*Disclaimer - this is written out of frustration and a sense of hopelessness. I am reaching the end point after nearly five years of motherhood, where something has to change deep down, completely, veer left! for me to feel that the continued journey is worth it, will have happiness and won't just be drudgery and anarchy until the kids are adults and in therapy.
What passes for discipline in this house is a lot of talking, some yelling, lots of time spent alone and no true consequences. I have come to realize that there really aren't consequences to the kids' actions, so how can I enforce something that doesn't exist? If you hit your brother and don't care if it hurts him, what is the consequence? If you repeatedly fight with your sister, the consequence will be little to no adult relationship with her; well, that doesn't happen for a decade or more, so where is the incentive to stop fighting with your sister? If you speak rudely or hurtfully to mama, and you don't care about her feelings, what is the consequence? Playing on the stair rails - no consequence until the 500th time you do it and you fall and end up in the hospital or dead. No real consequence there - because you won't understand that you are paralyzed because of the one time you messed up playing on the stairs.
Neither of my children care about anyone else - not their feelings, not their physical well-being, not their comfort, etc. I've seen kids who are naturally caring - mine are not. Even when they are not angry and have cooled down, don't care. I talk and talk and talk to them but listening and understanding is not happening. This has been going on for all the discipline years - oldest is 4.5.
I don't want to hit (seems illogical if you are trying to teach not hitting).
I don't want to yell to be heard - though that is happening more and more.
I don't want children that constantly (and I mean 10 of the 12 hours they are awake) are fighting/hitting/struggling with each other.
I don't want to control or coerce or force or any other word for it.
Sometimes I think they should just be sent to military school (do they take toddlers/preschoolers?) and I can move on with my life. I feel useless, incompetent, disempowered. I am embarrassed when we are out and everyone can see the 'crazy woman' with the kids that do whatever they want/she has no control over them.
How are parents supposed to discipline (and yes, I mean teach) kids when there aren't any real or substantial consequences to use as a discipline tool?
I didn't realize being a parent would tear me completely apart because honestly, I wouldn't have become one if I knew this beforehand. Doesn't matter how much I love them.