Monday, July 16, 2012

Of Course I'm Perfect: Part 1


The campground is waking up around me. Some wake up slowly, with whispers that I can doze through. Some are still asleep and nothing stirs at their place. I propose that they are people without children, or dogs, because the families with kids and dogs come with moms who yell, “Stop IT!” to the dog (oh, how effective that is, listen, he's STILL barking) and “Don't touch that to the kid!” (who gets that phrase repeated to him over and over and over again – much like the barking dog gets his phrase). Ineffective parenting bugs the crap out of me. Yes, I'm a perfect parent.

Ok, I'm not. I am, however, a parent who is observant, and since there's a lot of bad parenting all around, there are plenty of counter-examples to avoid, if one just observes how NOT to do it.

Don't tell a kid that, “If you ______ , then I'll________ ,” unless you really, truly mean it. The first time you don't follow through is like poking a tiny hole in a balloon and pretty much all your credibility is drained out in a few short encounters. “Well, she doesn't usually, actually _______ so I think it's worth the risk.”

Don't give kids treats to shut them up. “Ok, fine, have another ice-cream sandwich, just let me talk to ___________ on the phone and don't come in here again!” However, I'm all for a bribe. “IF you can leave me alone for ten minutes, and you sweep the kitchen and take out the trash, THEN you can have another one.” I'm not heartless, nor the sugar police, just trying to keep it real. And get my kitchen swept.

Listen to your kids. Don't tell them, “I'll talk to you later, right now I'm...” If they're actually wanting to talk, don't miss it. Wish I'd learned this one sooner.

Yes, it's really 2:30 am MST. Insomnia sucks. So does my writing at this hour, but I haven't posted in a week and so I'm back to the paranoia of people forgetting me...bad blogging...bad parenting...both bad...good-night.

What's your biggest parenting blunder? Willing to share? I'll share mine tomorrow when I can think more clearly.  You can probably tell right away where the part I wrote while camping ends and the part I wrote in the middle of the night takes over...

10 comments:

Rebecca Alexander said...

Like you, I had reasonably good parenting skills, my kids were well behaved (usually), happy, and didn't expect to get their own way all the time. I was a young widow with two great kids. Then I met a widower with four kids and life got really complicated. Step-children that have been brought up badly are incredibly hard work - it took years of me being 'mean' (no you can't have more sweets/cakes/ice cream) before those things became treats and rewards and not kids' rights. They had never done chores, mine were brought up on them. The older boy was also kicking the crap out of the younger one. With hindsight, I should have moved next door, not in with them.

[Retro-Zombie] said...

kids now a days... the freedom they have from technology to threats to call the law if you should think about spanking them. in my time i got a whooping if acted up... made me a better. i don't have kids so i cannot imagine the control you must have to not turn into the hulk every time... i mean i get angry when the line is too long at the store and there is twelve employs standing around looking at us as if we don't see them... i say one phrase... hulk smash!

:)

jeremy

Brian Miller said...

some def wisdom in here on raising kids...i am faced with this a lot in the work i do...ugh...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No blunders because I have no kids!

JoJo said...

No parenting blunders here b/c i chose not to have kids.

Heather Murphy said...

THIS is why I don't have kids. I don't have the patience but at least I recognize it :)

Cold As Heaven said...

My kids are nice guys, hardly ever arguing with each other nor with parents. Either I've done most things right, or they got a lucky mix of genes. Maybe the kids are a little bit spoiled. I should probably have taught them that you have to earn money before you can spend them >:)

Cold As Heaven

Annalisa Crawford said...

I love bribery - mostly I use the promise of a hot chocolate at home to extract them from the freezing cold playground in the middle of February - that one works really well!

J. Kwiatkowski-Schuler said...

Sometimes we embarrass our oldest son because he is eight, but we still think he's our baby. He won't hold my hand anymore when we're out walking or walking through parking lots. I do it anyway. I'm starting to really enjoy annoying him.

Arlee Bird said...

Parenting blunder? That was a long time ago. I can't remember for sure, but I was probably the perfect parent. Yeah, right.


Lee
Wrote By Rote