My parenting skills ebb and flow, like much of the things in my life. In one week I might fluctuate every other day between calm, in-charge Mommy and screaming, irrational Mommy. Other weeks I am on top of my game and confident. The next I will be nutty all week. Then there are days that throw it all in the mix.
My kids have to be confused by it all. Heck, I'M confused by it all. Consistency is key in discipline, relationships, maybe even in life. I'm reading and re-reading Love and Logic, (okay so I've never read the original...yet but I'm reading the early years and what to say when kids leave you speechless). The techniques work wonders for my kids if I remember to employ them.
When my kids fight (and they have been fighting often lately) in the car I've started telling them they'll need to pay me to listen to it and start naming ways they can pay me. If they argue at home, I simply leave whatever room they are arguing in. It's amazing how quickly the dispute is resolved without mom observing.
Why don't I use this stuff all the time? I suppose I need to practice more. Maybe by the time they have their own kids I'll have it down...but I doubt it.
Maybe I need one of those shock collars that some people use to prevent their dogs from barking. It could give me a jolt to remind me that yelling at my kids never works as well as being calm and confident.