"Kids will do well if they can" is a basic mantra that Dr. Ross Greene, acclaimed psychologist and director of Lives in the Balance, asks parents to keep in mind when dealing with kids.
Moms will do well if they can, too, although when it comes to discipline, we don't always do it as well as we can. Keep reading for some of the most common discipline mistakes moms make and regret.
1. Disciplining For Normal Kid Behavior
"He makes silly noises, weird voices, the sound effects are amazing and when he's not being irritating, he's a bear," Kelly R. says about her 9-year-old son. Like Kelly, I wonder sometimes what's normal behavior for my kids.
With a little one, a middle-size one, and a teenager in my house, it’s sometimes hard for me to switch gears to remember what behavior is developmentally appropriate for each age. I get mad with them for doing annoying things before I remember that's just what kids do at their ages. And then, of course, I regret losing it just because my kids are being kids.
2. Yelling and Screaming
Losing it looks different for every mom. It’s one thing, as moms say, to yell up the stairs or across the house to your child, but it’s quite another to yell at them. Nicole P. knows that yelling isn’t a good discipline technique and she feels like all she’s doing by yelling at her son is teaching him to disrespect her as she is disrespecting him.
Yelling is more often a sign of frustration and mental exhaustion than it is a genuine attempt to solve a problem. It’s saying "Stop!," instead of saying, "Here's what needs to happen instead." As Lisa D. points out, yelling and screaming puts the kids more in charge.
3. Being Inconsistent and Not Following Through
I recently read a post by mommy blogger Bad Playdate about watching a mom chase her kid around at a birthday party. The mom had her child counting to three and in time-out the whole party. While the 1-2-3 Magic technique works for many, the key is consistency and follow-through, not persistence!
Mom Jenny says she has tried many different discipline techniques with her son for the past six years, but hasn’t found one that works. She admits that she thinks a lot of the problem is that she's not consistent, something she regrets and is working to fix.