My end goal for parenting is to have happy, independent, helpful, productive adults. And I’m pretty sure the way to achieve that is by having happy, independent, helpful, productive children.
I don’t mean full blown adult versions of these attributes. I mean the appropriate child-age versions of them. So, this means that I begin to look for opportunities to expose my children to opportunities to learn these types of attributes. Read the rest of this entry →
Kids know when something feels bad. And, sometimes it’s easier to say their parent “won’t let” them than it is to admit to their peers that they don’t feel comfortable in a situation. When peer pressure reaches that point where the group rule is the bottom line, kids need an out.
If you let your kids know that they can use you as an out for uncomfortable situations you have given them the opportunity to avoid dangerous or unethical situations.
If your child is too old for the whole “I’m not allowed” scenario– Let’s face it peers will be scathing when they perceive that adults are in control of what otherwise would be a peer-driven situation — then you can set up a texting code. (You might this this is goofy, but if you recall peer pressure can feel awfully threating.)
Jenna texts you and says:
Jenna: Hey Mom, I’m out with the gang. be home by 11″ (which is within curfew.)
The code word is “gang.” This prompts mom to text back that Jenna must come home immediately.
Mom: Sorry Jen, we need you to come home ASAP. We’ll pick you up in 5 minutes. Where are u?
If anyone asks to see her phone, Jenna hasn’t done anything wrong….no one can say she’s a sissy, or a cry baby, or that her Moommmy won’t let her do anything There’s nothing in the messages that implicates Jenna or her Mom. And the reason to come home is not any specific one, so there’s no ruse or lie.
You can set up your own code word, but it works best to find one that will blend into any text. It could be as simple as using the word “not” as a clue that the answer should be “no.”
Jeff: Can I stay overnight at Pete’s or not?
Mom: Sorry not tonight.
If Jeff wanted Mom’s true answer, because he actually wanted to stay at Pete’s he would text: ”Can I stay overnight at Pete’s tonight?” This way Mom can just answer yes or no, depending on circumstances.
We had this conversation at lunch time today, my kids and I: What should you do when your friend asks you not to tell about something they’ve done?
My advice: Tell your Mom. It’s helpful of course to invoke the “don’t get mad” spell before beginning the story. Let’s face it, if your friends have told you not to tell your parents something, clearly they’ve done something they’ll get in trouble for and they know it. Wouldn’t you rather know the kinds of things your kids and their friends are finding themselves involved in before it’s too late to counsel them about it or help out in some way?
I know I would.
We discussed how some people have kids who are causing trouble and doing bad things when the parents aren’t around. I told them that, likely, their parents probably have no idea that these “things” have happened and believe that their kids are ”perfect angels,” with not a clue about the danger or the wrong doing that might have transpired.
Wouldn’t it be better if their parents knew?
I guess it depends on the parents. If they’re going to dole out unreasonable punishment and not discuss the issues with their children, then maybe it’s better that they don’t know. But, if they’re good parents, it would be better if they did.
I gave my boys the example that if they were older and were drag racing (for example) on the main street during busy traffic, I would love to know about it and not hear it third hand. I joked to my kids “honestly, then I could at least suggest to you that you do the drag racing in the factory district on the weekend.”
They laughed. But seriously, my kids are entering the age where they are going to be put on the spot with peers who don’t want parents to know their business. It’s not my job to parent those other children, but I do want to keep mine safe and arm them with strategies for dealing with avoiding trouble and danger. In all seriousness, I won’t advise them of a safer drag strip, but I might suggest that they take up speed racing as a sport and learn how to do it safely. We’ve got a motorway just up the highway.
Did you know that positive people get more enjoyment out of life. They find the positive in just about everything. And, it’s really just this simple:
Oh yeah I almost forgot:
I like my room!
I like my feet!
I love my mirror!
My hair is great!
My clothes are great!
I love my family!
I love my kids!
I love my friends!
All my readers are great!
I can do anything good today! oh yeah!
(Looking in the mirror and doing a wiggle dance while you say this is also beneficial, smiling and dancing improve positivity. Depending on how big you are, I don’t necessarily recommend standing on the vanity.)
PS, Does anyone know what a “sark” is? At the start of the video she says “Look I can be a sark…”
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When it comes to kid stuff, parents can get a little uptight.
Don’t climb up there, you’ll fall! Don’t balance on that high fence, you might get hurt. Don’t jump from that, it’s too high.
The fact is that as adults we might get hurt if we fell from those spots, the bigger you are the harder you fall. But for the most part, kids can take a tumble and keep on trucking. This isn’t to say that you should let them jump out of 2nd story windows, or let your toddler climb on the kitchen counter top. That would be bad parenting. But, for the most part let kids be kids.
Let them jump on and off of things, if they fall, they’ll learn to tumble. Let them balance on things, balance is an important developmental skill. Let them wrestle, it teaches them coordination and builds strength. It’s important to encourage movement and activity. Kids especially thrive on being active. Take them to the playground, bring them swimming, teach them that moving their body is rejuvenating. Don’t give them a fear of getting hurt.
If you let your kids develop strength and agility at a young age, they will know their bodies well and be able to adapt to different circumstances with ease.
When you were a kid how many trees did you climb, how many skinned knees did you have and how many bruises did you get? For me, it was too many to count.