Monday, October 22, 2007

Controlling Your Bladder is Easier Than Controlling Your Kids

To the person who left me this comment... "Sweet, a Mormon who has ads for coffee on her site.. Just proof the mighty dollar can buy anything." First of all - I'm not a Mormon. And I have nothing against coffee. In fact, I love coffee. Well, I love cups of coffee flavored cream anyway. Nor do I have anything against Mormons! Secondly, I'm not all that familiar with the Mormon religion, but I'm guessing that passing judgement on people you don't even know is not part of your doctrine.

Someone (I'm guessing without kids) wrote and told me something along the lines of, "You'd better not let your kids make too much noise on the plane. There's nothing worse than a parent who was irresponsible and had more kids than they can control."

Well shoot, I need to keep them quiet? Now here I was planning on letting them run up and down the aisles of the plane yelling. I was going to let them bring a guitar too so they could bang it on everyone's head as they walked past. Movie anyone?

As far as "controlling" my kids. Of course I don't control them. Nor do I want to control them. I want to teach them to control themselves.

Hal Runkel, author of, Screamfree Parenting, states in his book, that we as parents are not responsible for our children. What? We’re not responsible for them? Reading that statement, I immediately love this guy. Hooray! If Hal Runkel, licensed marriage and family therapist, says that I’m not responsible for my son when he doesn’t do his homework, or my daughter when she talks back to me, or my toddler who flings himself, screaming, onto the floor of the doctor’s office, then I’m 100% behind his Screamfree method of parenting.

Reading further in the book, Hal states that although we are not responsible for our children, we are indeed, responsible to them. I knew there was a catch! What he means by this is that we are not responsible for our children's choices and behaviors. We are instead responsible for ourselves and our actions. Hal teaches us to focus on ourselves and our behavior - something we can control. If we want a child to make good decisions, we have to model that behavior for them. How can we expect a child to remain calm when we fly off the handle and scream and yell at them when they choose not to cooperate? We can't be in control of the situation if we aren't in control of our own behavior and we can't possibly expect a child to calm down and get control of themselves if we're screaming like lunatics.

The concept is simple really. For example, when ABC was at my house filming, they asked me, "Do you fight with your kids to do their homework every night?"
I said, "Are you kidding? No way. That's their job. If they choose not to do it, then they're the ones who get in trouble at school. I have enough responsibilities than to take on their schoolwork as well."

They can choose to do their homework and reap the rewards at school, or they can choose to avoid their homework, and suffer the consequences of turning in an incomplete assignment. There is no reason for us to yell and scream and try to persuade our children to do their assignments. All that does is raise our blood pressure and make those little veins on the sides of our heads stick out. Besides, we can't remember our kids' names when we're mad and yelling and it's really hard to be in control when we have to spit out five names before we get to the right one!

Although the idea of having little robot children who obey our every command without a second thought is really, really appealing , it's actually not what we should strive for as parents. Hal uses the example of the movie Ella Enchanted his book. (If you haven't seen this movie, it's really cute and well worth renting, in my opinion.) In this movie, Ella is given the gift curse of obedience. She must obey. She has no choice but to do everything she’s told to do. This curse of obedience forces her to do some awful things in the movie. Think about it. Even though the thought of a child who obeys your every command, sounds heavenly, would you really want this child to grow up doing what everyone tells them to do? What happens when their peers tell them to have a cigarette? Take drugs? Steal a CD? I don't know about you, but I certainly don’t want my child to simply follow along and do what they’ve been told. I want them to use their brains and think of the consequences before making a decision. I want them to make wise choices because they've learned about consequences from experience.

Back to the homework example - I don't want my kids to do their homework because I've yelled at them to do it. I want them to choose to do their work because they know they'll get a good grade if they do and because they know they'll have to make up the assignment, or get an incomplete, or get a detention if they choose not to do it. Natural consequences.

