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“Good discipline is more than just punishing or laying down the law. It is liking children and letting them see that they are liked. It is caring enough about them to provide good, clear rules for their protection.” ~ Stanley Greenspan

As a mom (and I’m sure dads, too, but I can’t speak personally there haha), loving your child or children comes easy. The difficult part is figuring out the discipline. When? How much? Laying down the law inevitably happens, though.

Laying Down the Law

Drawing the line can be easy, but at times it can be more like the dotted line of the road or a chalk line easily erased, smeared, and toed over. Kids do love to push boundaries and limits as they grow.

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My “mom law” tends to be more consistent when I feel like I keep on top of other items like house work and client tasks. When any of those spiral, the kids seem to sense that my defenses are down and pounce. I don’t bend often, but they sure rejoice in their victories when I do.

Rule Flexibility

Of course, they have learned what types of behavior or actions I have the most flexibility on, as well. They know their chores are non negotiable and complaining usually leads to extra. They also know meals are not play time and we sit together as a family for those.

Mom Law

Really, judgement comes into play a lot. Is the behavior happening because they need your love and attention? Can you guide them to a better response? Are you just being irritable… Because let’s face it, this happens some days.

Mom law, to me, is a mixture of setting the stage with rules and expectations yet knowing when to punish and when to listen. We do time outs, but then talk about why that time out happened and hug afterwards.

Keep in Mind

Here are my suggestions when navigating the stipulations and regulations:

  1. You are the parent. Sometimes my son tries to step in and be a little too helpful with his sister. We remind him that while we appreciate him trying to help, he can leave that part to us. He’s a great big brother.
  2. Consistency. I work on this daily, but it truly does help and make a difference. This also sets expectations in place better, so generally, when they get in trouble the association between the reason and the consequence can form.
  3. Rewards. Sometimes you can break your own rules as a reward for excellent behavior. Bedtime can be a little later on the weekend or having a sleepover in the living room to celebrate a good week. Small successes that they begin to appreciate.

These are just a few of my thoughts on the subject, but I would love to hear yours! How do you view “mom law” and how firm is your line? Grab your copy of tips to “Get Lost in Your Child” HERE.

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