Sunday, November 30, 2008

Parenting 101

Sometimes I am appalled/shocked/pleased at the things I let my girls do. Tonight, as I let Emily have way too much raw cookie dough and I ate some myself, I began to ponder how I raise my kids vs. how my mom raised us 4 girls vs. how my friends raise their children. As parents, we all let our kids do things or not let them do things for a variety of reasons. Maybe our moms let us do it or maybe our mom DIDN'T let us do it. Maybe we agree to let them do things out of pure laziness or b/c that's how our friends told us they raise their kids. I tend to blaze my own trail much of the time but I am influenced by my parents. Mom let us eat cookie dough and cake batter. Why? I don't know but I do know it was something fun we all did together, dipping our spoons in the bowl and licking it clean. Dad always made sure he took us to the store to buy Mom presents for her birthday and Christmas. So I am raising Scott to do the same Tonight, Megan was complaining that I ate a piece of her Halloween candy out of her bowl in her room. That's right, I poured all her candy in a bowl on Nov 1 and put it in her room. And guess what? She still has a huge bowl left. She knows how to eat it sensibly and besides, she doesn't have a single cavity either. What decisions do I make when I feel lazy? Well, sometimes I'm too tired to fix a sensible snack, so I let the girls eat something from the snack cabinet. Or I let them have frozen pancakes for supper b/c I'm too tired to cook. I know my kids eat too many snacks, not enough vegetables, have too many toys, don't always clean up, but overall they're not bad kids. I tend to balance things out by being super strict about other things, like what they are allowed to watch on TV, how late they are allowed to stay up, or where they are allowed to go. I often wonder how my Mom managed to stay sane raising 4 hormonal girls. But deep down, I know you just do what you need to do to survive. And if that means going to bed with a belly full of cookie dough, then hopefully the girls will drift off to sleep thinking about how much fun they had with Mom.
Let me know what you do with your children that may or may not be what the rest of us are doing.


Anonymous said...

Well, I get the impression that I am way stricter on my kids about eating healthy than anyone else I know. I do let them indulge occasionally on sweets (and always offer the batter bowl :))or I will buy debbie cakes at the store and they look at me like who has possessed our mother. Randy thinks I am too strict about this but I must say my kids do go for healthier snacks because of it.

I am also strict about the kids getting enough sleep and going to bed at the same time every night.

Where I have my weakness is occasionally I will allow the boys to play video games a lot longer than I should. I feel guilty not allowing them to do something they enjoy so much. I also will allow them to eat a snack before bed just in case they aren't lying about being hungry. I sometimes think how horrible it is to be imprisoned by such strict rules so I relax a little.

The worst thing I did this weekend was pretend I believed my son had brushed his teeth before church just so we could make it on time.


Anonymous said...

Glad to know we are not the only strict parents in the world. My parents used to tell us 5 kids , we are strict because we love you , and even though through circumstances we are not close now, i understand a lot better now that I am a parent.
I am strict on not a lot of sweets, low salt, healthy snacks, same bedtime and breathing treatments for Paul whether he wants it or not.
We do however lick the bowl and eat raw cookie dough.
I also keep tally on who they run around with , how there family belives etc.
Even though both kids have computers, Brooke cell phone, I keep tally ( and yes they know this) of web sites visited ect.
Sounds very strict, we have lots of fun together as well. I can blend in with the kids to ( i am short) ha ha.
its real fun having cold pizza for breakfast and popcorn for supper at times.
parenting is the toughest job and the most fulfilling I have ever had.

Jin said...

I am still learning about discipline and rules... methods of raising kids, and I findthat I am much less strict than my parents were with me. W lot of the time I end up comprimising with a one year old. This may come back and bite me in the butt, but for us it works (so far!) I feel a little guilty when we eat pancakes for dinner, but you know what? As long as they have tons of love, food in the cabinet and a parent that cares- that's all they need. There are kids out there that don't have those things. Don't sweat the small stuff!

Analyzing your parenting skills proves that you are a good parent!

Anonymous said...

OK - I am a wonderful mother and a terrible mother every day. My children are wonderful in spite of me, not because of me. I fly by the seat of my pants all the time. I try to be consistent, but I get their grey... When they ask why? I give them a reason. Sometimes I have none so I change my mind other times I just say - I'm not telling you, but I have a good one. I am very honest with my children, but they are children - not friends, not mini-adults... I love each of them so much and I make mistakes all the time and I am so proud that they are overcoming me day by day! About food - I had a child that would not eat and would not gain weight. I let them eat what they want when they want it. I try to keep mainly healthy-ish choices in the house, but I truly don't care if they have cereal every night for a week - I have much bigger things to worry about! - Amy H