Monday, November 15, 2010

Child Rearing From the Peanut Gallery

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.'


  1. Wow. The part about them moving the kids' beds into their room is crazy. Also, a lot of parents seem not to understand these things, for some reason. Their need to be parenting tests and classes before people have kids.

  2. sanil,

    There really does. Like an ongoing program too. You apparently can't just let the parents have the kids. They need to be taught what to do with the kids.

  3. organic parenting as we call it.

    if you dont set boundaries how are the kids to know what is right or wrong?

    I sure knew what was expected of me.

  4. Susanne,

    You ever notice that all of us without kids would be so much better at raising them than the people who have kids? :)

  5. slice,

    Exactly! I knew what was acceptable and what was not. And I knew what the punishments were for bad behavior, and they were enforced. Not that that always stopped me by any means, but I knew right from wrong. Kids these days, not so much it seems.

  6. LOL! I got a kick out of this. I agree, spanking shouldn't be the first response to misbehavior - rather, used when time out and toys taken away, etc, are not effective in correcting the behavior. I know I got spanked fairly often as a kid, and it didn't scar me for life. If anything, it reinforced the "Mama is boss, I better do what she says" mindset for me.

    I think so many parents now are of the "friends" mindset. They want their kids to like them, so they try to be a friend instead of a parent and pander to every little demand their kid makes. In response, the kids grow up thinking they're entitled to everything they want when they want it, and they don't respect their parents because the parents aren't authority figures to them. *sigh*

    I think you're right about the childfree amongst us probably being better parents than many actual parents. Not that I want to be Mama to anything but my cats. : D

  7. Oh my! You will make a strict but very good mother :)

    I really can't sleep with kids in my room/bed.

  8. Heather,

    Glad to entertain. :)

    I was actually not spanked as a child. Once, and only once did I get spanked, and that was by my grandfather. I was running towards the canal behind their house and didn't stop when they told me to. He caught me, picked me up, swatted me one time on the butt, and that was that. The lesson sank in though. I still don't like to go near the canals! I always feel like I'm doing something wrong. :) But I was a fairly sneaky kid, so I did a lot of things that I *should* have gotten spanked for that I just never got caught at.

    My problem is that so many parents have swallowed this idea that spanking is abuse. It *can* be abusive, don't get me wrong. But it is not inherently abusive. It's a last resort, and if you're enforcing the rules and setting the ground work then you shouldn't have to use it but very rarely.

    The 'friends' mindset. Yes. It's a very modern thing, that these kids have adult rights and we just want them to *like* us...*rolls eyes* A parents job is not to be their kids best friend. It is to raise them and prepare them for life outside the shelter of the home. To make them fit for society as much as is possible. It's nice when you can be friends. I'm friends with my mother. But giving them everything they want is not good parenting. It's not even a good friendship. Friends don't give in to the every whim of their other friends. If they do it's a very uneven relationship and one of them is getting taken advantage of in a massive way.

  9. Suroor,

    Of course, this is all from the ivory tower of childlessness. :) Once the kids actually come the entire dynamic can change. But I do know that there are some things that I will not bend or change.

    The kids sleeping in the parents room thing is just odd. I couldn't do it.

  10. I am also childless. and find organic parenting a frightening thing. as I watch as parents have this amazing knack to not hear their shouting/creaming child. they must hand out deafness when you are in labour.

    as when I hear some of the below 10 year olds in town, I get chills as to the way they speak to their parents. They believe they are owed the world. "I wants" all the time. it is no wonder so many people are in such debt because they over induldge their child.

    I go to my parents house and my great neice has her own room just for toys. My parents cant watch anything on their own tv as she has to have a dvd on even when she is doing something else in another room! if you turn it over, she has a sixth sense it is off and rushes in, near on throws herself on the floor and tantrums right there. tears, screaming crying,pulling her hair. the instant you turn it back on, it is a miracle. no tears, no sobs, no intake of ragged breath. she is the best actress on the planet. it sure is a show.

    but you cant tell her off.... oooohhhhh noooo. (said in a stupid voice) "it may damage her growth" (as in mental growth...). You shouldnt use the word no all the time apparently as it will stunt her and her creative outlet.

    What a crock! (rant over, and breath)

  11. slice,

    *lol* Feel free to rant! People who let their children run the house annoy the crap out of me and are asking for every little bit of trouble they get.

    The word 'no' is not going to stunt anyone's mental growth. And you don't have to let them draw on the walls either for fear of stifling their creativity. We have this thing called paper. They can be as creative as they want to be. On the paper. Boundaries and rules, people. Boundaries and rules.


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