I’m a Meanie Mummy.
Yes, I stick by my guns and there are no favourites in the family. The consequences of misbehaving, whining, and being rude are spelt out clearly in our family. We don’t spare the rod, we don’t mince our words, and we have three different naughty corners in the house for each child.
This is what happens when a child misbehaves:
The child is immediately pulled aside and given first warning. The warning consists of a “don’t do that” plus a “if you continue, this will happen”
If the child continue misbehaving, second warning comes out, usually louder and sterner.
If it continues, there’s no third warning. Dependant on the nature of the misbehaviour, or what was said in first warning, punishment is rolled out, the child pays the consequence.
Punishment also includes standing in a corner alone for one cycle to reflect. One cycle is the number of minutes to their age. So Nicole gets 7 min, Nathan 5 min, Nadine 4 min.
Of course all the above are done in the comfort of home, within the
sound-proof walls of the house. If the misbehaviour happens when we are out, the warnings are usually quiet, stern, and as I mentioned before here, with my BIG BIG eyes.
I have three kids. So the One-For-All and All-for-One rule is big in our family. That’s really the best way, since much of their misbehaviour are shared by three! Is it inconvenient? Yeah, you bet. If I’m Meanie Mummy, daddy is Dictator Daddy. There’s no good guy and bad guy in parenting. We’re in it together, so the kids know, once they are caught, there’s no way out.
After all that, each child has to say sorry, and tell us why he/she is sorry. If they can’t tell why, it’s the naughty/quiet/reflective corner again for the next cycle.
Then comes the hugs and the kisses. The assurance of love and why we do what we did.
The challenge the Meanie Mummy faces is to think of a punishment that fits the misbehaviour when we are outside. As they grow older, it usually is a consequence—taking away a privilege, or something similar. I’m a big believer of keeping my word to my kids, so they know not to trivalise words.
For example, if a promise was made to buy them ice-cream, but they misbehaved. We will still go for ice-cream, but they don’t get to choose the flavours, or they wont get to order what they want. I get to keep my word, they get to still learn the consequence of misbehaving. But if the misbehaviour is real out of hand, we’ll postpone the ice-cream. They will still get their ice-cream, just not that day.
I can imagine many parents who shudder at what we do, and many who may agree. At the end, it’s always for the best of our kids, in the best possible way we know how. Tiger Mum or not, it’s for them kids, not for us, ya?