I have a strict philosophy on this whole ‘parenting’ thing. I use the word ‘strict’ loosely. I realize that we are to provide our children with unconditional love from the get-go. There is the endless praise, love, and support and the one that all of us parents are familiar with: ‘Oh, my, wow….Yes, that picture you drew looks JUST like a dinosaur in a field of flowers!!’ Oh, wait a minute, that picture is actually a picture of Anna and Elsa from Frozen? Ohhhh yeah, I totally see it!
Now, we get to the behavior aspect of things. When is encouragement just TOO much? Haydan does a half ass job at cleaning her room in hopes that I will recognize the ONE Barbie outfit she stuffed under her bed while there is a pile of snack wrappers, empty water cups, and underpants stuffed in every possible corner of her room. How the hell do ya handle that one. ‘WOW!! It looks just like i’d anticipate a caged monkey’s bedroom to look like! WAY TO GO!!!!’ Uhm, no.
I feel like a broken record asking her to do the same thing over and over: ‘Clean your room’, ‘Put your laundry in the hamper!’, and for God’s sake, ‘FLUSH THE TOILET!!!!’. I really don’t understand this philosophy of praise for their meek attempt at every thing we ask them to do. I understand at age 2 that flushing the potty is a reason to celebrate. However, at age six, I should not find a half eaten piece of pizza in her bedding prior to tucking her in for the night. Furthermore, her response shouldn’t be ‘Well, I ate all the meat off he pizza like you always ask me to do!’.
I need to seriously implement some self accountability. I took her for a manicure last week and she peeled all of her nail polish off her nails within two days. Today I was getting a nail fill and she wanted to get a manicure with me. I told her ‘Not a problem, we will swing by the house and you can grab the money out of your piggy bank to pay for you own manicure. Maybe this time around you will feel the need to keep those piggies polished just a WEE bit longer seeing your dime is covering it.’ SHE WAS FURIOUS!
It is so much easier to just say, ‘NO PROB! Ill pick up the tab and pay for the same thing I just paid for three days ago so we can have some mom and daughter bonding time!’ However, what the hell am I teaching her?
I feel like a broken record at the store asking her not to ask for every item down the Barbie aisle, using a strong voice with eye contact and using proper introductions (i.e. It is nice to meet you Mrs. blah blah blah) with a firm hand shake, SAY THANK YOU, chew with your mouth closed, and so on and so on.
It is either constant encouragement for things that I am pretty certain she knows she could GREATLY improve on, or nagging her around the clock.
I need to get in touch with Michelle Duggar. Her kids are so insanely well behaved and THEY LISTEN!!!! How in God’s name she handle one of them, let alone 19? Note to self: Pick up the Duggar’s trilogy of books….possibly on tape too.