There is nothing I am more willing to do and also dread more than consequences. One time I shocked myself by threatening to take away the chocolate pumpkin we had just bought at Sees. We spent a good 5 minutes choosing the treat, it was now a prized possession. So when the threat came out of my mouth, that the squawking in the mall had to stop or else....I was afraid of what I might actually have to do. She did it no less than three more times, with a very, "I'm doing it anyways" sort of attitude. Boom- chocolate pumpkin confiscated.
The following scene wrecked me. Crying. Urges that, "Now I'm listening" and, "I'm behaving now" though red, puffy wet eyes. I explained that I appreciated her behavior now, and that she still wasn't getting the chocolate. She didn't like that so much. Following through is the worst/best thing ever. So completely awful for the instinct to rescue my beloved from her hurt that I created. I crowded out those thoughts with reassuring ones that this moment and others like it will be why she doesn't behave like a wild dog whose parents have no say.
Tonight and last night's consequences were no books before bed. Our routine calls for two books before lights out. This is a big deal. After making the decision to continue with the unacceptable behavior (tonight it was splashing tons of water out of the bath tub), I laid it out.
Again, the drama. Again the insistence that now she was behaving/listening. Again I wanted to read the books anyways. But I didn't.
Short term discomfort for long term awesomeness? I hope so.
Parenting is hard!