I will confess that at times I truly do love the process of training and disciplining my kids. I revel in seeing them experience the natural consequences to their choices. Like when I warn them about jumping out of their seat at mealtimes before they are done, and watching them be a little hungry because they didn't finish their meal. I even secretly get a little thrill in coming up with creative ways to drive home a parenting truth. Like the time I helped my children learn that we don't put toothpaste on the walls.... by making them clean the walls with a sponge. Better believe that worked better than any timeout ever could. And that sore muscle the next day was a great opportunity to REMIND them of that moment for a day or two.
I'm not mean. Really!
I don't WISH bad things upon my children. Rather I THRIVE on seeing them learn, and grow, and change. Our children are born into this world as precious cherubic vessels of hedonistic-selfishness. As a parent, we are called to shape and mold that precious drooling body of chaos into a functional member of society. So no. Im not mean. I'm a mom..... I'm momming!
I'll confess as a mother to only boys, I also take my calling as a parent to a different level. I'm not just raising boys. As a mother, I am equipping the NEXT generation from this childhood existence of carefree presence, into a future that will be fraught with change and uncertainty and new experiences and new people. I am raising MEN! Men who will lead. Men who may marry or even, bless my future-grandma-heart, procreate!
As a mama-bear with such a lofty goal I can assure you that these Wild and amazing boys at times NEED discipline. Call it training or re-direction or even re-education. Call it whatever you want. Sometimes they need to have their world view altered past the end of their own noses. When those moments arise my enjoyment is not in the act of discipline itself, but rather it is derived from the joy of seeing them shaped into respectful, mindful, and earnest young men.
It's not always easy. Sometimes discipline is brutal for me as a parent. Today is one of those times. My oldest has been a bit too sassy with that mouth. Or as I often refer to it, his mouth has been writing checks his backside can't cash. We've had lots of push back, lots of willful disobedience, and even a little bullying of his little brothers thrown in the mix. After multiple warnings and corrections and opportunities to improve, we decided today that he will NOT receive his next stripe in Kung Fu. Thus, he will Not have the opportunity to belt test tomorrow.
This is tough for me. His twin baby brothers made their marks, earned their stripes yesterday, and are well on their way to tomorrow's belt test. They will officially excel PAST big brother. And his next chance to right that shift of power in his little world isn't until the next month.
A whole month of living with this consequence.
A whole month of them putting on their Yellow Belts, and him still suiting up three times a week with his same white belt.
Yep. This is gonna hurt.
But what makes this hard for me is my own disappointment. I know he CAN be better. I've seen
him DO better. I've watched him speak with respect and courtesy to others before. I know it's inside him. But he is powerfully strong-willed and once in awhile this crops up and he looses his footing. Digging in to put that back in check hurts sometimes because I so WANTED him to self-correct. But he didn't. Or couldn't. And so we discipline.
Painful as this consequence will be.... it's a mark that I have surrounded my son with other adults (his instructors) who equally value respect, self-discipline, and honesty. My hubby and I are not alone in our efforts to mold these tiny forces of nature into descent humans. That's an AWESOME thing to have in this world and not because I wish to shirk my parental duties and let someone else drop the hammer, but sometimes even this steeled Boymom just needs to know she's not on her own. Our world certainly has enough voices speaking untruths into my children. It's a huge perk to know there are at least a few who are aligned with my values and efforts to raise up men who not be total jackwagons of puffed up arrogance and short-sided vision.
So if you see me leaving a Kung Fu place with two giddy hi-fiving 6 yr olds and one miserable puddle of a 7 yr old who is sulking to the car with steam coming out of his ears..... take note. I am not mean. I am momming. I am raising a boy to be a young man who is inclusive and mindful of others. I am raising a teenager who can speak to others with respect even when he disagrees with them. I am raising a grown man who can interact with men AND women of every race age and creed and treat them all with respect despite any differences.
This is where that starts.
THIS battle of wills.
T H I S. moment of change.
Also.... feel free to give me a hug. Cause inside, I may be dying a little from crushing disappointment and fears that I'm getting it all wrong. I only ever want my kids to soar and excel and these moments are sometimes heartbreaking.
Despite my discomfort... I refuse to stop. I will never quit my kids. I will NEVER stop trying to make sure I raise men of Honor. I will NOT allow them to become Jackwagons