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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

#GBE2 Parenting & Children

Having successfully raised three kids, I'm an expert on child rearing so was thrilled about this week's GBE2 prompt giving me the chance to offer parenting advice. Sorry for the length of the article, but I have a lot of wisdom to share.

Good parenting starts in infancy or even before--dump the beer and cigs, lady--you're pregnant! Once you make it through morning sickness, you might as well pay attention to that little tax deduction. In fact, crying is their only means of communication, so ignoring the bambino is like saying, "You're not important." Don't teach them that!

When our kids were infants, I'd get dressed, put on the snuggle sack and papoose the babies all day every day. It was a constant hug and rub of the back for those special bundles. Then I had back surgery. Would I do it again? You betcha, but with regular visits to the chiropractor.

Those were the days!
Once the kiddos got older, we disciplined them; however, my husband and I never hit or even spanked any of our children (with the exception of the smart mouthed teen who got a playful smack on the tush). That's not to say we didn't use corporal punishment. If they disobeyed, we wouldn't let them brush their teeth. Usually the threat was enough to prevent the rule breaking. No joke. With toddlers, it's all a matter of perspective, and you can twist it any way you like.

I often let instincts take over in child raising. For example, my two year old son ran into the street and missed getting hit by a truck. Many parents would spank a kid who does this, but not me. Instead I grabbed that baby boy and hugged him tightly while boo hooing like a sissy. "I thought I was going to lose you. I don't know what I would've done because I love you so much." Now he's twenty-three years old and still has not run into the street, I hope. He does like to go bar hopping in Charleston.

Ever wonder about tantrums? Shortly after our youngest was born, our middle child went through a "stage." Instead of ignoring the tantrum, I restrained her thrashing arms and legs and told her, "I love you and won't let go until you calm down."

Thirty minutes later, sweat covered my body and I was out of breath, but I had a calm child who hugged me tightly. We repeated the scene, two more times. The second time took fifteen minute and the third, five. After that, we never saw a tantrum again. At least from the kids. ;-)

My tantrums weren't too bad. In fact, I kept my cool even when that toddler girl cried as she held out her finger. I said, "Mommy will kiss the finger," and I put my lips all over it.

Next she said, "I pee peed on my finger."

Alex Ginsburg is a great photographer!
Kissing pee is mild compared to what happens in the teenage years, remember, I slapped one. Once I caught my darling daughter digging through my closet. "What are you looking for?" I asked.

She said, "Tomorrow is dress like a loser day, so I was looking for something to wear."
Uh, huh. Teens are great for one's self esteem. If you'd like to read more of my parenting wisdom, Empower Your Children will show you how to help your eleven year old develop skills to land him a job after college. I hope you'll read it because it's the best thing we ever did for our kids!

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Sandee said...

Everyone has their own way to dealing with the kids. I like yours right fine. It worked and that's the important part.

Have a terrific day. :)

Jo said...

If it worked for you Kudos! My kids were a little, shall we say, stubborn and a bit more determined than the average. They were spanked a few times early on and then just the thought or threat of it was sufficient. Those were different times.

Catch My Words said...

Thanks for the comments.

Lauren Wayne said...

Oh, I had to read those stories out loud to my husband. We are cracking up here about the pee-pee finger and the Dress Like a Loser Day.

best pre workout supplement said...

Parent has their own strategy on how to deal with their children. Thanks I love your insight.

Empty Nester said...

Is that Charleston, SC where your son likes to bar hop? If it is, I'm sure he's run into one or all of our daughters. LOL

You're a riot girl!

Paula Martin said...

Good post. Your strategies obviously worked even with the pee-pee finger LOL

Binky said...

Chocolate is a also a good way to deal with kids. For you, or maybe even the kids.

Mike said...

The best advice in the entire (well-written) article is to start at birth. Although, I was not afraid of using corporal punishment, it rarely had to be used. The threat was usually enough. I found out early he could tolerate a swat, he couldn't tolerate having to explain to me why he did whatever he did( the lecture routine). So that is usually how we disciplined. It worked fine. Now my son is 30, we have a great relationship, he's a good, responsible adult, taking care of business. Perfect? No,but a good man.

Anonymous said...

We never spanked ours, either. I never quite understood the spanking thing--trying to teach a child to be kind and self-controlled by smacking them just didn't (and doesn't) compute for me.

I was a holder and a hugger, too. If they cried, I answered. I still hate the idea of letting kids 'cry it out,' and think that 'Ferberizing' babies is utter crap. To me, ignoring a child's cries--middle of the day or middle of the night--gives them the definite message that they are in this alone and they'd best just figure it out. So not a message I wanted to give to my kids.

I think that you and I went about parenting in much the same way. Love them, guide them, trust them, and love them some more. :O)

Cherie said...

I am a firm believer that children learn what they live, and I bet your children are huggers and holders as well. :D

Langley Cornwell said...

Great photos and story. My mom always says she has so much good parenting advice and nobody wants to listen. :-)