Good Behavior for 100 please

There was something that my family, close friends and I observed about my sons' behavior over this recent visit that had us all questioning where it could be coming from. It's an observation I made months ago. However, as a mother I realize I can be a little sensitive and I definitely over analyze sometimes. Regarding my son, I watch him close and sometimes notice things no one else would otherwise notice. I continued to monitor him without raising the issue initially. While I knew the potential for it to get worse was there, if not addressed; I wanted to be mindful that it really could be something I was over reacting about.

In the past and for the most part, my child has been well-mannered, respectful and always demonstrated stability in his discipline structure. This was of course when he was with me on a full-time, regular basis. I think this is why I would be more prone to noticing a sudden change. If I'm accustomed to seeing something 24- hours a day, I could recognize the slightest change. .....As I did with my child.

My friends, as well as total strangers would often comment on how good my child was. They have literally walked up to me in airport, park, mall, restaurant etc. to comment on how well- behaved my child was. (Even during terrible two's) When he was home with me, he was a little perfectionist- he loved to clean before he was even walking well. He put away his toys and kept his room cleaned. When he began to speak, it was always please and thank you. He was a great listener and he did what I told him. He was eager to help, learn and explore.

Aside from the reasonable speculation about this recent change in his behavior being a result of the traumatic changes in his life; we all felt the urge to know if there was something more than that.

Being among family and friends who were in my child's life since birth, I was able to get an unbiased opinion about an observation I made months ago. Sure enough, the comments collectively were, wow- daddy sure did a number on his discipline in such a short time. We could all agree that there was a noticeable change there and was probably due to the new environment where discipline is non- existing. The "fun" parent usually arrives at being the fun parent, because children get their way with them.

To further make the point, I wondered how my child's response to discipline became so warped. Number one, I've never had to tell him over and over to do or not to do something. He's always known that once is already too many times to tell you something you already know not to do. And so, when his hand met the switch- he lashed out, "where's my toys- daddy buy me toys to be good." Awe! Learned behavior. So I'm over here teaching him to be good and rewarding him later. While dad is purchasing good behavior. I'm teaching him that he should be good no matter what and dad is teaching if he's good he will buy him something. Interesting. Maybe a matter of perception vs perspective. Either way, my child seemed confused about why he should be good since I was not giving him a toy at the same time. My mom and I thought maybe this is not true. But again, as confirmation always shows up in my life- his dad called and told him "if you are good I will buy..... I will give..... I will...." Mom and I had to laugh when we heard this because I've never had to compromise or negotiate a deal with a three year old about behavior. It was like a light went off when we heard that.

There should never be such a stipulation (IF you are good.......) there is no IF you are good....and if you teach this from the beginning, there would be no problem. Something else I've never had to do is coerce my child. IG; "if you don't come with me, I won't get you a truck" lol what's that about? When I see my child, he runs to me. I never have to tell him about all the wonderful things I bought him that are in the house if he comes on with me.  This sends the absolute wrong message to children. Operation: Correct ASAP! Or else, children will think someone owe them something for doing the things that they are supposed to be doing. A 'properly installed' reward system should be implemented, but children are not for sale and their behavior should never be purchased. You may not see it now because what kid don't want a new toy. But later years.... Oh boy!


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