Who knows anymore. So much has happened, so much has changed. Where does one start and how much is too much to know? Yikes!
Let's start with a family of blended ages and discipline. Let me tell you. It. Is. Very. Hard. While my husband (2nd, by the way) is as nice as can be and loves us like no other, his discipline skills are completely lacking and inconsistent. I have two teenage daughters (16 & 17) of my own. He has two kids, boy (21) and girl (18). We then have a 5-year-old daughter... You get the picture. His kids grew up with their mom, and when they visited (over the years it's gotten WAY less...), he was not disciplinary with them. I was, however, as I believe that kids should be treated equally, and they liked me less for it (and asked to just stay out of it). So, needless to say, they have lacked discipline, both in their own home and ours. Thank goodness they are now "grown."
Some people think I'm pretty strict with my kids (nothing like Lynne Curtin on The Original Housewives of Orange County-YES! I do watch that show... DON'T look at me like that!). I believe I'm somewhere in the middle. I want my kids to see the whole picture, not just the "now" portion in front. I do things for a reason, not just because it suits my situation or is convenient for me. (We have missed many movies, because I felt one or more of them didn't deserve to go...) And for that, I am sorry to the child(ren) who has to suffer for one's mistakes. I suffer, too! I deal with the attitudes and crap that the punished and unpunished kid(s) give me. I can do no right, apparently. My kids are often "grounded" due to grades, the room being a mess (and I'm not really picky on that, but when you can't walk through the room without shoveling through... ya gotta get on them), backtalking or just "tone" in general.
Let's talk about "tone." Ummm... I find it utterly amazing they don't think they have an attitude, even when I explain their tones implied one. If you are short with me and speak in staccato sentences (short tones), this is a language of disrespect. I have raised them, put food on the table, fought for them (wherever) whenever need be, and I deserve to be talked to in a courteous manner. Some may tell me my girls are teenagers, and I need to realize that. Uh... HELLO! I do realize that but...
I have a 5-year-old "IN-THE-HOUSE" (palms pumping the air). If you don't know already, 5-year-olds (both genders) are utter parrots-physically, verbally, and emotionally. So, if you have teenagers... the 5-year-old is going to try to pull the same b.s. drama the teenagers do and treat you (me) like crap-o-la on it's worst day (you know, the day it ends up on your shoe?). As a parent that is trying to teach these kids to play nice in a not-so-nice world, I am trying to teach overall... up and beyond... that no matter how old you are... whether you are an adult, a teenager, or a little kid, learning from older siblings, THIS TYPE OF BEHAVIOR IS NOT OKAY!!!
It should not be allowed in schools, either. But... what are they going to do? (At this point, I'm not going to get into what the government has taken away from us in the form of discipline, because... well... that's a whole long 'nother story, and I'd like to climb down from my soap box for a drink of water.)
Anyway, I am not going to change the ways I parent my daughters. This will have to do.
Now... insert Daddy No-Discipline... *sigh* Raising a 5-year-old with 2 totally different disciplinary styles is the. hardest. thing. I've. ever. done. Even with her, he has no discipline, or does when he gets tired of hearing her nonstop questioning, talking, singing, whatever. He tells her to stop. That she talks too much. My heart hurts from hearing this. I get on her for doing "wrong" things. But these are the things little children are supposed to do. This is how they learn. This is how they get things answered. This is how they express themselves. I want all of my children to feel they are free to do these things. There is no "tone" problem, no backtalking, no disrespect (I actually believe there IS respect, as the child has got to respect someone to ask them so many questions and trust in their answers). She is just a chatty little girl, finding her way in the world. And WE are supposed to be the ones to guide her. Yet, when she is doing wrong, and I "punish" her with a time out (trust me... it's NOT very long), he is the first one to say that I'm being overly harsh.
Go figure. But, I've made an executive decision. As long as I am the one raising her (and my other girls, too), and he sleeps during the day and is gone most nights, I will be the one who keeps the rules. My rules. My morals. My demand for respect and my goals to help my children find their ways in the world... no matter how many questions I may have to answer.