I don't yell at my kids to eat dinner. They can choose eat what I've cooked or they can choose to not eat. If they choose not to eat dinner, they suffer the natural consequences of being hungry. No yelling. No fighting. They're responsible for their choice and they accept the consequences of their choice. Simple, right?
Well, in theory, it's simple. In reality it's hard. It's a simple concept that's difficult to master.

Like Hal warns parents against "emotional reactivity", author of 1-2-3 Magic, Dr. Thomas Phelan tells parents how to avoid the "Talk-Persuade-Argue-Yell-Hit Syndrome" by teaching them to not become involved in an emotional struggle with their kids. He goes on to say that parents make the mistake of talking too much and getting too emotionally involved. "Did you just hit your sister? Why did you hit your sister? You know you shouldn't hit your sister. Hitting's not nice. How would you like to be hit? You wouldn't like that. Hitting hurts. It's not nice. I can't believe you just hit your sister like that! Look at me when I'm talking to you! Do you think hitting is a good idea? Would you like it if I hit you?!........"

Anyway, my point is - you can't control kids and it's probably not a good idea to try. You can however, control yourself, teach your kids, and give them choices and consequences and that, in my opinion, is how you discipline.

Now, I know many of you probably won't agree with all this and that's fine. I'm not saying there is only one way to discipline your kids and this is it. Far from it. In fact, I think there are a lot of sound ways to approach discipline. I think a huge key to making anything work, however, is consistency. That and, of course, a sense of humor about the little things and maybe a little Captain Morgan. Just kidding. Sort of. :D

Oh yeah, if you don't like my blog or you find it offensive, that's fine. You don't have to agree with me. But here's a tip for you - you don't actually have to read it and you certainly don't have to take the time to leave me a comment. It would be pretty silly to waste your time that way, don't you think? For those of you who actually do have a sense of humor however, read on!

Oh yes, for the folks who asked - nope, no one else is throwing up, thankfully! I, however, have a fever and feel like mud. I'm definitely going to bed before 4:00am tonight! (My baby thought it would be fun to stay up and party last night.)

Come check out MAMASLIKE for interesting finds from work-at-home moms!

P.S. I just heard from Mimi, Julian's mom, that cancer cells were found in her little boy's spinal fluid. :*( If you're the praying type, please say one for healing for Julian, peace and comfort for his family, and wisdom for the doctors treating him. You can read more at Carepages.com under "Julian's World".

290 comments:

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Lindsy said...

YEA! LOVE the post! Can I take you with me when I venture into public (I'm sure people would keep their comments to themselves in fear we'd leave a kid or two with them ~ HA)....I need someone to stick up for me when the boys act like a 4 y/o, 3 y/o and 3 month old..in other words when they act their ages and people glare at me or make rude comments.
Hope you are feeling better soon...it is the pitts to be sick :o(
My heart goes out to little Julian's parents. We will definitely be praying for them!

Irishmama said...

Dawn - Don't you just wish you could block some people from reading your blog?

So, love todays post. Its all advice I've heard/read before but in my busy hectic life, its always nice to have a gentle reminder that there are more important things.......I will re-read some of my books too, it always helps.

Love your Airplane Reference!

Mandi Gilstrap said...

Someone emailed me the link to your blog yesterday, and I have to tell you I am captivated....cant stopreading it. Your writing is sooo funny! Good response to the people who left those very ignorant comments.Some people just dont know any better. Keep up the great prenting and writing. Have a great day!

Lila said...

People who get mad at the noise kids make on a plane should spend the flight entertaining said child.

kkbrink said...

Amen!

Heather Everingham said...

I don't imagine you have time to read all these comments, but I imagine the morman thing was for the fact that you have 6 children...I don't get it? Personally if you choose to have more than a white picket fence and 2.5 kids all the sudden you are morman(not that I dislike mormans)? Well anyhow I too have exciting experiences with my clan including today when my two year old told a man to "move it, move it". If you do make it to my comment you can check the fun adventure out on my blog, and I hope you make it through your plane ride... quitely of course because I know you'd much rather listen to your children scream on the plane (this of course is sarcasum)! Why if you have more children then you have hands does it mean you can't "control" them? I wish someone would give me the divine answers. I agree you should let(teach) your children control themselves!!

