So, I catch a lot of slack from people because I am always on top of what my kids are doing. When my kids were little, and we would visit family or friends…I would be constantly moving, stopping my toddlers from going wherever they wanted. It never failed, our host would say things like “Oh, just let them be, they aren’t hurting anything!” or “I don’t mind, let them play in there.” While I can appreciate that someone didn’t mind, I did mind. Who wants a kid running all over their house? In their food? Carrying their things all over the house? I know, it’s perfectly normal for a toddler to run about. I also know, this is when you teach them. I’ve always been that mom. I never let my kids wonder or run.
I see the mother in Wal-Mart and you know the one I’m talking about. Her kid is screaming for a toy and ends up smacking her right across the face. When my kids were smaller, I would literally leave the store. I see the other mother in Wal-Mart…you know the one. She is yelling loud enough for the entire store to hear her at her child. It’s like humiliating her child makes her think that she looks like a good mother. She would be wrong. Then there is the other mother…the one with a cart full of junk because that seems easier than arguing with the child. I am not really judging these mothers. Their kid, do it how they want. I personally, just picked my kid up and left the store. Why? Well, lol, because I feel like punishing your child in public is humiliating and degrading to that child. I don’t want that for my children. I certainly am not going to give in and buy my children stuff because they have me in the store. I think it teaches them that is how they get what they want. Uh…no! Screaming children…oh no, I personally, could just stand there and wait it out, but I really don’t think the other shoppers should have to listen if I can help it. A slap across the face? My children have never gotten anywhere by hitting or tantrums, and I don’t think they’d be that brave. I am not afraid to take away their most prized possessions.
I do, make my children sit and behave. I do tell my children why we are going to the store and if they have any option for a toy. I will take them straight home without finishing my shopping and punish their behavior. I’ve done this since they were small. Result? My children are well mannered. They are quiet and sit still when they are expected to. My children know how to go into a store, gather what I have listed, and leave without any trouble.
I do homeschool my children, but I didn’t always. When my children went to public school, I received so many compliments from their teachers and the other students on how well behaved they were. I haven’t done this for compliments or to make my life easier, I had parents who took the time to teach me this way. Being reserved and patient are life skills. Skills that have served me well in life. I’m proud of my children and the manner that they conduct themselves when they leave home.
My daughter, who is now 13, is a fan of all things social media. I’m ok with that, so long as I am a constant monitor of that. Do I want to read every single post she has? NO. I do however want her to know that I can and I do often spot check her messages and friends list. I’m her mother, and it’s for her protection. I see these lifetime movies about young people who post stuff online that they can’t take back. They friend people they don’t know or even worse, people they do know, with unsavory agendas. It’s a privilege for my daughter to be allowed to facebook/instagram/youtube/google+ etc etc. I don’t have to let her. I think it’s great, if nothing more than communication and computer skills. I just think that it must be monitored. The world is full of scary people.
Funny enough, as strict as I am about their behavior, I’m not as strict about trying to sensor what they watch or hear. Don’t get me wrong, I draw a line at people with their clothes off…I even tell me children when they are flipping through the t.v. “NO NAKED PEOPLE”! Why let them hear bad words? In my opinion, they are going to hear them anyway, it’s the world we live in. Again, back to when they were small, they’ve always been taught what words are appropriate for them. My son went to Kindergarten, and one of the other kids used the f bomb. So…my son comes home and uses the f bomb. I was so shocked (and let’s face it, slightly amused) that it actually scared him. He knew he had done something that he shouldn’t…and I’m guessing he’d heard the word come out of Mom and Dad’s mouths before. He’d never heard a kid say the word, so he thought it was o.k.. I didn’t punish him. He was so embarrassed that he had said it, he wasn’t going to do it again. He’s now a 6th grader, and to the best of my knowledge, he hasn’t said the word since then. I still laugh about it when I look back.
I’m not really picky about them watching violence either. They know that it isn’t acceptable to hurt each other, and they know that movies or t.v. shows are not real life. Have they ever laid a hand on each other? Uh…duh, all kids fight with each other at some point. Do they make a habit of it? NO! I was raised in the 80s, and I miss the 80s. You know, when parents were more laid back and did more teaching common sense to their kids than try to worry about what cable might be exposing them to. Please understand, this doesn’t mean my 6 year old will sit and watch movies about spousal abuse on lifetime. That’s not really something that interest 11 year old boys either. My 13 year old daughter? Ha, I encourage her to watch the lifetime movies, it’s educational for a young woman so close to being in the world on her own. Just sayin’…
My point is, I don’t think we should worry about how to sensor kids from things that they will see in life as much as we should teach them what is acceptable and what is common sense. Like all things parenting though, every parent has a way that works for them and their family. This is just how I do it. I don’t think anyone is wrong or right. This method worked for my parents, look how great I turned out. haha