Motherhood

Tough Love: We Aren’t Celebrating Halloween

Halloween is tomorrow and I’m so bummed that I won’t be posting pictures of mini in any costumes. For the past 5 years I’ve posted pictures of her looking absolutely adorable. From a bear, to ballerina, to Olivia, to Ariel, to a black cat, I’ve enjoyed posting the pictures of her as we celebrate the beginning of my favorite season–the holiday season. But this year, it won’t be happening and I think I’m more upset about it than she is.

As much as I love holidays and Halloween, mini lost out on being able to celebrate. Parenting isn't always easy and tough love is sometimes necessary.

Mini’s first halloween

Why won’t mini be donning the cat woman suit that she was so excited to get?

As much as I love holidays and Halloween, mini lost out on being able to celebrate. Parenting isn't always easy and tough love is sometimes necessary.

Her 2nd Halloween–Attitudinal Ballerina ha!

Behavior Issues

About 3 weeks ago I received an email from her teacher about how mini hasn’t been following the classroom rules. Then I got a report from her bus driver that she wasn’t sitting down on the bus and following the basic safety rules. And then I thought about how she was acting at home–which was pretty much in line with how she was behaving everywhere else. I was filled with disappointment and a little bit of despair because no parent wants to get bad reports and I was momentarily at a loss as of what I needed to do to get mini behaving the way we want her to.

As much as I love holidays and Halloween, mini lost out on being able to celebrate. Parenting isn't always easy and tough love is sometimes necessary.

my little olivia

Behavior Charts

They’ve always worked for us in the past so I came up with a chart for her. She was on punishment for a week and had all of her privileges taken away from her. Toward the end of her punishment, she had a really bad day and I took Halloween away because I was at my wits end. This isn’t the first time that I’ve done this but as Facebook will show me on Halloween day, I didn’t stick with it. But this year I am. I gave her the opportunity to earn Halloween back and she hasn’t.

As much as I love holidays and Halloween, mini lost out on being able to celebrate. Parenting isn't always easy and tough love is sometimes necessary.

No Halloween for Mini

I was chatting with my friend Brittany about how I could make it so that she could earn it back and the words that she said in response made me feel so.much.better. What did she say right?

Don’t be the marshmallow parent. There’s next year. And the year after. And 5 years later. You’ve had your Halloween fun. Meanwhile Mini has life lessons to learn so… You’re her mama. You want to give her fun things and experiences. But she’s at the age where she has to earn them.

She was and is right. Mini is now 5 and totally understands that her behavior has consequences. If I don’t enforce this now at 5, when she’s 15 we’ll be at each other’s throats and she’ll be out of control–not what any parent or child wants.

As much as I love holidays and Halloween, mini lost out on being able to celebrate. Parenting isn't always easy and tough love is sometimes necessary.

And you know what? When I told mini that she wouldn’t be able to get dressed up and go trick-or-treating for Halloween this year, she took it well. There were no breakdowns, no tears, none of what I was expecting to happen. I’m really proud of her for that reaction. This parenting job is so hard–especially when you really care about how your kids turn out. My prayer is that she gets these lessons now so that we can begin to enjoy more outings and treats sooner rather than later.

Have you had to do the “tough love” with your child? How’d they handle it?

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