Angie said...

This was your best blog yet Dawn.

http://motherofmischief.blogspot.com

peach said...

Back to the homework example - I don't want my kids to do their homework because I've yelled at them to do it. I want them to choose to do their work because they know they'll get a good grade if they do and because they know they'll have to make up the assignment, or get an incomplete, or get a detention if they choose not to do it. Natural consequences.


On this one... my daughter in the 8th grade decided that homework was not worthy of her time. i refused to fight with her or anything else i simply told her that she would have to deal with the consequenses ... the result was her doing the 8th grade again, i as the mom agnogised (sp) over it but i also decided i woudl not PAY for her to go to summer school that she needed to learn the result of her descision now a year later i find it was the BEST thing i could have done for her and her grades are back to what they were before her year of slaking off. not only that but she has matured some and sees things in a different light ... i had a lot of people who told me i was doing the wrong thing but, i disagree. Kudos to you dawn i love when you put what you really think :-) i would expect no less.
hope your trip to florida goes great!
Laura

Laura said...

I just love, love, love your blog and I have started my own because of yours. I totally agree with your sense of instilling discipline instead of enforcing it. That's what makes good citizens. I taught Kindergarten before having my son, and while those little robots were a breeze to have in class, the other kids who had a brain were the real joys to teach. I look forward to your posts every day!

Tammy said...

Had to come back and read comments, since I knew they would be good, and two things struck me.

One, that "peace and quiet on a plane" comment... I'm shaking my head over that one. I've done a lot of flying through the years and I can honestly say that I've been denied "peace and quiet" by oblivious (I like to think they're not intentionally being rude) adults more than EVER by unruly children. In fact, some of my most enjoyable fellow passengers have been children, and that includes a flight I took in July that started out with FIVE HOURS of sitting on the tarmac away from the gate; the toddler behind me was an absolute joy the whole time and she continued the trend throughout the flight.

Several people have mentioned screaming. I was a screamer, raised by a screamer, and I did learn how to break the habit. I wrote an article about my experience and you can find it on my website at http://tinyurl.com/3866h9 Hopefully it will help others realize they can conquer the tendency and lower their blood pressure as well.

Nancy Sabina said...

My experience with flying with my 3 little ones is that people either smile or glare. There doesn't seem to be much inbetween. I'll never forget the time I had all male flight attendants though - it just so happened that I left my baby's pacifier in his stroller cup-holder when I gate checked it. I was sure it had fallen out on the tarmac or something so I went to ask the flight attendant to look for it. He said no - rudely. So I said something along the lines of "OK, when he's screaming for the entire 3 hour flight I'll just let people know that you didn't want to take the time to look for the pacifier." He glared at me but soon brought the pacifier to me which had been sitting on the ground right outside the plane's door. My wish for you is that you do not come across any people like that. But you seem like the kind of gal who could stand up for herself and her kids pretty well - so I won't worry about you too much.
As for the Mormon thing - I'm one too in case you're keeping count. But I think the important part here is that we're all parents. Not what religion we are. We're all working on the same task-force, if you will.

Anonymous said...

I am very new to the world of blogging, and had your blog referred to me awhile back. I have loved every one of your entries, and guess that I, too, have been a lurker, not leaving a comment, but just had to write today to say AMEN!!!!!! I agree whole-heartedly about the controlling your children comment. I have 5 children, ages 2 to 12, and we went to Disneyworld last year. We got more than our fair share of comments about hoping that we could control our children before flights took off, and plenty of dirty looks if anyone made so much as a peep!! They all did quite well, actually, and all the comments did was make me tense. I feel nothing but pity for the people that feel the need to think that way. I think they must have never had the joy of raising children, and if they did raise children, I feel sorry for those babies!! I hope you and your family have a WONDERFUL time on vacation--Disney truly is the happiest place on earth!!!!

carrie & troy keiser said...

