#1 Tip

It’s been awhile since I gave a parenting tip so here you go. I would have to bet I have already given this all important tip since it is… the most important one of all. Not only is it my opinion but also the one of “Supernanny” (no, not Fran Drescher) so I must be right! When Supernanny was on Regis and Kelly last week she was asked “what’s the biggest mistake parents make” and her reply was…can you guess? I bet you know because I would bet all parents do it. C’mon…think a minute.

IDLE THREATS are my words…NOT FOLLOWING THROUGH are the Supernanny’s words…they mean the same thing.  Parents talk the talk but don’t then walk the walk. You must know by now kids are not stupid (only when it comes to subjects in school that bore them). They know if you say “we’re leaving the park if you don’t stop crying” and they continue to cry that you will most likely stay at the park. So what do they do…continue to disobey.  This follows through with teenagers; “if you don’t clean your room you’re grounded for a week”. Some parents may ground for a day but then cave in and don’t stick to the week…I’ve seen it done. If you don’t want to ground them for a week…don’t say it! If you’re not planning on leaving the park…don’t say it. You’re just making yourself look stupid.

I can even remember Marge telling Homer not to give an idle threat. You know Marge is right!

Just say NO

In my daily paper we have a “tell me about it” section by Carolyn Hax…she had a great response yesterday that I couldn’t agree with more. Let me give you a readers digest version of the question-

Mother in law gives her grandchildren a puppy without asking the parents – mom and dad were not thrilled. Puppy had health problems and died. Grandma then buys TWO replacement puppies…now Mom is furious! Her husband is allergic to dogs in the first place and she is already busy with toddlers. She does not want to keep the dogs.

Answer (shortened) – If they are breeder puppies return them, if they are mill puppy’s contact your local rescue group.

A write in responding to answer – “You’re suggesting she just heartlessly give the puppies back. What about the fact that the kids would be heartbroken to lose two more pets”.

THIS IS THE BEST PART…HER ANSWER – Yes, it would break the kids hearts. But that doesn’t give the kids the last word on how these two parents run their home. An overwhelmed mother’s needs supersede the heartstrings. They just do. If the parents handle it with sensitivity and transparency about their reasoning, it can be a valuable lesson for kids in handling the word “no”.Too many people walk around with the clear signs that they weren’t taught how to take “no” for an answer, and they suffer from it more than anyone.

 I love this and I think it is a very important lesson to be learned so I had to pass it on. Just say NO.

Parents…Shhhhh

I’m having déjà vu and not a good one. I was at my manfriend’s daughter’s soccer game yesterday and it all came back to me…how sports parents are annoying! My kids are older now and I thought I was finally done attending these games; not quite yet. They wouldn’t be too bad if I could just tape the mouths of some parents. I think if a parent is going to yell something it has to be positive like “good going Sally”, or “way to go Mikey”. I don’t want to hear “c’mon Bobby, get with it”, “Mary, don’t just stand there” or this is the most common one “what are you blind ref”. (And yes, all these names used are fictitious; you know this because they weren’t Madison, Jacob, Emma or Joshua).

There is a person at these games called “the coach” and it is their job to give your child the correct direction from the sidelines. It is the parent’s job to attend and support their child in a positive way; not to ridicule and embarrass them. I thought sports were supposed to be fun…what a concept!

So parents, in the words from a movie I loved as a kid called Tommy…”you know where to put the cork”. If you don’t know that movie what it means is “shut up”.

Just Do It

I was very impressed with Mr. Playstead’s top ten list of parenting mistakes. Any parent reading this should not only take the time to read them but most important “follow”. I was trying to narrow it down to my favorite 3 but they are all good. If you are pressed for time like most people, let me give you the Readers Digest version (but take the time to read the full article…the world will be a better place).

·         Spoiling – Too much “stuff”…they will never be satisfied and only want more.

·         Inadequate discipline – If you don’t someone else may and you won’t like it.

·         Failing to get involved at school – You don’t have to be room parent, but know what’s up!

·         Praising mediocrity – We want to build self esteem but sometimes parents go too far.

·         Not enough responsibility – Allowance is ok but kids should have expected chores to do.

·         Not being a good spouse – Kids learn from example, treat your spouse with love and respect.

·         Setting unreal expectations – This will only annoy you and frustrate your children.

·         Not teaching kids to fend for themselves – Too much babying going on – teach independence.

·         Pushing trends on kids – Please, let kids be kids!

·         Not following through – Idle threats will put the kids in charge…not you!