When we set out figuring out how to discipline our child I knew a few things: first of all, I did not want to screw up my kid or give her problems later in life. I knew that there had to be some kind of order. However it happened, I did not want wild kids with zero boundaries. I did not want our method of discipline to exhaust me. (Hard is okay, but it had to be manageable). I also knew that I didn’t want to be cruel, violent, or for my discipline to lack meaning.
What I’ve settled on (for now, I tend to change things when they stop being effective), is that boundaries work for us. Meaning what we say works for us. Natural consequences work for us. We don’t spank, we don’t do time-outs, we don’t assign out punishments that are the same for every offense.
Admitting our mistakes is the first step to changing our behavior, and as a new mom I know I made many of them. Most were small mistakes, although I did once accidentally cut my daughter’s finger with the nail clippers, and called her pediatrician crying, asking what to do. Even that though, healed up in a couple days. Kids are pretty resilient. Most of these mistakes I won’t make again (except #5, which I’ve given up on getting right).
Maybe some of these will help you to be a better parent, or maybe they’ll just give you a laugh because you made that mistake too. I’d love to hear your stories too, so drop a comment or join our community on Facebook.
1. Mentioning to some new mom friends at a nursing support group that I always forget to wash teething rings. Oh the stares. None of them seemed to have this problem. Got the hang of it later, thank goodness.
2. Bonking my newborns head on a doorframe. More than once. Okay to be fair, I don’t have depth perception and it’s hard to get used to carrying someone very precious around.