Thank you for reminding me of my dusty parenting skills... (as in I forget at times to use MY brains and step back and just breathe!) The links are very helpful, thank you for providing them. These books seem to be along the Love and Logic lines. I have read and watched videos on this style of parenting and know that it is a good technique.
I'm sure that your children will be ....children while you travel and that it will be more stressful for you than them! :-) Enjoy the opportunity you have to take this vacation.
I'm sorry that people have to make remarks that are unkind and unflattering. {As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon) I want to share this for all who might be wondering} The LDS people do try to adhere to what is called The Word of Wisdom which states: "...wine or strong drink...is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him. .... this should be wine .. pure wine of the grape of the vine ... and again strong drinks are not for the belly... tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for man, but is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgement and skill. ... hot drinks are not for the body or belly. ...all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for constitution, nature and use of man- Every herb in the season thereof, ... every fruit in the season... all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving. ...flesh also of the beasts and of the fowls ...ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving nevertheless ...to be used sparingly; ...they should not be used only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine. ...all grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life.... All grain is good for the food of man; as also the fruit of the vine; that which yieldth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground- ...and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks..." And then there is a promise stated if we test these Words of Wisdom: "all saints who remember to keep and do all these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel, and marrow in their bones; And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures, And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint."
We take this to mean that we should avoid coffee, tea, acholic beverages, tobacco and drugs and that if we do we may have a healthier life. We are not perfect, only trying to do what we feel the Lord wants us to do. We also have 13 Articles of Faith which describe our basic beliefs, # 11 states: "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." As has been stated by another anyone can learn more by going to one of these websites: http://lds.org or www.mormon.org
That said I love to read your life and enjoy your sense of humor. Enjoy life and have a great time on vacation!

Anonymous said...

thanks for the post today. it made me think about some things today. the battling of the homework with my son. i need to take a step back and let him deal with the consequences i have been shielding him from. thanks - amy

C & A said...

dawn, i think that a lot of people missed a big point of yours, that although you don't "control" your kids, you can and should set boundaries. withhold a favorite privilege (my kids' is computer games)until homework is done. hopefully that teaches kids to set their own boundaries when they get older. i can't remember the last time my kids didn't do their homework, and i have never had much of a struggle. they just love those computer games, heh heh.

also, it seems like you have built really good relationships with your kids. you laugh a lot and give them a lot of freedom within boundaries. i think that by having that good will intact, your kids will listen to yo a lot more when you advise them about really important things during their teenage years. good for you. i love to read your site as a reminder to enjoy my 4 kids' mischief and laugh at all of the funny and silly things they do, even if they are sometimes messy.

also, as a mormon, i might mention that our health code (called the "Word of Wisdom") specifically mentions that we should not drink coffee, or partake of alcohol,tobacco, or drugs (we don't expect others who are not of our faith to live by this health code and don't judge them by any means). Some Mormons make the connection that since coffee has caffeine and we shouldn't drink it, then maybe we shouldn't drink caffeinated sodas either. But not drinking caffeinated sodas isn't doctrine. Anyway, I think that you have handled the Mormon mix-up very tastefully.

Dani said...

WOW! You have a ton of comments! Love your blog. Found it after the Ebay craziness. Keep it coming :)

Kerri said...

Hey, I really like how you are responsible to your kids. Six, seven, eight? You probably won't notice if a couple more are there, right? Can I just send them to you? Free? Okay, I'll pay postage and handling. Just for a little while?

Or, can I just come to live with you instead?

Anonymous said...

