Sunday, December 20, 2009

When Parents Don't Get It...

When I was a child - there were expectations of me.... I was to be respectful to adults.. I was to say "please" and "thank you".... I was to behave myself... I remember my mom pinching me during church service when I was getting a little too wiggly or in my case a lot of wiggly... That's just the way it was back then - Parents controlled their kids - If you went to a restaurant and a child started to act up - one or both of the parents would take that child out of the room - they would not continue to eat their food and not care about others.... that just wasn't done... We as children learned at a very young age to "not touch" what wasn't ours... We knew not to run around a home that was not ours - we just knew because our parents took it upon themselves to parent us..... they sacrificed their wants and needs to make sure they we were presentable to others... That others would not be burdened by our bad behavior...

My husband and I were pretty much on the same page when it came to parenting. We believed in creating an environment that was both happy and healthy but also had boundaries... Kids need boundaries... I believe they want boundaries. Right from the beginning they were both on a sleeping schedule - maybe I was lucky that both girls were good sleepers... maybe - I know that a schedule helped me to be a better parent and the girls knew what to expect... We took them to restaurants from the time they were newborns and when they got older they would quietly color -we never had to leave - not once. We took them to friends' homes - we brought our own snacks and toys to entertain them and if they started to get cranky then we knew it was time to go.. One of my favorite things to do was take the double stroller and we would go to the mall and window shop and afterward we would go to the food court where they would get a happy meal.. I can honestly say that I enjoyed my kids... others did too. It is such a compliment when a stranger comes up to you and says "thank you for having good girls" that has happened more than once.... I think the only time my kids acted up was when they visited their grandparents because with Nana and Papa - there were no boundaries but there was a lot of candy, ice cream, games, and constant attention.. constant stimulation which caused a few melt downs...

I'm not saying we are perfect parents - so very far from it but I will say that being a parent who actually parents was and is a priority to us.... That is why I have such a hard time understanding why some parents just don't get it.... They complain how difficult it is to bring their kids places and when they do - they allow the kids to run around a restaurant or a friends' home. They allow the kids to get into things and when something breaks they tell the friend "You should have put it away or up" That just irks me... No, it's not the friend's responsibility to "kid proof" their home - it's the parents' responsibility to train their children...


  1. I couldn't have said it better!

  2. This really hits home with me. I was raised the same way. And trust me, I definitely had boundaries. And I had better not cross them. I raised my children the same way. They were loved and they knew it. They had boundaries, and they knew them too.

    Today, I see so many unruly and disrespectful kids, and the parents just let it go on without a clue.

    Nice article. I hope a lot of parents who don't "get it", read it.

  3. Kelly,

    As a teacher I have to tell you how frustrating it is to have to try to teach kids whose parents don't "get it". I know from Meet the Teacher night which kids have been parented and those that have simply been monitored. I'm floored by the kids who sass their parents in front of me and the parents act as if they are entertained by it! But then there are the parents who parent and it is wonderful to connect with them.

  4. I have a friend who was single at the time, and she used to have a married friend visit with her kids.

    When her married friend came over, she expected my single friend to watch the kids. She said "It's your home and your rules."

    My friend used to dread the visits because she didn't feel like parenting the kids when they're mom was right there to do it!

  5. Yes and sometimes parents have to bring out the Big Trump Card. What's that? "God has given me the authority to parent you and that is why I make certain decisions that you don't like but I have to make."

  6. Woo! Hoo! Amen sister. We have actually had people stop at our table at a restaurant and tell us how well behaved our children are. All I can do is think that they are used to seeing the opposite. I agree with you 100%. If parents knew that it took less time and aggravation to "train" their children rather than not, everyone would be happier.
    Blessings to you and have a Merry Christmas.

  7. Giving children boundaries and teaching discipline is the best thing we can do for them. Lazy parents make bad children. Bad children grow up to be bad adults and parents. it is a vicious cycle.
    Great post.

  8. When luke was little we didn't put things up, we just taught him not to touch. It seems to me, being a middle school teacher, that kids now a days run the house. Not the case with every child, but so many parents give in and then they can no longer control their kids.
    Good post...thanks.



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