Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mommies throw me a discipline bone please!

What the heck happened? Where did my pleasant little man go? I would like him back please. But I have a feeling it will take a lot more than praying to St. Theresa (Catholic thing) to get him back.

We skipped the Terrible Twos. I sat back and watched with pity and perhaps a smidge of envy as my friends went through it with their kids. For some reason, my little guy was an angel. Not sure what we were doing right or wrong at the time. But that time has officially passed.

Cases in point:
1. The other day: In the park, little boy his age standing on some wobbly beam thing. My little guy makes a move (though not quick enough) to stealthily push him off. The horror! Same park, the kid's father standing on said beam. "Get off!" exclaims my little man while trying to push him off.
2. Parent's Tea at School: Having to leave. Him not wanting to leave. Making a big show of not wanting to leave. Me being utterly embarassed while trying to NOT get angry and exercise patience. I somehow managed to do both, but damn it was hard.
3. Friend's daughter's basketball game: Repeatedly running out onto the court DURING THE GAME. Me mortified. Him, couldn't care less. I even had this "We can't go over the red line" thing going. Not denying him totally but setting a boundary. It worked for awhile and then he broke away and made the mad dash (me with too tight jeans and a sweatshirt riding up my back exposing my flesh scrambling after him...what a sight).
4. Today: Pick up the little man from school. He doesn't want to leave. "Jag vill inte gå!!!" (I don't want to go). I manage to distract him with whatever I was saying to have him trudge alongside me towards the car. We run into a mother. I stop to chat. He keeps going. I yell after him, "Slutta nu Joseph!" (Stop now!). He looks back in defiance and smiling and makes a beeline for the road WITH CARS! I cut the conversation and start sprinting. I was pretty scared to be honest. He scared the shit out of me. A car could have easily come around the cul-de-sac and beened right into him. I was mad. No, not angry. I was MAD and frightened. The exchange went something like this:
"When Mama tells you to stop, you stop. This is dangerous. A car could have come and hit you and then we would have to call the ambulance and go to the hospital and bye-bye YOU. Mama is very angry right now. blah, blah, blah. DO YOU UNDERSTAND? (scowling face for effect and well, because I meant it)." Raised voice but not screaming because I am, after all, in Sweden. He says, "Ok Mama". He realizes I'm quite serious. We get into the car. My monologue continues and then I fall silent, unable to get the vision of my son getting hit by a moving vehicle out of my mind. He is silent, waiting for the storm to pass. Insert "cut-the-tension-with-a-knife" analogy. I told him not to bother asking for candy today because he behaved badly and boys who behave badly do not get candy (yup, I realize that whole bribing or rewarding with sweets was likely not the best move).

There's a lot of challenging going on right now. Him defying us, the establishment. I remember when I did that. There was a slap on the ass. It worked. But, I don't want to take that route. I also don't want to be one of those soft Mommies who either gives in or tries to "soothingly discipline" or whatever it is when you see Mothers, whose kids soooo deserve a swift kick in the arse, say and do things you KNOW have NO EFFECT WHATSOEVER.

So please, please Mommy blogger communities, HELP ME. I need some techniques and FAST. I need something consistent because right now, I'm all over the place. Anything with a touch of "fear of God" and a smattering of "serious reasoning" sounds great!


LostInTraslation...Literally said...

oh no adolescence is striking...

I'm sorry Jen, and I feel worse for laughing the entire time i was reading this... just imagining them... hysterical!! lol!

I am deeply sorry for my amusement at your pain :p

I hop he doesnt continue acting up.

I dont know how to help. my little sister is an angel ><!

Young Mamma said...

I discovered your blog a little while ago and have been 'creeping' ever since and figured now was a good time comment. I grew up in Sweden and recently spend 6 months there with my fiance and 2 year old studying abroad and Loved it.

My son is right in the middle of those terrible 2's and being a stay at home mamma and spending ALL my time with him there are days I want to pull my hair out. The Only thing that I have found out that even remotely works is putting his favorite toys in 'time out'. Up on a shelf, where he is reminded that he can't play with them. Putting him in time out did absolutely Nothing. He would sit there and patiently until his two minutes were up- but when I put his favorite car or stuffed animal in time out it really would piss him off, enough that half the time when he is being naughty all I have to do is threaten (agh i hate using the word threaten when dealing with children) but yes threaten his toys in time out and a lot of time will immediately stop.

Well that was quite a novel- Lycka till!

SwedishJenn said...

Welcome Young Mamma! And thanks for creeping and commenting! I have never had to use a Time Out and had thought it was kinda lame. But the Toy In Time Out idea sounds brilliant!!!!!

My little boy came in like a lamb and boy is he going all out like a Lion! I also wonder how much they really "understand" at this age, he's 3 and a half and trying to master both the English and Swedish languages. Like, how do they really learn social graces? Like, "It's not nice to be rude to your elders". How do you make them GET THAT? He certainly doesn't see ME PUSHING grown-ups.

Maybe I also need to be more conscious of how I behave around adults, like dramatically so. "Oh hello So&So, how are you today? Oh, I see that you're eating a piece of chocolate and I would really like to have some of that chocolate. But I will not grab it from you and run screaming in victory. Instead I think I will ask you politely for some. Oh and I also see that you're parked in the spot I was going to park my car in. But I will not ram your car with mine to force you out of the spot. Instead, I will ask you politely if you wouldn't mind moving your car so that I may park there instead." What a trip this will be. Stay tuned...

SwedishJenn said...

@Lost. I am happy someone finds this situation amusing (though I have to admit I almost burst when he tried to push that man off the beam thingy). I am sincerely looking forward to your blog posts when you have kids. I'll be the one pointing, laughing and rolling on the ground. LOL and ROFL to you (and evil grin too)! :-)

Den said...

Sorry to be of no help whatsoever... Am still cracking up at the fact that the sentence 'stop Joe' in Swedish sounds like you're calling your son a slut! X

SwedishJenn said...

@ Den: That's nuthin'. My favourites are the signs for "In" and "out", "Infart"/"Utfart"

septembermom said...

I wish I had any creative advice. I've been having my trouble with all my kids this week. Even after parenting for 13 years, I wonder why my kids don't listen to me some days. It's almost like you have to ride the wild roller coaster and hope for smooth rides ahead.

Mon said...

LMAO!!! Wait, so what you're saying is... you have a NORMAL 3 year old???

But honestly, it goes a LONG way to realising that our kids are being normal. It is US who have warped (ie. adult version) standards of how kids should behave.

A quiet, 'well-behaved', does all that you ask of him, doesn't tantrum, child, is a REPRESSED child.

Being a parent who allows their child the right to a voice means having a child who will use it. lol I know, totally not fair. ;)

As for dangerous situations, it's up to us to minimise them. A small child will never get how dangerous something is. They're more likely to be afraid of some doll in a shop than being hit by a car when running onto the road. It's too abstract a concept, no matter how much we freak out and get mad.

Hang in there, remember he's just a kid, is testing out his world and social situations, it's all normal, talk about IMPORTANT stuff through dialogue or stories to help him learn...

So impressed with the Swedish! My Serbian is as bad as when you left!!