I normally don't leave comments, and didn't read all 200 as I have children who have homework, and I have homework of my own...BUT, I thought this should be mentioned. Who cares who is Morman and who isn't? I certainly am NOT a Morman, but lived in SE Idaho for a long time. I once asked a bishop how the church can condone growing hops for beer, as many farmers in that area do just that. His answer was church and business are not the same thing, the church generates an income off others "sins" to help people who need help. So Dawn, even if you were Morman and making money off a coffee add..your helping others with your humor so whoever needs to worry about better things than coffee ad. OO..not to mention about all religions preach intolerance is sinful..o as the silver rule states "do not onto others what one does not want done to them" or something like that.

nutralady2001 said...

OK I know I've already commented but what can I say?......I'm addicted and there were only 17 comments here when I went to bed and now there are over 200 and reading them got my brain into gear and have thought of a couple of extra things

Kinda gasping at a couple of comments I've read and wondering if they were serious or not...oh well!! .......and I STILL can't see any coffee..anyway I digress

When I was pregnant with NUMBER THREE ( I was 37 at the time she was born when I was 38 I already had two boys, had them when I was 28 and 35 ) I invariably got 2 comments.....number 1 "Oh I suppose you are having another baby because you are trying for a girl this time"..and this one .."Oh I suppose this one was an accident"..ummm....no I'm having another baby because we want another baby, I'm not having another baby trying for a girl, no it isn't an accident ....this was NUMBER THREE for goodness sakes not number 13.....oh my Dad was the second youngest of FIFTEEN and no they weren't Mormons they were very good Methodists, lol

And the Mum who suggested a change of clothesfor everyone including yourself, great idea!! I remember flying with my 3 when they were 12, 5 and 2 or thereabouts by myself...on the way to the airport,the 2 year old ( now 21)threw up everywhere ...then on the plane the 12 (now 31) year old is a chronic asthmatic, had a really bad asthma attack .... we couldn't use his nebuliser as it was a different electrical system that didn't support it, and the flight attendants didn't have a clue what to do and didn't help me at all as I was struggling with him trying to stay calm.

We had to change flights with a very narrow window in which to do so and there was no way I could do it w/o him having his nebuliser so at the airport asked where I could plug it in...well you would have thought I was asking for the Crown Jewels and was the biggest nuisance in the world, they begrudgingly let me use a room reminding me I had a plane to catch and I'd have to buy new tickets for all 4 of us if I missed the connecting flight

We somehow managed to make the plane with 12 year old still very unwell ( from memory I think it was straight from the airport to the hospital when we got back home) and this was the time my 5 year old decided to get airsick....well no he didn't decide to it just happened am using humour here folks ......and his nose started bleeding. Well there I was with one child with asthma, another one on my lap (flying free under 3) who had already been sick everywhere and holding a sick bag for the 3rd one while trying to stop his nose from bleeding...once again the flight attendants thought we had the plague and stayed well away

Oh dear I didn't mean to put you off flying with 6 children I can see the funny side of all this now ...I'm positive you will have a fantastic time!!!

Zuska said...

Okay - so I read this post via bloglines at work, and told myself "go back and comment from home."

Then I come home, and you have TWO HUNDRED AND FIVE comments? Geez, what's the point? How can you possibly read this many comments?

My initial point ... my girls are now 9 and 11. When they were under 2, I journeyed from my mother's "yelling and hitting" parenting style to one VERY similar to what you've outlined in this post.

My girls are ridiculously responsible, respectful, and well behaved. (although they don't necessarily get along perfectly.)

I also recommend Jane Nelson's Positive Discipline, and Barbara Coloruso's Kids Are Worth It. They were the ones that taught me that I didn't have to CONTROL my kids in order for my kids to be in control.

Anonymous said...

A TEST CALL ARE YOU READY TO BE A PARENT?????

