While having casual conversation with a mother recently, we realized we both had children new in the teen years. I asked her if she was experiencing the teenage blues and she said she was not. I didn't want to believe her, so I asked if she noticed any difference in her teens' (twins) attitude, and surprisingly she stuck with her original answer. I immediately wondered if I was doing something wrong since my sweet firstborn seems to experience periodic amnesia of his upbringing. This mother, whom I just met, mentioned her stern discipline style, which is...she does not play. She doesn't have to repeat herself two or three times and she tells her children what her mother told her, "Leave your attitude at the door!"
I thanked this mother for sharing with me and it's ironic that minutes before our conversation, I read a short article on the importance of prompt discipline. The article mentioned the days of black and white television when the mother who cleaned with pearls on would say, "Wait until your father gets home." That was fine for entertainment, but in reality, it's important to discipline immediately, which allows the child to connect our response to their inappropriate behavior. Single mothers don't have the choice of waiting, and unfortunately, all the discipline falls on their shoulders.
I have to admit, some things I don't share with hubby only because I've already handled the situation and don't feel like hearing it again, but other things warrant the wrath of Daddy. Regardless of your style of discipline, the key is prompt discipline.
I find myself getting soft in discipline because I get tired of talking, but I crossed paths with this mother to be reminded that there is no room for complacent discipline - not in this house.
Toddlers, pre-teens, teenagers, and young adults all deserve the opportunity to benefit from consistent, prompt discipline - whatever your style may be.
Have a wonderful Wednesday in Motherhood and don't wait until Daddy gets home!