Friday, September 27, 2013

BE A PARENT, IT'S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE

So after a visit to the OT office on several occasions with my daughter and the pediatrician's office with both kiddos, and being out and about seeing kids curse out their mothers, I have been noticing the rotten behavior of other people's kids.  I am proud of how I am raising my children. I am proud that I can count on my son to behave himself in ANY situation.  I am proud that my daughter is learning the same things that my son has learned.  Be kind, be respectful, be honest because I expect that behavior. I will accept nothing less.  I am not TOO HARD on my kids. My son made a friend in school and I was so happy that after spending a day with his family that they behave the same way my kids do and it was such a breath of fresh air.  Encountering a badly behaved child leaves me feeling like I want to write a book, want to offer advice, want to do something, anything.

Children need structure, guidance, rules and consequences for their actions. The End. Period.  I often hear from people that my children are "too good."  Really?? Ummm ok? For example the nurse at the doctor's office said to me "He is so very polite."  But she said it as if she were completely shocked, I am sure she was.  I would get stopped in a store or in a supermarket at least once a week asking me how I got my son to behave in the shopping cart, how come he wasn't throwing a fit?  You must have bribed him, huh?  Nope bribery is not in my vocabulary.  From a very early age I would tell him, for example, "We are going to Target, I have to get some things for home and we have to get a Birthday gift for so and so, Mommy only has enough money to get what is on my list, nothing else."  He would always ask to look at the toys, but that was it.  He threw one temper tantrum when he was 2 in a store, I had just finished shopping and had a cart full of stuff.  This is an example where follow through is very important.  I told him if he didn't stop we would have to leave all our things, leave the store and go home.  He didn't stop, so I left my full cart right there and we went home.  He knew from that moment on that I mean what I say. He realized that when he acted that way he was not going to get what he wanted. I can honestly say that that was the first and last temper tantrum.  From that day on we could go to any toy store to just look and he was perfectly happy with that.  He was realizing that good behavior was a lot more rewarding than bad behavior.  I would often spy something he really liked in the toy store, when we were just looking and would buy it without him knowing and give it to him a few days later.  He has always been such a wonderful boy and human being. He is kind, caring and he is teaching his little sister all of these wonderful characteristics.

Today I witnessed a boy no older than my son, calling his mother an "ass wipe."  Yes you read that right.  Well you must be thinking that this boy was taken out of there, brought home and punished. NOPE.  His mother sat there, begging him not to talk to her like that.  She sounded like she was speaking to a friend, not her child.  I just can't wrap my mind around the fact that people allow their children to talk to them like that. How does this happen?

I am tired of witnessing people that cannot seem to figure out how to be a parent. It isn't rocket science people. YOU ARE THE PARENT.  THEY ARE THE CHILD.

1. Children need rules

2. Children need guidance

3. Children need to know that there are consequences for their actions.(i.e. things need to actually be taken away from them, things that they really like, for long periods of time, not just 5 minutes.)

4. Children need you to get off your ass and correct their bad behavior.

5. Children cannot do whatever the hell they feel like doing, especially if it is harmful or obnoxious to themselves or others.

6. Children should be taught that whining isn't going to get them what they want. Whining and crying aren't cute anymore once the child can speak in complete sentences. You are inevitably teaching them that this behavior will work later in life. Let's face it who likes to be around whiny adults? The minute you respond to the whining, that is it. You are in for years and years of whining and carrying on because they think that they can get your attention this way.

7. You are not your child's friend. You are their parent. They will have enough friends in their lifetime, they don't need anymore.

8. Mean what you say! If you say "If you hit your sister one more time I am taking your bike away for a week"- guess what you need to do when he smacks his sister again? Ding, ding, ding! You've got it! Take the bike away for a week. I told you it's not rocket science folks.

9. When you let your child do whatever he/she wants and he or she knows that they can get away with this with a grown up,  they are going to  exhibit the same behavior with their peers. Congratulations, you have just created a bully!!

10.  When your child has no rules, no consequences, no disappointment you are creating an entitled little brat. He/She is going to become and entitled teenage brat and so on.

11. Pay attention to your kids, they act out because they want your attention.  If you are constantly too busy or talking on your phone, the kid figures negative attention is better than no attention at all.

Even though my daughter is special needs, I still expect her to behave herself, I still expect her to understand how to be kind, be caring, be respectful and be honest.  It may take her a little longer to understand but she will get there. I am never mean, I never once have to raise my voice, ever. I talk to my kids like they are little people, I never talk baby talk to my kids, I have spoken to my son since he is a baby and to my daughter as well using good vocabulary, I never said things in baby talk or just assume they won't understand me.  I explain things, I explain what will happen if they do x y or z. I treat them with respect and too expect respect in return.  My son knows what is expected of him and so will my daughter, plain and simple. I am not saying the way I parent is perfect, I am not saying that your way is wrong. Do what works for you.  What I am saying is DO SOMETHING. Don't expect everyone else to raise your kid and to discipline them too.   Don't just sit there and expect your kid to discipline themselves, don't allow your child to be rude, disrespectful or  be a bully.  Don't act like you just don't know what to do.  You know what to do, you are just not willing to put in the effort to do the work. Raising a well behaved, respectful child is hard work, they don't just pop out that way.  Put in the work and eventually you will be able to reap the rewards of knowing that your hard work has helped to mold this wonderful human being.  I am just tired of getting comments about my kids, like it's not normal that they are well behaved and respectful.  Yet no one says anything about their kid(s) that acts like a beast.  It doesn't take a village to raise a child, it takes a parent.