A friend was over at our house earlier today and she was talking about the awful behavior some of her friend’s kids were showing at a get together last week. Now, some of the behaviors she listed were absolutely verboten- my kids don’t climb on the back of other people’s couches, walk on their tables or be rude to others. And if they do, we correct them immediately.
Then my friend was talking about how one mom won’t even take her child shopping with her because his behavior was out of control. She looked me dead in the eye and asked if I could ever imagine letting my kids dictate my behavior like that.
I’m still laughing. See, I flat out refuse to shop with the Bean. I will do my grocery shopping at 6 am while everyone is asleep at my house to avoid going with her.
It wasn’t always like this. Up until 6 months or so ago, it wasn’t that bad. When she was itty bitty, I plopped her my carrier, put Scorch in the cart and off we went. When she got older, she would happily sit either in the child seat in the cart or, if we were really lucky, in the race car kid’s cart with her big brother. Then one day, she refused. Either I held her in my arms (not even in the carrier) or she would scream and sob and kick and try to escape where ever you put her. She didn’t want to walk or ride, she wanted to be carried and heaven help you and the rest of the shoppers if I didn’t do so. After about a half a dozen times of sweating thru my entire grocery shopping trip and leaving the store stressed to the max, I gave up and leave her behind.
Anyhow- this conversation got me thinking of some of the parenting absolutes I had before I had kids.
1) My kids will never, ever watch TV.
With Scorch we stuck with that pretty well. Then we had Beaner and sometimes I needed to keep Scorch occupied while I attended to her and was too tired to chase him. By the time Scorch was 3 and Bean was 1, they could both sign the theme song to Jack’s Big Music Show. Now we have family movie nights every Friday!
2) My kids will never wear any clothing with characters on it.
I mostly stick with this one, but we did have about a 6 month phase when Scorch was in love with Elmo. Seriously, who can resist a 2 year old who got no greater joy then wearing an Elmo t-shirt? Not me.
3) Need to train your kids (be it potty training, sleeping, whatever)? Use a sticker chart!
That is a perfect solution if sticker charts motivate your kids. At age 4, a sticker chart for good behavior is still the key to Scorch’s heart. The Bean couldn’t give a flying frog over ’em. We still haven’t found what motivates that kid- stickers, food, toys. Doesn’t matter- she’s going to do what she wants and to hell with the rest.
4) I will never, ever let my kid throw a fit in a store. If s/he acts up, out the door we go. That behavior won’t be accepted or put up with.
Great idea in theory, but what happens when you have a week’s worth of groceries in the cart and your husband is out of town for 5 days? I’ll tell you what happens- you bribe your kid with whatever it takes to shut them up and hustle them out there as fast as you can after you finish your shopping.
5) No child of mine will leave the house looking like s/he was dressed by a blind drunk clown.
*snort* Yeah- you come over to my house and try to tackle, then wrestle my kid into clothes they refuse to wear. I’ll stand my ground if we’re going to church or some place special, but the rest of the time as long as it fits and it’s clean, have at it. Mismatched clothes never hurt a soul.
I know I have more- what’s yours?