Parenting 101 according to Sarah

Today is the first day of term 4, which means that it is the last term for the school year.  I so wish we were able to turn back time and re do the holidays.  I never feel ready to get back into the school routine…and I always feel that the holidays go far too quickly.    I am so not ready to get back into the school routine mode.

Have I ever mentioned to you my love of the school holidays?   I think that we really need a third week.   That’s just my opinion, and I think its funny that I know many mums who will agree with me and yet I also know many mums who will also disagree with me.  Its funny how we are all so similar, yet so incredibly different!

School holidays are a time for me to really connect with my kids. School life is so busy and I find that the busyness of life, homework, getting lunches done, etc don’t allow me the time to do activities with the kids as much as I would love too.    Sure I have moments over the holidays where I find myself a little irritated with naughty behaviour, or arguing…but us parents have this fantastic little discipline opportunity called ‘CURRENCY’.  What is your child’s currency?

I know in our household, ‘Screen time’ is a fantastic form of disciplinary action.   The good old iPad, iPod, Computer, DS, TV, portable dvd player, XBOX or Wii are all things that come under the ‘Screen time’ punishment.    Amy and Bethy are the two who hate this punishment more than any other punishment.   Chanel’s currency at the moment is her two La La Loopsy dolls.    I love the idea that I can use this form of discipline action anywhere we are and anytime consequence needs to come into play.     The kids are old enough to know the rules and they are old enough to know that breaking rules means another C word….Consequence.  Breaking rules also means that they have made a ‘choice – oops another C word!  The kids know what is expected from them, so they know that when they choose to go against the rules, there is going to be a consequence, and that means that they will do some time without something they really enjoy or take for granted.

Parenting can be hard at times.  Really hard.  In fact, its the hardest job in the world.   We are constantly curbing and guiding behaviour.    The real world has consequences for bad behaviour, and so we build our kids up and reward them when they do well, and they like the positive feedback and reward, so they continue to toe the line and behave.   Occasionally, we are tested with bad behaviour, and we curb that with consequence and currency!

The word parenting is neither a female or a male term.   Its hard for both mum and dad.   I don’t know how single parents cope with all that needs doing in the household to make  family life work.  I think it would have to be alot worse when a couple don’t work together – there is nothing worse than a lazy adult living in a household, thinking that the only expectation on them is their pay cheque.   Sure they go to work and bring home the bacon for their family, but they still have responsibility in the family.  Thank God, this is not my situation, but I do feel for those who are in this situation.

Anyway…its time to get back to the trenches and get organised for school pick up.   The school day goes far too quickly!