Posted by: angiefm | April 7, 2009

More About Winning

From the responses I received in person, via email or responses to my blog, it looks like the “ALWAYS WIN” part of our parenting philosophy really resounded with a number of our blog readers. 

Well, I had to put it to practice myself in a BIG way last Monday and Tuesday.  Here’s what happened:

Monday

The morning rules here are … one alarm goes off at 9.30 am.  Whether they have been lounging around or whether they were woken by the alarm, they are to get out of bed, wash up, get dressed and have breakfast.  When the second alarm goes off at 10 am, they are to be ready at the dining table with their Bibles.  This means breakfast dishes washed and table wiped.

Well, they woke at 8 on Monday morning, but stayed in bed to chat and play and when the 10 o’clock alarm went off were not ready.  Now, I have been having this problem on and off for a long time now and haven’t had a good response to it.  We tried taking away computer privileges on the weekends, but they aren’t that keen on the computer anyway, so that was no big deal.  We tried taking away breakfast but that was no use either since my children eat like pigeons and were probably happier without breakfast. 

I was at my wits end.  And it didn’t help that Tee Chiou was travelling and I couldn’t consult him.  So I prayed for wisdom and then told the kids that since they had spent their morning playing, they had exhausted play-time for the day and wouldn’t have any for the rest of the day.  So after “school”, our Chinese tutor came over for lessons and then I cancelled a long-anticipated play-date, which they were very disappointed about.  The rest of the day was spent reading, doing math, narrating … and this continued all the way till 9 pm!  Interestingly enough my kids didn’t respond negatively to the “punishment”!  They were disappointed, but took it in their stride and were so very cooperative!  I was the one who felt wiped out by the end of the day and since Daddy wasn’t home to tell long bed-time stories, I sent them to bed early at 9.30. 

Tuesday

We got off to a fabulous start!  The kids had obviously learnt their lesson from the previous day!  HOORAY!  We went out that morning to visit my cousin who just had a baby, so by the afternoon I was so tired (being pregnant at the wrong end of 30-something isn’t easy!), so napped for two hours.  Before that, I gave the kids instructions to finish such-and-such while I was napping, and told them that when I woke from my nap, we were going to hang out at the airport (our favourite thing to do is to drink iced Milo and eat half-boiled eggs!) and wait for Daddy to arrive. 

But when I came out of the room they were not done!  I tried to stall for time to give them more time to finish what they had to, but then felt that I had to use the opportunity to drive home a lesson.  So I explained that since they had not kept to their end of the bargain, they couldn’t go with me to the airport.  Tim was upset and Alethea tried to hold back her tears.  It was SO DIFFICULT for me to take Nathalie and leave with the older two looking like that, but I took a deep breath and did it. 

When I explained what I had done to Tee Chiou when he met us, I wasn’t exactly sure how he would react, because on occasion he does say that I’m a little too harsh with the kids.  But this time, the first thing he said was, “I applaud you!”  😀  Whew!  What a relief!  It is so important that your spouse agrees with you when it comes to disciplining the children.

Since then …

It has been a week since these two incidents happened.  And all has been well in the Ng Household.  🙂  It looks like both lessons really hit home with the kids.  It was tough doing it.  But I did say to ALWAYS WIN and I know that by doing what I did, I have shown my children that I mean business!  😀

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