October 15, 2010

Tough Love

Some of you may have seen me at church this morning before MOPS. Most of you did not. Some of you may have noticed that one of my dear children was still in pajamas. Many of you may not have noticed. No, it wasn't the baby, although her runny nose and cough are what prevented us from staying for MOPS (your welcome, I didn't put her in nursery)! It was Elliot. He's 4. He hid in dark corners so that people hopefully wouldn't see him in his footie jammies.

Let me start from the beginning. Getting him dressed in anything but basketball shorts and t-shirts is a big issue for us. Before school started I made him a deal that he had to put on whatever clothes I picked out for school, church and if we went away somewhere "important". The rest of the time, as long as he was inside, I don't care what he wears. This went well for about a week. The last few weeks have been difficult though. He doesn't want to wear "those" jeans. He doesn't like "that" shirt. I'm sick of fighting about it. Every morning is a battle that I just don't have the energy to fight.

So, this morning I got out jeans and a shirt (one that buttoned, so we know it wasn't basketball worthy). I laid them on the floor and told him to get dressed. I told him if he didn't get dressed he was going to wear his pajamas to church. I've threatened this multiple times, most of the time it works. Sometimes it doesn't. Today, it didn't. So, 10 minutes later, as were getting closer and closer to the time we need to leave he is still in his pajamas, playing in his room. I walked in. Picked him up. Carried him out of the room. Closed the door. And wouldnt' let him go back in. I think he finally realized that I meant it. He brushed his teeth (I think he was scared not to), and then I announced it was time to leave. He "WAS NOT" going to go with me. "OK, stay here BY YOURSELF then". And off I walked, closed the door and started the van. That scared him even more. (I don't condone parenting with scare tactics all the time, but sometimes that is what works.). He ran outside. I opened his door and told him to get in. He said no. I backed up the van like I was going to leave. He stood screaming in the driveway (sorry neighbors). I gave him "one more chance" (I had to give him lot's more chances on this one, because I'm sure that I could get in a bit of trouble for leaving my four year old home alone). He decided to climb in at this point.

We got to church. He said he wasn't getting out. I told him he was. He was SO embarresed. I got Lila out and then carried him out. He was not going to come into church though, so I had to carry him in (again, probably could get into trouble leaving the screaming four year old in the parking lot alone). He walked around church finding every dark corner that he could.

I'm sure many who saw him wondered what in the heck my child was doing. What kind of mother would let her kid go to church in his pajamas. Well, trust me. It was HARD for me to do. I like my kids to look presentable (most of the time) adn this wasn't the look I was going for. But let me make you a promise. HE WILL NEVER NOT GET DRESSED AGAIN. It was well worth it not to have to do that battle again!

So, that was my tough love parenting adventure for the day!

10 comments:

Nora said...

Hopefully E learned his lesson and you won't have to deal with it again. I give you serious credit for following through with it!

Anonymous said...

I have trouble with getting one of mine to go to Y5's daily. The "always" and "nevers" come out and I know I'm in trouble. "I will NEVER eat breakfast. But I ALWAYS watch Curious George first. I'm never taking my vitamin. I'm never going into school!" It takes an extra 10 minutes just to get him out the door. I have to plan for it daily. So far when he threatens not getting out of the car, I say "But then I'll have to send Mrs. Kamps out to our car to come get you." This has worked (so far). I think you did great with making him leave with the jammies. I can't tell you how many times I've been backing out slooooowly so that he'll come. The screaming can be intense! Julie S

Beck said...

I love the scene you've painted here... hilarious! Kudos for sticking it out!

The Busscher's said...

I missed you at MOPS and did not see your son, but how funny. At least it was just mops and your own church, so you felt a little more at home. see you around.

Meeuwsens said...

Oh Lynette...thanks for sharing and making me not feel bad about doing those sort of things with Carter...glad I am not alone! Elliott was so cute in his pjs though and I assumed you were helping with MOPPETS b/c I didn't see ya....hope Lila is feeling better! I think this is a good story to share at MOPS b/c we know we all have those days! :)

Joanne said...

I think this is a picture of GOOD parenting, Lynette.Sounds like you were feeling like Isaiah in Chapter 6 last week, preaching to eyes that don't see and ears that don't hear! You've taught Elliot about accountability not only in getting dressed but in all sorts of other areas of life. It's a good thing to teach these lessons at this age so he, and you can reap the blessings of obedience.
I love it!

Anonymous said...

Great job Lynette! As you know, I work with MS/HS kids. I wish the parents of some of these kids would have stood up to them when they were 4....not so effective when you try to start @ 14-the damage is done. Take care, Love Aunt Lisa

Anonymous said...

Hy Lynnette, I did happen to notice the pj's Friday, and the phrase "pick your battles" went through my head. I thought you chose not to pick that battle, I've had those days too. Sounds like you really did have a battle that morning though! Take care, Kerri

Sluiter Nation said...

what a GREAT post! I think this shows that you are a great mom! you carry through with your threats...something that is SO important. If you threaten something, you need to be willing to go through with it. I teach teenagers that have never had the threats carried through, so they lose respect. This was a very good lesson.

designHER Momma said...

I love "tough love" and use it as need be at my house. It works.