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Escape from Alcatraz

The one and only time that I threatened to run away from home, was when I was about 5.  I believe the catalyst for my wanting to find some new digs had something to do with what time I was expected to go to bed.

My mother called my bluff, and shoved me out the front door on a chilly Ohio night.  I was clad only in my blue baby doll nightie, and pink fuzzy house slippers.  I never made it off the front porch.  When my mother tired of listening to me cry on the other side of the door, she let me back in.

Not a word was spoken.  I trudged past her, ascended the stairs, and put myself to bed.

The bed time hour is a hot button issue around here.  Jensen goes down by 8, and the girls follow up at 8:30.  It’s really more for me than for their sleep needs.

We have also discovered that an effective means of getting our point across, in the way of consequences, is to shave 15 minutes off of bedtime for each infraction.  HIGHLY EFFECTIVE.

Lately I’ve declared a new sheriff is in town.  We’re going through The Total Transformation Program to aid us  weary parents in dealing with some issues.  Cailey is my defiant child, Jensen is prone to OLYMPIC SIZED outbursts, and Emme is, well, 10.  I’ve been at my wits end trying to navigate the treacherous parenting waters, and feel that if we can get some good parenting tools, we can nip this manipulative behavior before they turn into teenagers.

In other words, before they turn into ME.

As I get further along in the course, I’ll be sharing A LOT MORE about that.  All I can say now is that I’m getting the information I need to make some very positive changes.

In the meantime, my children aren’t so sure what to do with a mom who SAYS WHAT SHE MEANS AND MEANS WHAT SHE SAYS.  No more marshmallow mommy.

I think they might be a little worried.  And planning an escape.  This was the scene from the backyard this afternoon.  If you’ll notice, one child has a jumprope tied about her waist, while the other smaller and not as strong child holds the other end.  I was guessing that the smaller child was going to lower the older sister over the fence into the nature preserve.

I wasn’t really worried, though.  The skeletal remains of rodents that have met with an untimely death from the business end of the shovel would have broken her fall.

And if that weren’t enough to send her flying back over the fence into the safety of her own yard, then the bobcats that lurk back there certainly would put a giddyup in her pole vault away from perceived freedom.

Frankly, it would have all been easier if these kids had just come with an instruction manual, in lieu of that too small diaper bag, and cans of never opened formula that the hospital sent us home with.  I’m just sayin’.

Hebrews 12:11
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

13 Responses to Escape from Alcatraz

  • I needed that verse today!!! And by “I”, I really mean the monster running around our garden right now, feeding her cookies to the pooches. Sigh. This parenting thing aint for sissies! :o)

  • Do you like the program? I clicked on the link… but oh, my, it’s pricey! I saw it cheaper on ebay, but do you think it’s worth the money?
    I would love additional tools to help me parent. Especially as my kids become more mouthy. Plus I believe it would count for training hours for foster care which is a big plus (I need 10 a year to keep my license.)
    So far, it’s hitting the nail right on the head. But I want to get through all of the program before I endorse it wholeheartedly. I will post about it a bit as I go, and then do a complete review when I finish.

    What drives me so crazy is that no matter how we try to train our kids, they are surrounded by SO MUCH DISRESPECT TO AUTHORITY by other kids. Even at church. It can be hard to undo if you have a child who is very impressionable. My husband and I are trying to stand very firm.

    Anyhoo. I’ll keep y’all informed as we progress!!!


  • Amen, sister friend. Parenting is NOT for sissies, or woosies, or whatever else you call it when we back down in the sake of “a minute of peace” and end up sacrificing hours of peace later on!

    I never tried to run away. But my hubby’s parents have pictures of him sitting in a tree with his suitcase one time. It breaks my heart to think how he felt when they were out snapping pictures of him. Bless his heart. Bless theirs, they had FOUR BOYS!

  • I often have to remind myself “Wishy-washy is not a parenting strategy!” Thanks for the post and the very funny photo!!! Good luck with things 😉

  • I am a marshmallow mom too. But sadly, my oldest is 19 and so I have already messed up a few of them. LOL I am trying hard to not mess up the younger set (5 boys 11 and under) but it is tough!

  • I’m going to read Screamfree Parenting, Discipline with Love & Logic, and Parenting with Love & Logic next. I desparately need some guidance & help with better parenting.
    You are so totally right about the whole disprect to authority thing. I would never dream of talking/treating any adult the way I see kids do nowadays – I’m 42 and my dad would not tolerate it even now. There are kids out there who are respectful, etc. but they are so in the minority.

  • Don’t forget the POWER of the parental example!

    They are watching and listening every second, even when you don’t think they are. (yes, they just heard you get that Swiss Cake Roll – we need silent wrappers!)

    Make sure the things you are trying to unlearn in the kids aren’t being learned from you! I work on this every day! 😀

  • Good luck! Hope it works for you guys.

  • My kids are 23 and 25 now. I say AMEN to that verse! (My version said “All discipline seems harsh for the moment, but it bears the peaceful fruit of righteousness for those who endure.” Never was sure if it was the children or the mommy who had to endure!)

  • Loved the post and can’t wait to hear more from the program you’re going through. Please share with us some of the more effective ones whenever you can….I’m about to embark on the teen years with my oldest in just a few short weeks. YIKES!

    My oh my did you hit the nail on the head with the whole DISRESPECT FOR AUTHORITY. It burns me up to hear the way some kids (even those from people I’ve grown up around or known for a while, or those who should “know” better as parents) speak to, act towards, etc. adults. Teachers, Coaches, Sunday School Leaders, Youth Directors, and even just their friends’ parents. Who wonders why the world is like it is if this is how we are raising a generation to behave. The parents, instead of making their kids take responsibility for their own actions, are blaming it on anyone who crossing their children’s path. I pray whole heartedly my children can see the truth and learn from what we are trying to teach them, with God’s guidance, regardless of what they are seeing in their peers.

  • I read Parenting With Love and Logic and found LOTS of helpful tips. While I didn’t agree with everything (ie. work as a punishment, since work is a blessing from God) I am trying to incorporate some of the tips into my bag of parenting tools.

  • So glad I am not the only one in the bed time is an issue trench! I’ll have to try the shaving of 15mins. My youngest got in trouble earlier in the week and when I asked him what happened, he told me he lost all of his marbles. I had to exit the room for the exploding laughter that was about errupt, keep in mind he’s 5! But he did go to bed that night with no TV. I won that battle.

  • AMEN and AMEN, Sistah! Please let us know how you like the program. I, too feel like one instruction manual would have been more helpful than the formula … since I was breastfeeding!!!

    And rrmama…. HAHAHAHAHA! Too funny!