This parenting thing has been on my mind a lot over the past week. How we parent versus how our parents raised us, especially after I blogged about how I felt our generation has lost the art of parenting.
I read these two articles about Dr. Leonard Sax, who has a wealth of knowledge and experience given he is a family physician, psychologist, author and father. And I found what he had to say very interesting, you can read what he has to say here:
A lot of what he said struck me, gave me pause for thought and then on Tuesday I had my Medusa moment with my kids. And while I was going all bat shit crazy, Ava kept saying how sorry she was. She was sorry they had broken the chair, she was sorry that they had blatantly ignored my instructions on a plethora of things. And I realized that my kids don’t understand that sorry doesn’t always fix things, that sorry is not always good enough, that actually sorry can be a cop out for not taking responsibility for what they’d done.
It reminded me of the dialogue from one of my favorite movies, Nothing to Lose:
Nick Beam: You don’t say “sorry” when you shoot somebody. You can say “sorry” when you step on someone’s toe, or accidentally break their glasses, or when you fart while they’re eating. YOU DON’T SAY YOU’RE SORRY WHEN YOU SHOOT SOMEONE!
And that’s the thing. When you do something you know you shouldn’t but think that a simple sorry will get you out of it, then no, sorry just isn’t good enough.
It’s become too easy for my kids to say sorry and accept that that’s all it’s going to take. That a sorry spares them the consequences of their actions.
So now, we’ve started with consequences. No TV, iPad, YouTube or XBOX for a whole week. Walter thinks I’m being harsh but I’ve made him swear he will back me up on this. We’re onto day 3 of no screen time and it’s actually been pretty amazing. I’ve had some serious epiphany’s about how screen time affects my kids, their relationships with each other and even us as a family, which I’ll share once we’ve made it through a whole week but I can say this, screen time will not becoming back full force into our home when this punishment ends. And it’s been amazing to see how dealing with this consequence has affected my children.
I don’t want to be a monster and I don’t want to be harsh, but they will learn that sometimes sorry simply isn’t good enough. That you can’t just do whatever you want, while blatantly disregarding me, as their mother and as the main disciplinarian in our family and assume that a sorry is going to get you out of consequences. Life doesn’t work that way, and it’s not going to work that way in our home anymore either.