Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wanna arm wrestle about it?!
I watched my niece, McKenzie (Kenzie as I call her...).
We had a pretty good day. Every time I watch her, Tasha (her mom) knows that when she picks her up, I will have done Kenzie's hair. I can't help myself. So, we played, napped, ate, and played some more. Oliver loved having another playmate, other than his brother, who tends to get on his nerves.
Watching her made me realize a few things...
There are many ways to parent your children.
I am a relatively stern parent. I am a spanker when spanking is necessary. I use time-out when time-out is necessary. I am not a one solution parent. I think that different situations require different approaches. Kenzie's parents do things differently than I do. (Which is awesome and I will talk about that in a sec.) But, I was afraid that my approach to parenting was creating an abrasive relationship between my niece and I. I do not want that! So, I tried some new things yesterday, incorporating tactics of discipline along with the conversation method that her mom uses. I had great success. Which brings me to my next point...
Ladies, we need to work together, as mothers, wives, and friends.
There is quite a bit of competition in the mothering world. "Well, my child was walking at 3 weeks old and could speak 5 languages and count backwards from 37 by 18 months old." La-de-dah. And often times, we think that our way is obviously the best way. Duh. Or we wouldn't be doing it that way, am I right?! And we are hesitant to introduce other mother's methods into our own routine. I know that I am guilty of this. And I realized it more than ever yesterday.
When Tasha and Kenzie were leaving yesterday, Kenzie was refusing to step out of the door and just kept telling Tasha "No!". Tasha is a kind, sweet, and nurturing mother. And she was patient with Kenzie, knowing that she would eventually step onto the porch and say goodbye without a total meltdown. She was right. Well, as they were leaving the porch, Oliver started imitating Kenzie and saying "No!" and I looked at him and said, "YOU will not act like THAT!" I realized that I was insinuating that Kenzie was acting some way that was inferior to how I ALLOW my children to act. It was ridiculous. I didn't even realize what I had done at that moment. I probably made Tasha feel like junk and I was setting up a situation that taught my son that we were "above" something or someone. Which is a crock. I know that Oliver has thrown WAY bigger fits when leaving his grandparents houses and my remedy to that problem (spanking or pulling the "oh yes you will!" card) usually only made it worse. So, I learned something from Tasha, patience, kindness, and to tone it down. Thanks BigTDoubleD.