I’ve talked about discipline in the past (see When ‘no’ is the hardest word) and my fears about Aidan turning into another bratty, sick kid. Yet despite a concerted effort this year, Aidan continues to struggle with rules and it appears more needs to be done.
When his report card says ‘Inconsistent’ for keeping his hands to himself, listening to the teacher and respecting others, you know it’s time to act.
When his teacher says, “Aidan was very good today. He still said ‘no’ but at least he didn’t growl at me when he said it,” you know it’s time to act.
When even changing his nappy causes a meltdown, you know it’s time to act.
There are no more excuses to be made. If we want a happy child who has friends and is well liked then we need to get serious and we need support to do it.
One of our biggest challenges is that Aidan is a very engaging and charismatic child. People tend to gravitate to him wherever we go and while it is wonderful that adults adore him, it is very hard to discipline a child who is used to getting everything he wants. He has adults all around him bending to his every command; he receives gifts from complete strangers when we go to the supermarket and is rewarded with stickers at the hospital despite throwing a tantrum and being rude to nurses.
We’re facing an uphill battle when all around us people are saying, ‘but he goes through so much’, ‘he’s just so cute’, ‘can’t you just give in this once’. While logically everyone knows he needs discipline few people can watch us chastise him.
Now it seems we have no other choice. Aidan is already reacting well to his new behaviour chart and the result is a happier and more harmonious home life. The next step is to enforce this behaviour outside the home. Not one to upset people, I don’t feel comfortable pulling other people up when they reward Aidan for bad behaviour but for his own sake I need to. It’s time to say no to the stickers and lollies when people go to hand them to him. It’s time to be the mother I need to be.