expectations.