MESS TEST>Smear peanut butter on the sofa and curtains. Place a fish stick>behind the couch and leave it there all summer.>>TOY TEST>Obtain a 55-gallon box of LEGOS (or you may substitute roofing>tacks). Have a friend spread them all over the house. Put on a>blindfold. Try to walk to the bathroom or kitchen. Do not scream>because this would wake a child at night.>>GROCERY STORE TEST>Borrow one or two small animals (goats are best) and take them>with you as you shop. Always keep them in sight and pay for>anything they eat or damage.>>DRESSING TEST>Obtain
one large, unhappy, live octopus. Stuff into a small net>bag making sure that all the arms stay inside.>>FEEDING TEST>Obtain a large plastic milk jug. Fill halfway with water. Suspend>from the ceiling with a cord. Start the jug swinging. Try to>insert spoonfuls of soggy cereal into the mouth of the jug, while>pretending to be an airplane. Now dump the contents of the jug on>the floor.>>NIGHT TEST>Prepare by obtaining a small cloth bag and fill it with 8-12>pounds of sand. Soak it thoroughly in water. At 3:00 p.m. begin>to waltz and hum with the bag until 9:00 p.m. Lay down your bag>and set your alarm for 10:00 p.m. Get up, pick up your bag, and>sing every song you have ever heard. Make up about a dozen more>and sing these too until 4:00 a. m. Set alarm for 5:00 a.m. Get>up and make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years. Look
cheerful.>>INGENUITY TEST>Take an egg carton. Using a pair of scissors and pot of paint,>turn it into an alligator. Now take a toilet paper tube and turn>it into an attractive Christmas candle. Use only scotch tape and>a piece of foil. Last, take a milk carton, a Ping-Pong ball, and>an empty box of Cocoa Puffs. Make an exact replica of the Eiffel>Tower.>>AUTOMOBILE TEST>Forget the BMW and buy a station wagon. Buy a chocolate ice cream>cone and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there. Get a>dime. Stick it into the cassette player. Take a family size>package of chocolate chip cookies. Mash them into the back seat.>Run a garden rake along both sides of the car. There, perfect.>>PHYSICAL TEST (Women)>Obtain a large bean bag chair and attach it to the front of your>clothes. Leave it there for 9 months. Now remove 10 of the
beans.>>PHYSICAL TEST (Men)>Go to the nearest drug store. Set your wallet on the counter. Ask>the clerk to help himself. Now proceed to the nearest food store.>Go to the head office and arrange for your paycheck to be>directly deposited to the store. Purchase a newspaper. Go home>and read it quietly for the last time.>>FINAL ASSIGNMENT>Find a couple who already have a small child. Lecture them on how>they can improve their discipline, patience, tolerance, toilet>training and child's table manners. Suggest many ways they can>improve. Emphasize to them that they should never allow their>children to run wild. Enjoy this experience. It will be the last>time you will have all the all the answers.>

Jennifer said...

Hi Dawn. I've been lurking for a while now - well, since your ebay auction anyway! I decided to de-lurk to say I LOVE your blog. You are so funny and I love your outlook on everything.

I also am completely appalled at the nerve of some people and their comments. Didn't their mom's teach them, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything"? (Or, in this case, keep your fingers still!) But you handle everything that comes your way so well, and I love it! I need to take some lessons from you, as I tend to let things get to me too much.

Sorry you are not feeling well - hope you are better soon. Hope everything goes well on your flight. And thanks for today's post - the parenting stuff really hit home and is making me reevaluate some things. Thanks!

Keep up the marvelous work!

Rebecca said...

People have asked me before or assumed my parents were Mormon because of all the kids they have. It's not a requirement in the religion but is common, or at least a stereotype. It's also a common practice to not drink caffeine, so that's probably where that rude comment came from.

I like your points on the responsibilities we have *to* our kids. I've had to learn the same thing with my hubby - can't let his choices make me feel like I'm a bad wife. I love my hubby but he's made poor decisions. I also think it's important to pick & choose your battles. If I fought my kids on every little thing we'd all be resentful & bitter before they went to kindergarten. I like the Ella Enchanted reference too.

emilyhope said...

