My lack of discipline over the children has become a problem

Published 20/10/2015 | 00:00

I've come to the conclusion that I am simply rubbish at disciplining my children. I'm not sure whether they have me wrapped around their little fingers or I am just a big fool, but either way I don't seem capable of either murdering them verbally or punishing them.

This has become a major bone of contention between Himself and I. He likes to run a tight ship. Sometimes he gets a bit carried away and thinks he's in the army! He'll be standing in the kitchen shouting orders at us all and if we don't hop to it, he'll have us down on the floor doing push ups. Ok that last bit isn't true, but the rest of it, more or less is.

He thinks I'm way too soft and he's right I am. If the kids do something wrong, like for example not do their homework or tidy their rooms, I'll half heartedly give out for about twenty seconds and then in the next breath I'll ask them do they want a snack!

When they're on holidays I bring them their breakfast in bed! I ask them to put their uniforms in the wash and when they don't do it, I do it for them. When they don't eat their dinner and ask for a bag of crisps half an hour later, I capitulate. I am the world's biggest pushover.

And it's not because I want to be good cop, as Himself accuses me of regularly. It's more because of the fact that I can't believe someone has left ME in charge of the welfare of two children when I only feel about 15 myself!

I find it hard to take the whole discipline craic seriously when in my head I'm thinking, 'God I was sooo bold when I was your age. I'd love to tell you some of the things I got up to!'

But Himself is fed up of being the Bad Guy so when we heard the Teenager shouting a stream of expletives at his Xbox the other night, he sent me in to sort it out. 'If I go in there after him, I'll kill him,' he said. 'I NEVER used language like that in the house when I was his age.' Hmmm.

Anyway off I went down to the Teenager's bedroom, trying to keep a straight face and knocked on his door. I know!? Knocking? I should have just barged in and given him a clip round the ear.

He sat in front of his Xbox looking sheepish but relieved it wasn't his father coming to read him the riot act. 'Look,' I said, all serious. 'The language out of you is appalling! If you're going to curse, just keep your voice down!'

He nodded eagerly.

Himself on the other hand was like a demon. 'Did you just tell him to curse quietly?' he asked me furiously. Ooops.

'Seriously Justine what kind of thing is that to say to a child?'

'Well, technically he's a teenager,' I replied.

'What age are you?' Himself asked disgusted.

'Fifteen in my head.'

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