As a single mom the biggest discipline issue I face is in being consistent. Not only do I have difficulty in making sure that I do the same thing and stick to what I’ve discussed with the children as far as rules and discipline but then I also have to deal with the problem that my ex-husband doesn’t exactly have the same rules and consequences that I have. At one time this was a major issue because the kids would always come home and complain to me that their daddy didn’t do it that way or that daddy let them do something that I didn’t and tons of other complaints.
A few years ago I saw a class called “Love and Logic” being offered through the local Family Resource Center. I think at the time it only cost me $10 for the book and the class was free. I gained a lot of useful ideas from the system of parenting and found that it worked great for my kids. The biggest bonus for me was that I didn’t have to worry about what the ex was doing or need his cooperation to make things consistent in my house. I’m also comfortable in knowing that I’ve found a positive way for me to discipline the kids.
One of the tips that I really liked that they used was what they called going brain-dead. Basically this just involves choosing a phrase that you’re going to use in order to remove the tendency to argue. They suggest something like “I love you too much to argue”. They way I use this for my kids is when they come home and tell me that daddy let’s them do something or daddy doesn’t do it that way I first re-iterate our rules and our way of doing things and then if they continue to argue with me about it I just tell them over and over and over again “I love you too much to argue”. Usually after 2 or 3 times they get the idea and quit…sometimes it takes quite a few more times as they like to see if they can wear me down!.
Another thing that I really like is the use of offering choices in non-critical issues – some of my favorites are:
Do you want to wear your coat or carry it?
(the point is one way or another the coat is going along)
Are you doing to do your homework before supper or after?
(plain and simply put — they are doing homework)
Are you going to brush your teeth or put your pajamas on first?
(no matter which they choose they are going to do both)
The Love and Logic website offers a lot of free articles that you can check out and gather some great information that I’ve found really helpful. Some of my favorite articles they have include “Making Your Kids Responsible for Their Actions”< "Turn your Words into Gold", "what's More Important: GPA or Character?”. There's even more than what I've listed and I'm sure you'll find some favorites too.