As my kids keep growing and changing, I’ve found some of my parenting tactics changing as well. Yesterday one kid had a game controller (smell the irony?) for a while and just wouldn’t share no matter how their sibling pleaded. Small compromises were made, but the controller stayed put. A couple of years ago, I would have called out the selfishness and forced the controller of the controller to share, but this time I just watched it play out, and selfishness won.
As I’ve said before, for my kids, bedtime is the perfect time to talk because they are excited to get to stay up later. That night I brought up the selfishness and we had a great talk about the sin that mucks up everyone’s insides (including mine) and how prayer can help. And then I mentioned that I wouldn’t stay quiet the next time I witnessed the selfishness. There would be appropriate but immediate consequences.
We reached an understanding that would have been impossible just a few years, maybe months ago. And then we went on to talk about the excitement of the last day of school (today) and what we’re going to do this summer. That’s another thing I’ve learned over time – get the hard talk out of the way first, and then we get to end our evening hang time with a more enjoyable conversation. The kids are always eager to change the subject, and I don’t corner myself into a primarily disciplinary role.
Any of you every try the delayed parenting thing? Let me know if you have had success or failure or have any other ideas on the subject.