Sydney & Denny

Sydney & Denny
September at the Park

Friday, November 12, 2010

Lack of Discipline!

The lack of discipline in alarming!
I've gone on and on here in my blog about how lucky I am to have the family that I do, and that is certainly true now more than ever. I love my wife and kids more than I could ever put into words here in this blog. However, and let's face it, however is just another more fancy way of saying but, over the last week to ten days, my kids have lost their minds! This of course has caused my wife and I to lose our minds as well. In addition, Stacy and I have lost all patience or ability to reason. My kids have gone crazy!!!
I've probably talked about how sometimes it seems that I speak a foreign language, or at least my kids hear me speaking a different tongue. Lately however, it's gotten really bad. There has been a lot of yelling in our house over the last few days. Sure, we took a yelling moratorium on Sydney's birthday, but most days lately are quite hard to take. I know that both of my kids are very intelligent. Shoot, as I mentioned here, Denny is from outer space. Last I checked, it takes a few brain cells to build and operate an intergalactic space ship. Well it's because of this intelligence from my kids that I sometimes feel as though I'm on some version of the old show "Candid Camera." I mean, I have to get after them both for the same things every single day!
An example scenario.
Let me just give you a rundown of what I mean. Today while I was in the living room picking up, Denny was in the kitchen and it was awfully quiet in there. As any parent will attest, that's not a good sign. I go in there, and before I do, I know exactly what is going on. He has opened the stove and is standing on the door so he can reach the cookies that are set to the back of the counter. So, I take him off the stove door, give a two year old the appropriate lecture on how he could hurt himself, he ignored me, and went straight for the living room. So, while I'm cleaning up the mess he made on the counter, I hear a familiar noise from the living room. That noise was Sydney yelling "Come look what Denny did to the TV!" Again, I know what it is he has done, because he did the same thing yesterday. And the day before that. And the day before that. And, every single days since time began! He has climbed up on the end table and turned off the cable box, opened the now broken DVD player, and has attempted to shove some toy into said DVD player. So, I'm starting the slow burn at this point. I take him down for the dangerously high spot he has found, put him in the chair and again give him the appropriate lecture for a two year old. Again, he ignores me. At this point, I get them up to the table to do some coloring. The same situation plays itself out from the day before. Denny breaks and throws the crayons. Sydney yells at him, walks over to him and tries to wrestle the half-crayon from his hand, resulting in a fist fight that ends with her hair being pulled and him screaming because she has delivered a rather impressive roundhouse right to the side of his skull. So, they get separated and put into the ever effective "Time Out." This is just a small sample of what happens here lately. I didn't even tell you about how the other night I had stopped and gotten them some Chicken McNuggets and the abuse I took for not giving them to him right away. I put them on the counter to cool and told Denny to leave them there. Of course, when I wasn't looking, he tried to take them. I took them from his grubby little hands and told him that I meant it when I said no. I started to wash my hands at the sink when I felt a large object ramming my hip. He had headbutted my hip! When I turned to face my attacker, he lined me up for his attempt at setting the NFL record for longest field goal in the history of the game of football! I managed to avoid the kick, but by this time, my own anger was red lined. He got his little behind swatted and put on the couch for a good ten minutes while the nuggets and I cooled off.
It's my own fault.
I have never been a very disciplined person in my life. I don't mean that I acted up as a child or anything. It's just that I have never instilled in myself the discipline needed to accomplish anything that I wanted to. I have always wanted to teach and coach at the high school level, and I have just never finished my degree despite multiple opportunities. I don't always discipline myself when it comes to the upkeep of our house. Sometimes things don't always get done how they should. So, my point is, how can my kids learn discipline from me if I don't have any myself?  How can I expect them to do what I say, when I don't even do what I say I am going to?
I just don't know what to do. I'm trying really hard to get them to mind us, but it's not taking at all.  I don't know if they are bored or what. I don't know how they can be bored though, I try and do different things with them all of the time. I am really trying to switch up our everyday routine so that boredom is not an issue. Maybe they are BOTH aliens and have been sent here to test the limits of human patience. Yeah, I think that's it. I am being studied by aliens. It's the most logical explanation.
Okay, I'm done now. Have a great night. See, most people will read that and know that I meant to "have a nice night." To my kids that means "try to run your father into an insane asylum before he's 40!


  1. okay denny, i have an idea for you if you are up for it...which it sounds like you probably are up for anything by this point. :) so i have learned about something called "Love and Logic". It can be used on children as young as infants. It is a different way of teaching them choices and letting them know that they have consequences that depend upon which choice THEY make. I'm not a master in the subject, but I have learned that it is VERY effective. I am sure you can find it online somewhere. It is a system you have to purchase, but from what I have heard from my social work professor and some day care workers is that it works miracles. If you are willing to give it a is definately worth purchasing.

    By the way...yet another great blog! I know it got u mad, but the part about Denny head butting you was too funny! :)

  2. I hear you Brother! I have not read Love and Logic but I heard it is great and that I (usually) do what it recommends. That being said each kid is different, just like employees are different. It might sound weird but I try to treat them like employees. Give them choices and hold them accountable for their decisions. I had a lengthly conversation with one of my trio the other day about how he chose to go to time out in his room by himself and stay there for 20 minutes because he was yelling.

    The tough part? You end up punishing yourself too. But the pay off is HUGE in the long run. At least I am betting it is:) I shot a video of my little "princess" pitching a six minute fit because I would not carry her to the table. Why didn't I? Because she did not ask nicely. It also took one of my boys about an hour to do his two minute time out correctly, standing in the corner quietly without playing.

    Good luck, you are in my prayers,


  3. This is the tough part of the job and this isn't news to you either. We've gone thru a few things to and fix the street fights we have from time to time.

    One we've used with varying results was, red/yellow/green statuses. I made sheets from construction paper with the colors for each of the kids. As long as they were good they stayed on green. if they misbehaved, we'd tell them we're moving them to yellow. They'd get upset and we'd tell them to behave and when they did or said they're sorry, we'd put them back. If they did something REALLY bad.. they go to red. As long as they made amends we moved them back to green. The purpose was not to keep them on yellow or red, but where they would want to avoid it at all costs and stay on green.

  4. Its a tough job raising children Denny, but alteast your a parent who tries and do the right thing instead of letting them get away with murder, (which would be much easier on you and Stacy but bad for them in the long run). The other thing I noticed is the fact that you said you try to mix things up a little for them so they dont get bored, children NEED cosistency, you have to keep them on a schedule so they know what to expect, when it comes to there routine and there disipline. Knowing what is going to happen every day for them is very important so when they do get in trouble they automaticly know what the consequences are going to be. Other wise guessing everytime doesnt teach them anything. Hang in there, I theink your doing a great job and everything will pay off in the end when you get to spoil there children then send them home to them!!!! lol

  5. Eric, thanks for the comment. That's actually a really great idea. I think I'm going to use the color idea with my oldest. I think my 2yo might be too young just yet.
    Texas Trio, thanks for the comment. I know what you mean about the tantrums. I've tried timeout like I said, it just doesn't work. I try to be tough, but I always end up caving. That may be where the problem lies huh?