So I guess it really blows my mind when people do not expect the same of their children. No, I do not expect anyone to parent exactly like I do. Nor do I think that everyone is going to believe the same things are right or wrong for their children. Some of the things my parents believed were right or wrong for me I do not see that way for my child. So I don't expect the same thing for everyone BUT I do think there are basic rules and ideas that apply to every child's upbringing. I'm realizing more and more people don't see it that way.
I've heard several things lately that honestly just don't compute in my brain. Several times women with little girls have mentioned that their daughter "just won't let me fix her hair" or "she just takes it down after I put it up." Um, I've never spanked Gianna or punished her for anything that had to do with her hair. I've simply told her that when I fix her hair she's to leave it like that unless I tell her otherwise. She respects me as a parent as does as I tell her.
Another thing I hear a lot is "my child isn't old enough to understand what no means." And I'm not talking about a 1 month old baby. I'm talking about 1 year olds up to 3 year olds. Again, let me apologize for being so frank but, unless your child is mentally handicapped they understand what no means as early as 4-6 months. Gi started trying to suck on her fingers around that age and all I had to do was pull her hand out of her mouth, look her in the eyes and say in a gently but firm tone "No." It took a few times but she got it. Who knows. Maybe she was a baby genius!
I recently heard another blog mom mention that she has quite wearing earrings since her daughter was born because she likes to grab at them. Her daughter is almost a year old and she's still not wearing earrings?!! Yeah, kids are going to grab at them, Gianna used to grab at mine but guess what? There is a magic little word called "no!" - you say it and you are in charge. What?! A parent being in charge of how their child acts and behaves?! What is this world coming too?! Lol.
My point is this - it's time to stop being lazy and scared parents. Yes, there are days I get so sick of repeating some of the same things to Gianna. I hate having to punish her because she continues to do something I've told her not to. But for the (almost) past five years her daddy and I have been consistent in what we expect of her and how we handle it when she doesn't and as a result we have a child that is a pleasure to be around. From the stories I hear from a lot of other moms/bloggers I would be terrified to meet their kids. They sound mean, scary and uncontrollable. I used to have a friend who would let her 2 year old daughter scream in public places. High pitch and shrill. It was so annoying and embarrassing. She said as long as she wasn't doing it in anger it didn't bother her. Well, guess what? It bothered everyone else trying to enjoy their lunch or shopping. It drew attention and was just down right embarrassing. It got to the point where I avoided going out in public with her simply because her daughter wasn't pleasant to take out anywhere.
I recently read a blog on not spanking. Again, we spank. We don't beat, we don't hit, we don't slap. Those are no-no's. But when the situation is right a swat on the bottom or the hand gets their attention. We haven't had to spank Gianna a lot but when it calls for it we do it. It amuses me that most of the people I hear don't spank are the ones complaining of out of control children. Or they are the ones who have no idea how to spank in the correct way. They immediately assume spanking is the same as beating. One woman mentioned that her mother used to "spank" but after listening to what she had to say it was more than clear that her mother had beat her and her siblings out of anger. That I do not in anyway agree with. I try to never spank Gianna while I'm mad or upset. I send her to her room to think it through and most of the time that ends up with us talking instead of spanking anyway. But for example, the other day she kept messing with my straightner. I told her two or three times to stop touching it. The last time I told her "if you do it again I'll pop your hand." I gave her fore warning and she heard me. She did it again. So I pop her hand. She scowled but she didn't say anything because she knew she was wrong, she knew what was coming if she continued to disobey. She walked away and didn't mess with it again.
So my encouragement is this - do not be scared of your child and don't be lazy is taking the steps to discipline them correctly. Discipline is backed by love and it is your job to love your child. Disciplining them so that they are well behaved and good mannered and know right from wrong is doing them a favor, people, don't destroying their minds or taming their independence. It's a balance!