Discipline & Fun

fun cartoon

Discipline has gotten a bad rap over the past 30+ years unfortunately.  I think partly because we think of discipline in terms of hitting, yelling, etc.  Discipline to me is just about accountability.  Once children understand they are accountable for their actions, they just change.

I always knew I was going to be a tough mom because I was a tough babysitter.  I demanded good behaviour and got it because I was also fun.  They wanted "Fun Lisa" and they knew the only way to get it was by being good.  I wasn't one of those babysitters to sit and watch TV.  I played with the kids and really loved being with them ... but only when they were good.  It's amazing how even the most bratty child in the neighbourhood would behave beautifully for me just to get my approval.

I babysat the kids no one else wanted to as they were wild.  I had no problem with them as knew that I could handle them.  I was 11 when I started babysitting and quickly found out that Fun Lisa had all the power.  She could just turn off the fun and the kids would behave to get the fun back.  The parents would sometimes give me a list of punishments to use to keep the kids under control.  I'd read the list and couldn't figure out why they thought that stuff would work as it was just based on fear, threats, etc.

Fun Lisa turned into Fun Mom.  I was always the crazy goofy mom in the neighbourhood/schools but also the toughest disciplinarian.  Yet I rarely ever disciplined, didn't have to as they knew what was expected of them and that I had no trouble inflicting consequences, no trouble at all.  As they past the toddler years, any negative behaviour was usually punished by having to give me a foot, back or scalp massage.  Now come on, what 13 year old boy wants to give his mother a foot massage, makeover, or manicure???  Isn't avoiding that incentive enough to be well behaved?

So even disciplining methods can be fun, well, for you anyway.

Think about this, are you disciplining based on fun or fear?  There's a big difference between the two and one beats the other hands down.

Lisa Bunnage, Parenting Coach
BratBusters Parenting  Services Inc.
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Office:  604-944-7479   -   Cell:  604-349-8044
Email:  Lisa@BratBusters.com