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Parenting 101

While we were in CA, my Dad told me to stop giving Lovegirl so many negative directives.  (Which, ironically enough, is a negative directive…) You know, stop saying “don’t do that,” “stop that,” etc.  That I should speak to her in a more positive manner. So instead of “stop playing around” and “stop whining” I’m now saying things like “please finish your dinner” and “I want you to use your big girl voice.”  It’s killing me y’all! I feel like I sound like a pushover, but I’m going to try it for a while and see how she responds…

A few days later my brothers told me I was too soft on Lovegirl (which really hurt my feelings – and likely validated their assertion!).  One day the kids were in the pool and my nephew went down the slide.  Lovegirl decided she was going to do the same – but when she got to the top of the slide she started crying saying she didn’t want to slide down.  I told her to get down off the slide and was planning on making her put her clothes on and missing out on the fun.  You know, punishment.  My brothers almost stroked out.  They were like “tears, schmears, you’re going down that slide!”  And they made her go.  And go she did – slinging snot all the way.

When Lovegirl was younger, I’d periodically ask my parents how we were doing with her.  I wanted to know what they thought of our parenting skills, did they see anything we needed to work on, etc., etc. They’d give me feedback and we’d press on.  Well, my brothers’ statement that I was too soft on Lovegirl really threw me for a loop – after all, I’m the “tough” parent – Smoochy is the pushover.  But they helped me to realize that just because I’m the toughest in our house, doesn’t mean I push her to overcome the way I should.  And my Dad’s suggestion has me watching and choosing my words with Lovegirl even more carefully than I have in the past.

Do you ever sit back and evaluate how you’re doing as a parent at this stage in the game – regardless of what stage you and your child(ren) are in?  What are some changes in parenting style that you’ve adopted?  Are there things you used to do that you’ve eliminated?  Do you get salty when people – and I mean loved ones, not random strangers – suggest changes in your parenting style?  What do you want for your child?  What are you doing to help them realize their full and wonderful potential?  I have no desire to be a Tiger Mom – that’s just not me, but I would like to hear what things y’all are doing/have done in the raising of your kiddos that you think have paid off.



11 thoughts on “Parenting 101

  1. Do you ever sit back and evaluate how you’re doing as a parent at this stage in the game – regardless of what stage you and your child(ren) are in? Yes
    What are some changes in parenting style that you’ve adopted? I used to yell..alot. I think if you ask them they’ll say I dont do it as much.
    Are there things you used to do that you’ve eliminated? My first response used to always be NO. I started to ask myself why. Now I try to think things through and if I dont know, I just say so.
    Do you get salty when people – and I mean loved ones, not random strangers – suggest changes in your parenting style? It depends on what they’re suggesting. Because I know my child(ren) what they’re saying may not work. Sometimes its worth a try – do i get salty – more often no than yes..i guess it depends on my mood.
    What do you want for your child? Short answer – I want them all to be Christians living lives that please God.
    What are you doing to help them realize their full and wonderful potential? short answer – pray, encourage, talk, share.

  2. I always evaluate myself as a parent! I sure do get salty when people offer unsolicited advice. I don’t get that much. I try not to do stuff that aggravates me like nag and say I told you so. I think we all do the best we know how. Prayer, IMO, is crucial. Even if parents aren’t together they should come together in all matters concerning the children.

  3. I don’t think I’m cut out for parenting. Yeah, I’m doing it. But most times, I figure that I’m going to mess the kid up something serious. I want a LOT for my little guy. I’ve got him plus a soon-to-be-stepson. They couldn’t be more different. When I’m with my stepson, I think I’m the best parent in the world because he needs so much correcting and I take notes to myself of things that Buddha won’t be doing at that age. When I just have Buddha, I feel like sometimes I’m being too hard on him. But then again, he has to grow up to be a Black man in this world. I need him to be independent, hard-working and a contributing member of society.

    I don’t get a ton of feedback from my loved ones. But then again, I don’t ask. Maybe I need to start.

  4. My parenting approach is to allow him to be himself – without hurting himself or others. I am more of a ‘feeling’ parent. And I believe that all relationships (including parent-child) should be so personal and intimate that really only the people IN the relationship know the ‘right thing’. Of course this assumes that no one is getting abused!

    So, I think you should go with your gut. You know what is best for your child better than anyone else.

