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Showing posts with label parenting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label parenting. Show all posts

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Silly Sunday: Parenting Advice

As a parent who has successfully raised three wonderful kids to adulthood, I am now qualified to give my readers parenting advice––free of charge.

When I was a young mother, my father said, "Don't ever hit your kids, but don't ever let them think you won't." 

I tried to follow this advice, but I was never able to make my dad's threatening face. It was the one that said, "Shape up, now!" 

True to Dad's suggestion, we never spanked our kids; however, they knew we weren't going to also. As a result, we found successful discipline strategies that came in creative and silly doses. My favorite threat was the one concerning teeth. "If you don't ______________, we're not going to let you brush your teeth!"

Ooooh. This one scared our kids into doing what we wanted because what could be worse than not being allowed to brush your teeth? Furthermore, teeth brushing became a reward, rather than a fight to make them do it. Hint: Start this when the kids are young or it won't work. 

Tee hee.

Another silly punishment we used involved the love seat in our den. If our kids fought with each other, they had to sit on the love seat until they learned to love each other. They had two choices: get along or have the most miserable punishment ever. 

The most important parenting advice I can give is for you to teach your children to take care of themselves. Next time your child has a problem with a coach or teacher, don't be in a hurry to rush in and fix it for them. Make your child deal with the problem his or herself. They should be the one to approach the adult and address their concerns, not you. You step in only as a last resort when their attempts do not work. Knowing how to talk to an adult has been my kids' greatest life skill. Please parents, don't hover!

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Punishments

With all of the blogger outage mess, I messed up and posted my O piece first, so if you want to keep in this backwards order, scoot down one entry and that should be for today. You can pretend that I posted punishments yesterday, if that makes you happy. For those who don't care, here goes . . .

My husband and I were never ones to spank our children. Not to say we didn't punish them when they misbehaved, we just found better ways to discipline. Discipline doesn't need to leave kids angry or bitter, but rather to teach children right from wrong.

One of our most successful punishments worked well with our oldest two kids when they were very young. "Do what we say or we won't let you brush your teeth." The kids would scramble to obey because nothing was worse than a stinky mouth. Not only did we get them to mind us, but we changed their view of tooth brushing from something parents force their children to do to a privilege.

I remember another situation when our son was just a toddler.  I was struggling to load our large golden retriever into the back of our van. Daniel spun circles while I was distracted until a truck honked and nearly missed hitting him. Many parents would spank a child for going into the street, but in reality, whose fault is it? He was too young to understand his actions, and I needed to be more focused on him than the dog. If I needed to be angry with anyone, it should have been me. I let my instincts take over when I snatched that baby into my arms. Tears shot out of my eyes as I told him how scared I was at the thought of almost losing him because I love him so much. We locked in a hug for a long while, and that boy never ventured into the street again. Objective reached.

Finally, it would be nice to say that my children never fought with each other, but they did. Once they reached "our" limit of fighting, we sat them on the love seat until they learned how to love each other. We didn't need to punish them because they punished themselves more than we ever could have. To quote Bill Cosby, "Parents don't want fair, they want quiet."

Parents need to quit hitting their children and find quintessential punishments instead. I know I wouldn't do a better job at work, or any where else, if someone hit me whenever I messed up. What is the true message in spanking?

Monday, March 21, 2011

RIP: Apple Blossom


I once was the proud owner of a Liddle Kiddle doll named Apple Blossom. Her flower-covered green hair flowed over her two inch body as she populated the stores sometime around 1967--which means I must have been negative fifteen years old when I got my treasure. Not only was Apple the most beautiful doll I ever owned, but also, when locked inside her container, she carried a fresh perfume scent that stuck around well into my adulthood.

So at age -15, I made a decision. Apple Blossom was too special to be just any doll. I kept her perched in her bottle on top of my dresser. Sure, I played with her. She was the captured princess who couldn't escape her cage. Every so often, I'd open her, take a whiff, stroke her soft hair, and wrap her back in plastic. But I was sure to keep her in mint condition because I knew one day I'd have a daughter and I'd give her this special doll.

The years flew by and sure enough I became a mom. My daughter bubbled when I gave her that amazing doll. Then on that very same day, she lost it.