Elizabeth Lyons discusses finding your own way to discipline your child.
The best parenting expert is in the mirror, and that doesn’t necessarily mean that you intuitively know as a parent exactly how to handle every situation.
I most certainly didn’t and still don’t, even with five kids. There’s so much information out there – Spank. Don’t spank. Do timeouts. Don’t do timeouts. Do the timeouts for five minutes. Put them in the crib. Don’t put them in the crib.
I mean you literally could have an anxiety attack just wondering, my child is not behaving right now, what do I do? And then moms don’t even know what to do or where to go.
So, I had a woman come up to me once at a conference and she said, “Elizabeth, how do you feel about spanking?” And I thought, I am not going to answer this question because we live in a litigious society and there could be cameras around, but I said, “Why do you ask?”
And she said, “Because my child is two and we are having some challenges and my parents and my sister think that I am screwing this all up because I am not spanking him.”
And I said, “Well, Kath…” Her name was Katherine. I said, “Well Katherine, how do you feel about spanking?”
And she said, “Well, I think it’s awful.” And I said, “Okay, well, there’s your answer.”
So I really believe that as long as you are not engaging in, in true abuse and corporal punishment, whatever you choose to discipline your kids is just that – it’s your choice.
And there are myriad resources out there that will help to encourage you and give you strategies. One of my favorites is called “Parent Talk.” It’s by Chick Moorman.
It gives you, in eight words or less, about 150 different things that you can say in any one moment when your child is flipping out.
And I remember when I bought this book, my daughter was three and the twins were one and every single time something happened I went running for the island, because it was like, okay, which thing do I say? What’s the thing?
But having used that now for, I don’t know, seven or eight years this stuff just starts coming out of your mouth so the more often you use it, the more it just becomes a part of your parenting style.
Another thing is, I have five kids who have five completely different personalities. The minute you think you know what your approach to discipline is, you will be blessed with a child who does not respond to that form of discipline.
So, so much of it has to do with moms just getting to know their children, getting to know themselves. You know, read what’s out there, take what works for you.
I always say my parenting approach is a combination of little excerpts that I have gleaned from the “Today Show” and “Good Morning America” and this expert.
And I even have a little from Dora and Oscar the Grouch, because you take what you can get, where you can get it, and Dora is playing all the time in my house. And you put it together to create your unique approach for one specific child.
About Elizabeth Lyons:
Elizabeth Lyons is many things: mom, wife, friend, lunch maker, chauffeur, hostage negotiator, author, on-call plumber, tile layer, guitar student, window washer, product designer, and on and on. One thing she is not is Superwoman.
Elizabeth lives in Arizona with her husband, five kids, two dogs, two fish, four barely surviving organic gardens, and whatever (or whomever) else has taken up residence with them in the last five minutes. She is the author of “You Cannot Be Serious - and 32 Other Rules that Sustain a (Mostly) Balanced Mom.”