Follow Through


I’ve decided that the most difficult issue that I have had to face in my parenting career, thus far, is remaining consistent & following through with discipline. Experts everywhere talk about how important it is, and I totally agree with them. But honestly, it just so darn hard. Even thought I know, in the the long run if I’m consistent now that discipline down the road will be a lot easier.

I often find myself giving Elle way too many warning that she is going to have to go to time-out if she continues to do something. Should I really warn her 4 times that if doesn’t stop banging on the table she will go to timeout? If she doesn’t listen to me the first time, I should be tossing (ok, not litearlly toss) her butt in the timeout chair. Next time (or maybe the time after that), she may listen the first time…or even stop banging on the table all together. gasp!

I’ve got to be consistent in the method of discipline but also speed up my follow through. Why do I avoid timeout? Part of me wonders if I’m just rooting for her to obey without the need to be disciplined at all?

Ok, so is this normal? Either way, normal or not normal, I’m going to work on it.

9 Responses to “Follow Through”

  1. Ron Says:

    Yes, it is normal. We all want them to obey the first time. (My dad use to say, “I’m only going to warn you kids 9 or 10 more times!” Seriously. He did.) Your mom was great at this. She followed through. I was lousy. I let you get away with murder. But you are right in all you are saying. It is in Elle’s best interest to set a pattern and be consistent. Why bother giving her “warning #1” if you are teaching her that it means absolutely nothing? She can count! She knows how many warnings are left! So you are only kidding yourself … not Elle … when you give multiple warnings.

    The appropriate method is to “fire one warning shot” and then … time out. (Or whatever the appropriate discipline is.) Teach her that a warning is just that. It’s a “Hey, Elle. You know better. Here’s your ‘head’s up” call.” And the next time you should make it count. Doing anything else only frustrates YOU. Elle will dance her way through life knowing exactly how close to discipline she is while your blood pressure continues to elevate with each incident … and each additional child.

  2. Denise Says:

    As if any wisdom could be added to what your dad said, but I just want to agree with his last point about the “each additional child.” I struggle with consistency too. Sometimes they get three warnings, sometimes only one. Since our second daughter came along, we’ve found that good follow through with the older child is almost like a preemptive strike with the younger. She’ll still misbehave like her older sister, but she’s doing it to see if she’ll get the same discipline (she wants to be like her sister in *every* way), and when she does, she rarely ever tries it again. More importantly, she has grown up watching what those warnings mean, so she seemed to learn not to test the boundaries earlier than our oldest one did. Now, this could just be a difference in their temperment, but I prefer to think that maybe I’m doing something right.

    (However, our younger is slowly, but steadily, turning over to the dark side of the terrible 2s. You can read my blog from yesterday for an example if you want. 🙂 I’m hoping it’s one of those “funny if it’s not happening to you” stories.)

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  4. Scott Says:

    not normal…jk

  5. Dad (Butch) Says:

    Nothing is more important than boundries and keeping them. If you don’t give more than one warning ……one warning is all you will need! You have an exceptionally bright child! The only exception to more than one warning is when she is at paw paw’s house!! It is called Grandparents perogitive be sure you put that one in the rule book!!!!

    Love you and you are doing a good job…..Mom!

  6. Ron Says:

    AMEN to Butch & Judy’s thoughts. I like the Grandparents perogitive idea.

  7. Kim Lehnen Says:

    As a parent I have done the exact same thing when mine were little. Your Dad is right it will only frustrate you more if you don’t stick to it. It is so important to start this at an early age. Letting Elle know that you mean business even at her age is so important. Since working at an elementary school every year I see kindergartners who don’t realize that there are consequences for their actions. They don’t understand when they do something wrong that there is then a consequence because at home they are not taught this. I see too many parents who let their kids have the control. I know it is hard to discipline but you’ll be glad you did as she gets older. You & Joe are doing a great job, just remember that.

  8. Tanya Johnson Says:

    Parenting: the toughest job you’ll ever love! So true!

    I know how tough it is to be consistent. I struggle, especially with Camryn (she is 4.) From experience I can testify, that the more consistent you are now the easier it will be later. She is testing her boundaries and these are the years that she is learning them the most. Establish them now and you will be glad you did later!
    I promise! 🙂


  9. Bethany Says:

    Have you read Shepherding a Child’s Heart, by Ted Tripp? My parents bought it for me this week, and I started reading it last night. It’s excellent: humbling, instructive, very Biblical.

    Of course, as I take 3 min to write this post, my daughter has found and either spilled or devoured half a can of baking powder…….I’m in the trenches with you!! 🙂

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