Based on my *extensive* experience with other peoples children. Okay, really it's all about my Mom's godkids and how I don't like the way their parents are raising them. It's my blog, I'll whine if I want to.
1. If your children cannot be separated from you for any period of time at all, there is something wrong. You are making them clingy.
2. At the ages of five and three, they should be sleeping in their own bloody rooms. Yes, kids will have nightmares or get sick and want to sleep with mommy and daddy. The exceptions are just fine. It's when the exceptions become the rule that you are in trouble. The fact that you've moved their toddler beds into *your* bedroom means that you are encouraging this behavior. This will bite you in the ass. It is already, you just don't realize it.
3. Kids will throw fits. I get that. However, you should have some sort of control. You are the adult. They are the child. Your word is law. It doesn't matter if they think something is fair. They are A CHILD. This is not a democracy, it is a dictatorship. The order of authority goes like this: God -> Parent -> Child. They get to have an opinion when they can express it without yelling and screaming it.
4. Toys are a privilege, not a right.
5. If they don't like what you make, they don't have to eat it. However, you also don't need to make three different things trying to get them to eat. I promise that they will not starve if they miss one meal. And I guarantee you that they will eat when they get hungry enough.
6. Spanking is actually a completely acceptable form of punishment. I'd hold it in reserve for *really bad* behavior, like punching your brother and biting him completely out of the blue while he's watching SpongeBob. Sending them to their rooms, or sitting them in a corner also works. But you have to remember to take away the toys before you do it. See #4 for my feelings on toys.
7. Coddling your children does them no favors. When the five year old boy is playing on a scooter and he takes a little spill (wearing his helmet and everything) it is not the end of the world. You can take the time to walk over there calmly and ask him if he's hurt. He will show you his scrapes and you can either clean them if need be, or kiss them better. Whichever works for the degree of injury. But play them down! A low speed tumble that produces absolutely no blood and a barely visible roughing of the skin should not cause a five year old to start screaming like he's being axe murdered. Know why it does? Because you've *trained* him to react that way. Every bump is a life or death situation. He's not a hemophiliac. He's perfectly healthy except for that allergy to peanuts. He is not going to break.
8. No means no, dammit. See #3. Do not surrender to the crying. I repeat. You are the adult here.
Ahhh....that feels good. :) I was told by someone a long time ago that I was going to be a hardassed mom. It's entirely possible. Like she said, 'Amber's kids will be perfect. Or else.'