On Second Thought: Episode 6, How Do I Get Tripp to Behave?

Trust me, it’s crazy to see your life on television. That’s why every week, I’m going to do a blog posts called “On Second Thought.” These posts are where I will go over the episodes of my Lifetime show as I process the issues presented now that I’ve seen them aired.  I hope you’ll join me for these weekly posts – which will undoubtedly be part-confession, part-explanation, and part-celebration of my life right now!

Episode Six, Air Date: July 3, 2012

This episode got real, didn’t it? Honestly, I wish I could pretend life as single mom is perfect.  I wish I could show you the photos of Tripp and everyone would say, “Oh, isn’t he an angel?”

But every parent of small children knows kids are not always good.  Even in the best circumstances, they’re tough, challenging, and frustrating.  (Right now, somewhere, my mom is smiling.)

My circumstance, of course, is not “the best circumstance.”  I got pregnant when I wasn’t married, and, consequently, my son doesn’t have his father in his life.  I have to deal with this reality every day of my life.  But our imperfect circumstances don’t mean Tripp gets to grow up acting any way he pleases.  He might be from a “broken home,” but that doesn’t mean he has to be broken.  As a mom, I don’t have to be broken.

So where does that leave me?  Sometimes, as you could see in this episode, I’m very confused. I hate to be “the bad guy,” and I wish I had a husband who could be the disciplinarian.  Many of you saw Dad make his debut on my show, and he did it by giving me a speech!  Nice!  Of course, I know I should listen to him, because (as I’ve mentioned before) I have the best father ever.

The Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF) has a great little booklet called “Single Parents,” which provides a great deal of helpful advice:

“You don’t have to be both mother father and mother to your child.  God is with you…  God assuredly has your child’s best interest in his heart, even more than you do.”

Okay, CCEF, I believe you.  But how does that mean I respond when Tripp talks back to me?! That’s the part I’m working through, and I appreciate all the kind words of encouragement as I figure all of this out!

Tripp, thankfully, did behave at Mom’s surprise party.  Again, I love my family so much, and I was so glad that everyone came together and pretended to like the cake I made.  (Well, it was better before Trig sprayed spit all over it to blow out the candles!) Mom liked her little pink pistol.  She already has a pink bb gun, so this is a nice addition.

After all, you can’t keep a bb gun in your purse!

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  • Bert

    You can always do what my Ma did, she’d either put hot sauce in our mouths or soap. And sometimes if that didn’t work a good ‘ol fashioned spanking.

    • Kim

      Yeah, I do agree with spanking sometimes. I sometimes think that’s what wrong with today’s children not being disciplined. No respect for others, others property or authority. So sad too because so much potential in these children are lost.

  • Kim

    The most important thing is to be consistent. Always follow through with punishment. But most important is to explain what they have done wrong and why they are being punished.

  • Naomi

    Building Family ties with Faith, Love and Laughter by Dave Stone.

  • Cyndi

    Hi Bristol – just like Kim mentioned, consistency and following through. My youngest is a firecracker too and those type of kids can outwit you if you let things slide. He is young, but don’t underestimate his intelligence. He knows what he can get away with and you have to be that tough love parent. Be a step ahead of him..anticipate what he might be thinking and plan ahead, be patient, and he’ll be a the perfect child (according to his teachers) by the time he is going to school. love it!

  • MBN

    Boys will be boys. My husband works on the slope and sometimes I feel like a single mom. Its hard because we expect instant results when we correct out children when really they are a work in progress. My boys are still so little and they are learning how to behave. Spanking doesn’t phase my three year old. He will be more motivated to behave if I take one of his favorite toys away and make him earn it back. Each child is different, but you are just the right Mom for your child!

    • Emma Lora

      MBN… that was a great post!!

  • Page Hall

    You are doing great. I love it that you let Tripp sleep with you; my kids slept with me for years even though their father was present in the household. If he knows you love him, he will strive to please you the majority of the time. Other times he’ll rebel but by being close to my kids, I never saw it until age 16 or 17, and my oldest (son) really never did it! In a way you are fortunate to be the sole parent; he is learning your values, your personality, and in that, his way of life. Also don’t think that when the father IS there, he is always supportive of the mother… you don’t have a kid playing two parents against each other, that is good! Your love is obvious, as is Tripp’s strong spirit; it may not always be easy but I think you know to follow your heart and you will go in the right direction. When in doubt… ask your mom! :)

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  • Michael Mills

    You are doing a great job as a mother. Just keep God first in your life and continue to be an example to Tripp. He’s a good kid. I hope you find the right person in your life that not only loves you, but also loves Tripp like he’s their child too. I admire everything you are doing. We, your supporters, all love you. :)

  • Barb

    I enjoy the show. I also appreciate when you don’t bash Levi as much. Yes, he is missing out. But, one day he will realize that on his own. Let Levi and Tripp figure that out. Don’t influence Tripp’s attitude about his father. My mom talked terrible about my dad. I hated him and didn’t even know him. But now, we have a growing relationship. He needed to grow up.

  • Theresa

    “My home isn’t broken”–YES!! such a powerful statement. And God is clearly with you. Your Father and Husband. I agree with spanking with control. I know my daughter is fearful of even giving one swat if she is out anywhere in her car. She explained that there are cameras everywhere and people are quick to report “child abuse”. My method was– help the child understand what he did wrong, discipline, then hold him to show you still love him.