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.