Hubby had been complaining that Gavin had lost his manners of late. I believe he had also questioned where Gavin had learned all these bad behaviours from…
One of the complaints was that he interrupts us a lot. Well, I think when it comes to young children, this is a common problem. They are often so excited to get out what’s on their chest that they forget how rude it is to cut into someone else’s conversation. That doesn’t make it okay, but I think we have to understand that children at this age aren’t deliberately being rude. They just can’t help themselves. Neither does that mean that we don’t try to correct the behaviour.
Being the parent at home, most disciplinary measures falls to me since I have the most contact time with the kids. While I was trying to correct the behaviour, I had to remove some of Gavin’s privileges because he couldn’t comply. Since I was removing privileges, Daddy had to be told so that we could both be consistent in dealing with Gavin. Discipline is rather ineffective if one parent removes a privilege only to have the other parent restore it because they weren’t aware of the punishment.
While I was explaining to Daddy what had happened, Daddy cut me off to say something to another person. It seemed rather ironic that I was talking to him about Gavin being rude and interrupting a person while they were talking when he interrupts me to talk to someone else. The reality of it hit me twice as hard because it was so clearly what we didn’t want Gavin to do.
Where was he learning it from? From us.
I hadn’t even noticed it until we started talking about it. So I guess the moral of the story is – if you don’t like the behaviour you see in your child, first look in the mirror to see if there is anything you should correct in yourself. There is no point telling a child it is rude to do something when it is something you or your partner does unwittingly in front of your child on a regular basis. Sometimes we are oblivious to the fact that we are also behaving in a similar manner and that our children are simply following the behaviours we demonstrate to them.
Just as superstars and royalty are not above the law, neither are parents above the rules. You cannot pull the trump card “Because I’m the parent” and use that to validate your own misbehaviours – not if you want your child to observe those rules.