I already said in this post that spanking is not for children. But there are some parenting tip I want to share. Yes, yes, I know what this blog is supposed to be about. And yes, I know many of my readers have their kids grown and gone – but maybe there are a few who could use these ideas or you can suggest them for your grandkids.
I want to give two tips that help me enormously when my kids were little.
Tip #1 – never put a baby in its crib asleep. I know this sounds crazy, but I’m serious. When you give that last feeding of the night and you’ve rock him or her a little and you have that baby sleeping in your arms, it’s so tempting to tiptoe back to the nursery and slip that sleeping bundle into the crib without wakening them. Don’t do it!
Talk to the baby as you take him or her to bed, you don’t need to fully rouse them, but try to get them to open their eyes a bit as you coo to them. Then when you place them in the crib, they're drowsy and ready to sleep. We’re trying to get them to process in their new little minds that this is the place to go sleep. Then when they wake during the night, if they aren't wet or hungry, just awake, they’ll cry for a minute, realized that they are where they go to sleep and they will drift off again. If you rock them to sleep every night then in order to get back to sleep they’ll need you to rock them again and you have a vicious cycle. I’m not promising that they’ll never wake up and cry but this really worked for me. Remember kids deserve the chance to learn to sleep on their own.
Tip # 2 – When you pick up your toddler from daycare after work you come home, tired and rushed. You need to change, to start dinner preparation, maybe a few minutes of house cleaning and the millions of other things that need doing… and your toddler is fussy! They are pulling on you, whining, crying – driving you nuts! Try this: come in, sit in your favorite chair, take your toddler into your lap and prepare to sit there until they decide to get down. Ask them yes or no questions about their day, tell them a story, let them play with the buttons on your blouse, anything they like. (NO PHONES)
Okay, enough tips. I’ll give you the two statements Mollie reminded me of that she hated the most, but fully admits that they worked and that she plans to use them some day. It went something like this.
Mollie: Can I spend tomorrow night with Susie?
Me: I’m not sure. Let me talk to your dad and see we have any plan for tomorrow night or the morning after.
Mollie: Please, please I really want to go. Can I? Can I? Please, please, please?
Me: Oh, you have to know right this second? That’s easy, the answer’s no.
Mollie: No, wait, I don’t have to know right now. Think about it, okay.
Me: Great, I’ll talk to your dad and let you know soon.
As she got older and began something like this, I’d just ask, “Do you have to know right now?” and she would hush. She did hate it but it was effective.
The second one is that age old statement, loved by parents and hated by kids for hundreds of years – Because I said so.
I didn’t use this often. I saw nothing wrong with explaining my reasoning to my kids. Especially as they got older but even when they were young I’d often discuss things with them. But sometimes that age old saying came in handy. Here’s an example (and I’m stealing this straight from John Rosemond, a well-known child psychologist I admire greatly.)
Ten-year-old kid to mom: Can I go camping with my friends tonight?
Mom: Are there any adults going?
Kid: No, but Tommy brother is going , he’s thirteen.
Mom: Sorry kid, you can’t go.
Kid: Why not?
Mom: Because I said so.
Kid: That’s not a reason!
Mom: Okay, let’s pretend you want to know the reason. It’s not safe for you all to be out in the woods without an adult. You’d want a fire and…
Kid interrupts: No, Mom, seriously we’ll be safe. We know how to be careful with fire and Dan is thirteen…
Mom: See, you didn’t want to know my reasons. You wanted me to change my mind. So basically the reason you can’t go is, because I said so.
Again it’s not something to be over used by parents, but sometimes it’s the simplest answer when all they really want is for you to change your mind and you know you are not going to.
One last parenting post after Fantasy Friday tomorrow and then I’ll stop. But I do have to tell you about the punishment Mollie dreaded like the plague.