I saw a television show tonight on Fox, called Nanny 911. I was highly impressed by the Nanny who convinced the parents of 5 outrageous little boys (including a set of twins) to pull together, discipline, and get consistent.
It was incredibly frustrating to watch the parents resist such obviously reasonable plans as having a schedule, being consistent, and time-outs. They weren't a unified body, and they had no authority. The Nanny almost had to work more on the parents than on the children. The children responded pretty well to the new way of doing things. They resisted, but by the end I thought the only person they were going to respect was going to be the nanny!
I know it's effort to discipline children. Piper has a habit right now of jumping on my bed and getting up on the top bunk. But consistency is the key! I tell her she has a choice, she can do whatever she's not allowed to do and end up in time-out, or she can choose to do what I've told her. Then I follow through. Now instead of 20 time-outs for getting up on her brothers bed, she only got two today.
I just think whatever the disciplinary style the parents choose, the kids have to know that mom and dad are in charge and that they will do SOMETHING! The show made me feel better as a mom and grateful for my kids. Not that the kids on the show were bad, they were just undisciplined. With a little structure they relaxed into being kids. I have a feeling that kids act out when there's no discipline because it's just too stressful being in charge. That and because the nature of us as humans is to take all we can get and give as little as possible. That's also why I think communism doesn't work, but that's a conversation for another day.
In some ways this pregnancy has been a little Nanny 911 for us. I just don't have the energy to get too worked up about anything. So, I am REALLY good all of a sudden about staying calm and managing behavior, as well as taking opportunities to teach better whenever possible.