Works for Me Wednesday: Parenting Edition
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Works for Me Wednesday
It's time for another themed Works for Me Wednesday ~ and I don't know where to start with this one!

It's the Parenting Edition, with your best piece of parenting advice. For Pete's sake, me, tell people what I think...about kids? This could take all day! I'll try to narrow it down to 4 pithy, easy to remember sayings.

Mama says....

1. You Are the Parent. You are the expert on your child. You know your child better than any book, doctor, or well meaning friend. Trust yourself. If you don't think scheduling feedings is the right way to go, don't do it, no matter what the ladies at church say. If you think your child needs a nap, even if he's five, schedule naptimes, no matter what your neighbor says about making him be a big boy. Take advice into consideration, but never forget that you have the final say - and "I'm the mommy, and I said so" is a perfectly valid excuse. (And one the well meaning neighbor can't really argue with!)

2. Children are Childish. If you hear yourself shouting screaming hissing through gritted teeth saying the words..."Act your age", well, your kids probably are acting their age. Kids are immature. They suffer from childish irresponsibility. They are learning about consequences, about relationships, about life. They did not spring forth, Athena like, fully formed. So, yes, they probably will hurt their friend's feelings... and then it's your job to teach them to make it right. They will leave their bike where the car can run it over. They will lose their right shoe for two weeks, and then find it under their mattress two days after you break down and buy them a new pair. Kids will be kids, and you have to train them out of it.

3. Quiet Time isYour Friend. Yes, generally, it is good to let kids regulate themselves. However, there is nothing wrong, and quite a few things right, with making everyone adhere to the same schedule. At Mama's house, naptime means: The 1 and 3 yo go to their room for an actual nap. The older children are allowed to do quiet activities - they can read, color, do puzzles... they cannot play Super Charged Astronaut Fighters with my umbrellas. They have a bunch of friends over. They must have quiet time. The nursling may, or may not, sleep but he is adjusting to the quiet time schedule as well - he doesn't have baths at this time, he doesn't play with battery toys. He sleeps, or snuggles. Not only do we have a verylittle peace, but the children learn to entertain themselves - in a calm way - which is a skill that will serve them well.

4. The Force is NOT Always With You.
There are some things that no matter how hard you try, you cannot force your child to do. You cannot make a toddler poop. You cannot make a newborn sleep through the night. You cannot make your 5 year old be brave and not afraid. Sometimes you have to gently coax, rather than wield a big stick. You can encourage potty training, or a soothing bedtime routine, or the scaredy cat to hug her bear or sing a happy tune. Ultimately, some things are completely up to the kid. Accept it, and move on.

Check out Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer for a bounty of parenting tips!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 8/01/2007 08:30:00 AM | Permalink | |