Many of my non fifio friends which come to think of it is all of them can’t believe what good kids I have given that I do this parenting gig on my own for four weeks at time on my own with no ‘father figure’ to resort to. And without blowing wind up my backside I have good kids. They are good, happy, respectful and don’t really push the boundaries but I believe it’s a combination of many things. Discipline, good diet, good routine, good communication and well they are naturally good boys. Many of my friends think I’m a hard task master that I’m too tough on them but when we compare kids (if you can do that ethically) well I think mine speak for themselves.
So how do I manage when the ‘father figure ‘ is away? Well first of all husband and I are on the same page when it comes to discipline that is essential and I do believe in oh gosh wait for it…smacking we will get this issue out if the way first up..there is a time and a place for it. I don’t care what anyone says. I use it as a last resort and as a threat. It’s a consequence and a boundary. I will also just clarify. I only smack my children on the hand or on the back of the thigh and if I’m honest I have only ever smacked them on the nappy (the sound is worse than the smack) and I haven’t had to smack once out of nappies ( this is usually around two and half years old if you have your babies out of nappies before two well done to you) because 1. they don’t need one and 2. they are old enough that thet are starting to understand communication and consequences i.e.you behave that way you miss out on takeaway on Thursday night. Smacking should be your last resort you should try talking, time out what ever your discpline stragey is before a smack. I can almost tell you every smack I have given my children there have been that few because I have other methods in place. I will smack if after three attempts of plain reasoning it becomes a consquence. I will smack there hand with a firm no if they continue to want to play with the electrical switches. Or and I have done this only once that my boys have worked them selves in to such a state that a smack is all that will bring them back to reality. I believe in only one smack if its required. Anymore than that and you don’t have control of the situation and you need to drop tools and just walk away for a minute. Your the parent. Simple.
My other biggest pieces of strategies ( and yes I do call them strategies nothing works out without prior planning ) are routine, diet and good communication. I have a strict routine and whilst you need to be flexible with children I will vary little from my set routine even if we are on holidays and when daddy is home. Part of their routine is jobs they start having chores from around three years of age. By chores I mean putting away laundry, picking up toys and doing dishes. It’s essential that they help me to keep this house running. We have a really good diet with a kids allowed to have takeaway once a week. We don’t eat fried food or a lot of red meat. I try to grow as much food as we can and we eat organic when we can. We don’t eat out much, we have take away once a week; to give me a break, and will always eat as a family at dinner, always.
Then there is communication its essential for the boys to know that they can talk to me. Being on my own I can getting pretty busy so there are two times in my day when I sit a chat to my boys without fail. The first is after school we will sit down and have a after school snack the boys will tell me about their day and second is bedtime. I lay with them each for as long as they need me after bedtime story. My boys are in bed by 7 and asleep by 8pm. It’s at this time I ask if they have anything they are worried about. We also allow them from a young age to make decisions of their own within boundaries. Sometimes they suffer a consequence and well they learn from that other times they are rewarded.
So what do we do when the ‘father figure’ returns from a swing? Well he fits in with us our routine and he will always check with me first. He doesn’t try and step in a be the head of the family there is two of us in that regard and this works for us. This is what works for my family. After all as a I tell my boys its my job to raise super heroes.