Saturday, December 29, 2007

Parenting 101 Anyone?

Tracey, have you finished that parenting book yet? I could use it....

Someone once wrote a post about Belltower moments. Where your child does something and you can just envision them going up in the tower with a gun and a sack of ammunition. And everyone says: "But he seemed so nice. Must have been the parents." We had that moment a few days ago, but luckily are descending the steps of crisis now.

And I have to admit Rob and I aren't very structured as parents. We have a routine, but we aren't always great at sticking with it. Sometimes we aren't as firm with follow-through as we should be. There is occasional yelling instead of a quiet-but-firm parental voice and bedtime and mealtimes slide around a bit. I once told a friend who was expecting a baby, not to worry about all that advice you get from know-it-all people. That your love for your child will help you figure out the right thing. But lately, I'm beginning to doubt that philosophy a little bit.

J.T. took a butterknife to my pantry door frame and made neat little cut marks (not too deep), but about 31 in all. When I caught him at it we had the following discussion:

Me: J.T.! Why did you cut the door?
J.T.: Mmmmmmmmm. (Fists clenched, lips pursed, scrambling for an answer).
Me: (after taking a deep breath) Why did you cut the door?
J.T.: (blurting it out quickly) Because I wanted to!
Me: Honey. We don't tear up things. We have to take care of our home. Why shouldn't you have cut the door?
J.T.: Because you would find out.... (which wasn't exactly the answer I was hoping I would hear).
Me: How about because it was the wrong thing to do?
J.T.: (silence)
Me: You have to go to your room. No T.V. today or tomorrow.

He runs to his room wailing. Great, heaving sobs of despair. HE'S mad with ME because he's in trouble. He told me so.

So if there is a parenting class, I'd probably be sitting in the corner with a Dunce cap on. This truly is the hardest job on the planet isn't it?


Anonymous said...

You're not put on earth to be his friend. If he's mad with you, then you've done your job well!!

Stomper Girl said...

I don't think you're failing any parenting courses here. I think most kids experiment with damage, and part of his anger was mortification because he knew it was wrong really.

And what Tracey said.

Aunty Evil said...

See what happens when they get sheets for Christmas? Let this be a lesson to all you grandparents out there!

h&b said...

What Tracey and Stomper said.

Melinda said...

Thank you Tracey and Stomper. Yes Aunty! It must have been the sheets.

Sussanah said...

We all suck at parenting. Anyone who says they are a good parent, well they are freaks. They are probably those overly happy neat people that no one likes, you can bet they are a wire coathanger incident waiting to happen.

manda said...

I found you through stomper girls blog :-)
Its hard I agree...I have three angels myself...... but you know...boundaries are a GOOD thing for kids to learn.

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