Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Part Two: Rules

In a thread over at MDC on weird rules other families have, I came across such "inexplicable" rules as:

  • No sitting on the bench. Kids should be up and playing at the park, not sitting.
  • No singing at the dinner table.
  • Use proper grammar.
  • Don't dump all the crayons out of the box.
  • Don't pour sand on the slide.
  • No painting yourself.
  • No running in the house.
  • No jumping on the furniture.
  • Don't put your feet on the dinner table.
Now, do I have all these rules? No. But each one of them makes sense to me. (Especially the third one. How could using proper grammar be bad?)

The really shocking thing was how many folks claimed to have few or no rules. Either they're lying through their teeth, or their kids are the little brats that are always terrorizing my kids (and the sort who made my own childhood miserable).

I understand the concept of nurturing your child, okay. I sort of understand the concept of gentle discipline, although not the practice. (I'm the same way with liberalism.)

I don't understand not having rules, or thinking that rules such as the ones above, which basically deal with self-respect and consideration for others, are "weird."

There was another thread on the same site which I didn't read, as well as one about the thread on another site I did read and participate in, wherein the discussion was all about opening packages in grocery stores to feed your kids out of (or feeding them from the produce section). I said in my response that I'd opened a package once, but now that I look back on it--this was back when my eldest was maybe a year old, so I don't remember it too well--I think what happened was she'd been playing with the box and chewed through it.

I've never fed my kids from food packages I haven't paid for. It's never been necessary, and of course necessary when it comes to this is a matter of perception. I am always cognizant of the fact that, until I pay for it, it isn't mine. Basic, right? I'm hearing, "Well, if it will keep my kid from flipping out." OK, if your kid is flipping out in the grocery store over food, either you didn't feed him before hand or he knows full well that starting to be a little brat will get him his way.

Even my 3.5-year-old understands "wait," and if my 21-month-old doesn't she certainly acts as if she does. They really like gummy worms, and if I grab a package during our shopping trip they're liable to want them right then. I tell them to wait. They wait. This works even when they're hungry. It's not rocket science, folks.

Of course, these are the some of the same women that come down on other mamas for claiming parenting success, because apparently it's not anything you do that dictates how your child behaves.

Yeah, right.

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