Isn’t amazing how many things you tell yourself you won’t do when you become a parent?
I often made notes of other parents around me doing some pretty crazy things to get their kids to behave, or how they raised their children, and I sat in judgement saying “That may work for them, but I would NEVER do that”.
First of all, shame on me for judging anyone! Especially other parents before I became one myself. My childless-self had no idea what was in store for me, and the lengths I would go to once I became “Mom”.
Although these parenting rules that I’ve broken aren’t set in stone, they are widely criticized behaviours that I myself know are not good for setting an example for my child.
Now that I’m being open with what I have been doing wrong, feel free to remind me (public shaming is allowed – I welcome it) the next time you see me giving in to these tempting pacifiers.
Oh, the things I have offered for good behaviour! I am not sure how many times I have said the words “if you are good, you can have…”. It’s horrible. I always said I would never be one of those parents who would bribe their kid into good behaviour, but wow it works! My son happily does whatever I ask in exchange for food or toys. What am I to do?
Ok well I know what I should be doing, but it’s a lot easier sometimes to offer some Goldfish in exchange for a play date that includes sharing and politeness. What I really need to start doing is reinforcing the good behaviour with praise, but I’ve probably backed myself into a corner with a new Superman toy in one hand, and an apple juice drink box in the other.
2. Making Excuses for Bad Behaviour
It’s like the excuses just pop out of my mouth before I can even think about stopping myself.
My son is having a temper tantrum and acting like an absolute crazy person, and before anyone can have a reaction I hear myself saying “Well he didn’t have his nap yet today…”.
The best is when I say “he’s not normally like this!”. I can practically hear people thinking “Yeah right!”. But it’s true, sometimes my son will do something I have never seen before, and he seems to wait to do these things when he has an audience. There I stand looking for a way to explain his unexplainable behavior.
I think it’s more a defence mechanism to explain that he is an awesome, outstanding, one-of-a-kind loveable kid who sometimes throws temper tantrums. I think moving forward I really need to stop making excuses to explain his behaviour. The unexpected comes with the territory when it comes to toddlers, so hopefully everyone else can be understanding.
I have been very sensitive to this one since my son is an only child. I have heard many times from friends and family that an only child is a spoiled one. My response is always that we will have to watch we don’t spoil him. Insert polite smile here.
I do really try not to spoil my son, but when he says something like he really wishes he had a frog because frogs are his favourite and they make him happy, it’s hard not to purchase said frog.
This one is a really fine line for me. I want him to have things that make him happy, but when is it too much? It’s hard to determine sometimes, so I’m really trying to watch myself.
4. Social Media Overload
I am not a horrible offender of this one, but I know I am on the edge of annoying people. My Facebook is littered with photos of my son. So is my Instagram account. I’m writing about him right now on my blog.
I think to myself how absolutely adorable he looks in a photo, and I seem to have no other option than to post it. But is it really that cute to everone else? Probably not.
I try to keep my oversharing on social media to a minimum, but at least I have been able to avoid posting bathtub and potty pics. Yes that is a definite over share.
5. Relying on Technology
Sometimes when we are out to dinner and things take a turn for the terrible, I give my son my cell phone to play with. When I need to get things done around the house and want my son to stay occupied, I grab the iPad and let him play with his favourite Apps. What exactly did parents do before cell phones and iPads? I’m not sure, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t involve distracting them with toddler video games. Sometimes I feel like I’m taking the easy way out.
Overall I’m pretty sure these rules I am breaking will have some effect on my toddlers behaviour, so it’s in my best interest to try and halt some of what I am doing. I think at some point he will get smarter than me and hold me hostage with a similar kind of bribery or distraction. In the end I really just want what is best for him, so I’ll have to stop taking the easy way out and put a little more work in. I think I’m just going to use that iPad a little but longer until I have enough time to wash my floors.