  5. As R is slowing making her way closer and closer to the ‘tween’ stage, I am CONSTANTLY evauluating how I’m doing as a parent. I tend to reflect on some of the feelings I had towards my mom at that age and I do NOT want R to feel the same. With D, I’m realizing that my ‘baby’ isn’t a baby anymore so I’m having to change up my parenting style with him as well. I’m letting him be a little more independent and encouraging him to do things that a year ago, I would have done for him myself.

    The one thing I’ve changed about my parenting style w/ both of them is that I’m giving them much more responsibility. R is now helping way more in household chores and even is in charge of certain things herself. D is being held responsible more for things he does(and doesn’t do).

    I see a lot of my mother in me at times when I talk to the kids and I don’t like that. My mother was sooooooo stern that she was extremely overbearing and I don’t ever want my kids to feel on the edge like I used to. I talk TO them more instead of AT them (if that makes sense).

    My dad will constantly give me ‘pointers’ on my parenting and it used to bother me, but now I know it’s done out of love. At the end of the day, I’m the parent and these are my kids so I know what’s best.

    I want my kids to be well rounded and giving. I am constantly exposing them to as much as I can so they see that the sky can be the limit in their lives.

    Ok, I’ve blogged enough in your comments! Sorry. lol

  6. I’m the “hammer” parent. I subscribe to tough love. But just as much as I’m the tough parent, I’m the fun parent. I’m liable to be swinging on a trapeeze with my kids, or starting a snowball fight in the driveway. I’m a strict disiplinarian as far as school, no wiggle room with me. There are times when I’ve had to reel myself in because I knew that I was pushing too hard. My parenting skills are probably very close to my Mom’s. Yet she will be the first one to comment on how hard of a parent I am. **SIGH**

    Only the youngest son is mine biologically, so I’m probably hardest on him. When I got married I was an instant mom to a 15 y.o. girl and 9 y.o. boy and my son came shortly after. I had to learn quickly. I also helped raise my nephew. I want all of my kids to reach their full potential and to be quality individuals who contribute to society. So IMO that means I have to keep them focused for as long as I can. That means “hands-on parenting” to me.

    The things that I’ve done that worked? Full involvement from me , as long as what they are doing is productive.
    What they start, they must finish. It’s called character, you give someone a commitment when you sign up for something.
    You have the right to respectfully disagree. But you take your life in your own hands by exercising that right! HA!

    • AND I almost forgot the most inportant one.

      NO conversation is off limits. They can discuss ANYTHING with me. I tell them constantly that I am their first (and toughest) line of defense against anything that will harm them.

  7. I’ve only gotten positive feedback on my parenting skills. People constantly tell me how good I am doing with my daughter. That really makes me happy being that I’m a single mother of an almost 20 month old. I find that I can sometimes be really fussy with her. She gets to doing things that she knows she shouldn’t and sometimes just for a reaction. I’ve tried to tone the fussing down a lot and also ignore some things I usually would nitpick. It seems to be working.

  8. I LOVE the positive directives….and I don’t think that makes you a pushover AT ALL. I’ve found that it usually elicits a better response AND attitude. Having raised to grown children and having 2 minor children and a minor step daughter I find myself questioning my parenting skills ALL The time and wondering if I made mistakes with the older ones. We do the best we can and that’s really all we can do. All children are different and parenting strategies that work for one may not necessarily work for others.

    With the water slide….I WOULD NOT have forced her down the slide. I think that can have such traumatizing effects on a young child. I’m all for overcoming your fears, but it has to be gradually. I bet she was P.Oed when she came down. Lol

  9. This is a hard one. I do use positive language and picked that up early on.I find that it seems to eliminate the option that there are any other choices besides the directive I gave. I also allow for a lot of “natural consequences”….If you decide to do this, this could happen.
    I do find that I am stricter with my oldest and right now she’s constantly telling me that her younger sister has it “easier” with everything. It’s probably true….and it’s something I need to work on.

  10. This post is birth control for me. I have to evaluate everything I do at work, over and over again to make sure I’m doing it right. I have to evaluate my body to make sure my clothes still fit and I’m not on a one-way trip to fatness. When I’m home, in my apartment, there is no critiquing of Tea. Not of my cooking, my cleaning, nothing.

    So imagine the fear that when I get home from work, I have to watch what I say to my child, lest I stunt their development or scar them for life. Oh boy. It’s going to be a LONG time before I have shorties. That’s way too much pressure.

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