Guys I was the most perfect parent until I had kids. Now I am constantly second guessing everything that I do.
At times I envy the ignorant bliss in which my mom raised my siblings and I. She was not bombarded with parenting advice, critiques and quite frankly fear mongering at every turn. She just parented. She met our needs, loved us, played with us and periodically swatted us or made us bite soap. I am a pretty well adjusted human. I think my mom did great. I want to be like her. So why cant I get it right?
Cause I don’t freaking stay off the interwebs.
I hate the internet. Particularly Facebook. (Yes I have one and I am on it constantly. I still would not be devastated if it just stopped working all together) It seems as though because I clicked on one parenting ad once that is all that comes up on my feed. So I keep clicking… and they keep coming… Its a vicious cycle. The most recent one I read was new to me but it had the same kind of information I heard before. We have to respect our children. We shouldn’t shame them or embarrass them. We need to get down to their level and explain things and truly try to understand how they are feeling. We need to let them express their independence and personality. We should give them choices in what happens as often as possible and listen to their complaints.
I’m Sorry. I have tried all of this. Its utter nonsense. I’m done.
I will tell you exactly what happens when I follow this advice in my everyday interaction with my son. My child argues, screams louder, hits harder, is deceitful and manipulative, doesn’t respect me and controls the house.
Maybe this kind of parenting works for some kids. Not mine.
I was sharing this with my mom and she looked at me and said 3 very profound words: “Your in charge.”
Oh. Oh yea… Duh…
She gave me 3 pieces of advice.
- Give direct commands
- Make statements which make argument difficult
- Decide on the worst behavior that deserves a punishment and ignore the rest (He is just 2.)
I started doing this at home and it seemed to be working pretty well so I tested it at the grocery store. What happened next took me very much by surprise.
We got to the grocery store and my son asked to walk by the cart. I said yes but he had to hold onto the cart. He agreed… until we got in the store where he immediately dashed towards the produce. I said calmly but firmly “I told you to hold onto the cart.” His response was of course “I don’t want to.”
My response truly shocked me but it was amazingly effective. I said to my 2 year old “I don’t care what you want. Your disobeying. Put your hand on the cart right now.”
He complied immediately.
I did not get down on his level and reason with him about why he needed to hold onto the cart. I did not care if someone heard me tell him that he was disobeying. I just told him to obey. And it worked… I couldn’t believe it.
Then we got to the check out line (Every moms worst nightmare). He asked for a cookie. I informed him he already had a donut and so we would not be having more sugar. Right on cue he lost his mind and threw himself onto the floor in front of the cart so I was unable to move through the line. I did not plead with him. I did not tell him I’m sorry you are sad. I did not try to explain to him why we can not eat 3,000 lbs of sugar. I said “Your in the way. Move.” He looked at me, stopped yelling, got up and out of the way and put his hand back on the cart.
5 min later we were laughing and talking about bed bug monsters.
He was not scared for life, shamed or emotionally unstable because I did not cater to his 2 year old tantrums. He obeyed.
I do not need to kneel down to my child to understand his feelings when he is yelling because I said no you can’t watch tv. I know exactly why he is yelling. He is yelling cause he is 2 and is learning to be a person. If I yelled and screamed because I was trying to watch you tube and the internet didn’t work NO ONE would come up to me and ask if I wanted to talk about my feelings. They would all just think I was an immature lunatic. So why would I walk up to my child and ask him to express his feelings in the same situation. All he knows is that he is mad. And there are some things that we don’t need to be mad about. Which is why I have chosen to ignore those tantrums.
Obviously if another child is unkind to my son we talk about it. Heck if I am a jerk I always apologize and tell him I am wrong. I have even told him a couple of times that mommy was having a grown up tantrum and that it was very wrong and I would like him to forgive me. We address valid emotions. But not all emotions are valid.
All that to say, this works for my kid. And that is what matters. Not what anyone reading this thinks or what all the parenting blogs and articles say. I have always been a person that cares alot about what other people think about me. So caring what people think about my parenting is no different. But I can’t care. I can’t possibly follow all the parenting advice.
And in the end its always my moms practical advice that I return to. And its always her advice that makes my life easier. I don’t know if that means she just really knows me or is just plain super mom but I sure am glad I grew up in her house.
My mom used to say to me on a regular basis “Kathryn don’t bring your feelings out to play” , “That does not need to hurt your feelings” and my favorite “Man up Katie.” All of those things would bring heaping, burning piles of criticism on my mom today. But those 3 phrases shaped the person I am in a good way. Because I listened and took that advice. Those 3 phrases were the best thing my mom could have possibly said to me in the multiple situations I was in where she said them. I was not emotionally traumatized because of them. Those phrases prevented emotional trauma. I did what she said. I grew a pair and got tough. I needed to be tough and my mom knew it.
Those phrases never once came out of my moms mouth to any of my other siblings. Because that’s not what they needed.
This side note is just about how every kid is different I guess. Even though I can rant here about what I know is best for my kid I can’t put it on someone elses child.
As the title stated, this is literally just a rant/rambling thoughts about what has been going inside my head this past few weeks of silence… End rant now…