As a parent of twins, it is hard to always be strict with my children and to follow through with consequences when they misbehave or don’t listen. Twins are hard. I have found that I have become pretty lax with my daughters when it comes to them not listening. This has become a problem. I ask them to do something and they look at me and keep walking. My son doesn’t do this. I was able to instill fear in him at a young age, and since then, he has been a very good child. Not all the time. But most of the time.
I didn’t realize how bad the girls listening was until a couple of weeks ago when they started blatantly ignoring me. But now we have a problem. And I’m going to fix it.
I never wanted to be the mom with screaming kids who run around and don’t listen. But I am. And it’s embarrassing.
So, what changes have I made?
Last week I had a mean mommy day.
Every time my children ignored a request I made, they got a timeout. I used to give them three warnings, but on mean mommy day, they got one. Throughout the day, I would ask them to correct their behavior or help me. If they ignored me, they got to the count of three and then got a timeout.
These were everyday things that I usually ask them. I didn’t go out of my way to be mean. But if they didn’t listen, they got mean mommy.
After their timeout, if they did it again and I caught them, it was straight to the timeout again. No counting. No warnings.
Yay for mean mommy day!
Of course, there were explanations of why they were on timeouts and hugs afterward, but they knew the rules, they were shown consequences, and if they chose to repeat their mistake, they got the consequences again.
After that, they were pretty good.
Now I have to be consistent.
Over the past couple weeks, I have eased up a bit on the girls, but I have been pretty consistent with asking them to do something and then giving them to the count of three. I’m a bit nicer in that I’ll count slow or notice they are moving and stop counting.
They are slowly getting better.
The other thing I have started is giving timeouts in public. I am now the mom who has a pretty consistent track record of screaming kids at preschool. But, I think I’d rather be the mom who has screaming kids on a timeout than the mom with the screaming kids who aren’t listening.
Either way, right now, I have screaming kids.
I’m hoping the listening will continue to get better. I can only hope that consistency will fix that.