I believe that it is good to read another parenting book every now and then. Reading a new book leaves me with more information, helps me to assess where I am at, what I've begun to let slip and where I need to make changes.
I'm currently reading On Becoming Preschool Wise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam. I've read Baby Wise, Baby Wise 2, Toddler Wise and Potty Wise. I have found great tips in all of them and I am finding Preschool Wise to be the same.
What I have come to realize is that I am letting discipline slip a little bit. I am letting my kids win when they shouldn't and I am giving them too many warning before following through. Do I really need give them to the count of three to decide to listen? Should I let Liza scream "NO!" at me before changing her mind and deciding to listen when she realizes she is going to get punished if she doesn't? I don't think so. I mean... why can't I ask them to do something once and expect them to listen?
Because of this we have been making changes in the past few days. In Preschool Wise they suggest that when you tell your kids to do something that you teach them to respond "yes Mommy" or "yes Daddy". I like it. We've been trying it. I sat the kids down and explained to them that we are making changes, I'm no longer counting to three and when they don't listen the first time it's straight to bed. Here is what it goes like for now...
"Liza, I want you to clean up your toys. I want to hear yes mommy."
And then I expect her to go do it. Eventually it should become a bit of a habit to respond like that and I won't have to prompt. What I have noticed though is that having her reply assures me that she truly has heard and her attitude about it is usually decent. She wants to listen and when she knows the boundary it's easier.
I know it all seems a bit strict... but that's ok. Call me strict if you want. I'm responsible for myself and how I raise my children. I believe that respect for authority is learned (or not learned) in the home. I can't expect anyone else to teach them these things. I like this change. I like that we are all on the same page and the kids know what is expected of them. Anyways... I really hated counting to three all the time.
The next things we are going to work on are keeping our voices quiet at meals and learning how to politely interrupt Mommy if I am talking to someone else.