Effective Discipline That Sticks
With 7 kids, 14 years apart, you can imagine what my house was like a few years ago. I had teenager tantrums and toddler tantrums simultaneously in the same place at the same time. My youngest kids were being taken to all the older kid’s activities, which was really stressful. I spent hours in the car with my kids at arm's length from each other. Even when we got our 15-passenger van, there were still many many times that the kids were WAY TOO CLOSE to each other. It drove us nuts.
Chaos felt like it was the norm on many days. I lost my temper easily and felt like I needed to yell to be heard. I was constantly being driven to sort out all kinds of issues and problems.
I described to my own coach what home was like. I felt like I was living in everyone else’s hurricanes, being blown this way and that.
She asked what it would be like to be in the center or eye of the hurricane.
That imagery struck me. What would it be like to be in the center of the chaos, yet remain calm? I could see the swirling chaos and problems surrounding me. I could just reach out and pluck one out at a time, here and there, carefully deciding which ones were the highest priorities. The rest I could allow to swirl.
I imagined the eye of the hurricane as a place that was calm. I could make rational decisions and choices. I could carefully select which problems were the most important to address and the best ways to take care of them.
I also knew I couldn’t keep living in this chaos. I knew something had to change. My life wasn’t working for me, and I wasn’t the mom I had hoped to be. I was miserable, depressed, and anxious. My body was beginning to be ridden with all types of health problems. I had to make a change.
I learned 9 important steps to managing my household and the problems inside it while keeping my sanity. I discovered that I was the key in how well the discipline in my home worked. Even though I now have a home twice as big with less than half the bodies in it, consequences are still part of my role as a parent. And now have 26 years of learning and practice when it comes to setting consequences that work.