I just wanted to say thank you. You have summed up my parenting skills in a nutshell. I do not try to control my girls. I allow them choices and they must live with the consequences of their choices. Some parents are so controlling of their kids and it drives me batty. Kids are their own individual selves and have to have the freedom to be themselves. Not a clone of their parent. I so enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for sharing your life with us!

Anonymous said...

ya, seriously, don't mess with us moms.

momof2teensand2tots said...

My Gosh people. Kids are going to be KIDS! Half of the things my 4 kids do make me laugh like hell. But, I guess you have to have some sort of sense of humor! My stepfather used to say children should be seen and not heard! I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT AT ALL!!! If you want or have kids you have to be ready for what comes at you. They are NOT baby dolls, and they are NOT ROBOTS! They are each unique individuals with a MIND OF THEIR OWN! Thanks to US! That is a GOOD THING! Would you really want a zombie for a kid?? If so, get a bird!

Bring chewing gum on the plane haha, since it helps with the popping of the ears anyway! Let em smack it and pop those huge bubbles and string it all over the place lmao!

I yell sometimes and have my moments like everyone else, but in the end isn't being parents and having kids supposed to be FUN???

And I sure do know what you mean when you call the wrong name 5 times lol! I finally say whoever you are come here lol.

Nina said...

Have a wonderful time on your vacation and I certainly hope you feel better soon. I'm sure your kids will do just fine on the flight.

I raised my kids in a similiar fashion, rewards and consequence, I never fought with them over their homework, I did however have a problem with their teachers, because in their opinion it was my responsibility to ensure that my child completed assignments, they just never got the concept that it was not and to reward my child appropriately.

I enjoy your blog and read it daily. I agree with you, if you don't like the blog, don't read it!

I also want to add if you are going to post a comment have the balls to post under you name not under "anonymous"

Sam said...

In case you need more affirmation of your parenting skills, 'Parenting with Love and Logic' by Faye and Kline is a GREAT read! Keep up the good work and I hope your kids have a great, noisy, like kids should be trip!

Anonymous said...

G'day!! I just wanted to say thankyou for bringing a smile to me each time u update, I get the auto updates sent through to my email at work and it brightens my day to hear what u guys have been up to and what mischief ure children have gotten into. U're a true inspiration to me, as I have always wanted to have a large family of my own, and when the right time comes I am sure that will happen!!! (I am 24 now...so tapping my feet impatiently for my right LOL)(I want 8 kids, I know, people say i am crazii...but thats what i want lol) so good luck to you...keep ure humour up...and keep going strong....and ure friends Son Julian is in our prayers over here in Australia.
Cheers
Leah

papersunshine said...

I giggled at your comments, always do. My son has SID or SPD or PDD-NOS or any number of names for the issues he has of not being able to deal with sensory input in a socially acceptable way. His psychologist highly recommends 123 magic and I must say it is almost virtually impossible for me. But I strive on in hopes to be a calm example to someone who lives in constant turmoil. Sigh. Hope you get over whatever it is quickly! Prayers for Julian.

wanting more said...

Yay! Right on! The past 2 times I've flown with my toddler, I've received nasty looks from other women before my baby even made a peep! I wish people were more understanding of people traveling with children. I've also nursed on the plane while sitting next to the single 30-something male who was so disgusted he asked to have his seat switched. I just told him it was either that, or listen to "hungry" crying throughout the flight! Anyway...love your blog!

Kathy said...

Thank you for relieving me of a HUGE burden of guilt that I have carried for many years. I subscribed to the "natural consequences" theory about homework, and I have felt like I was just being a lazy person and I didn't do my duty! I may have been right after all!

Lucille said...

Gulp. I'm comment 222. Guess I need to set my alarm earlier in order to make a post in your top 10 - ha, ha. Do you actually have TIME to read all of these? I love your blog and I love the people who comment - well most of the time. :)

Keep up the good work and safe travels to you!

Lucille
http://whosgoingtotellyou.blogspot.com/

All moments remembered said...

I have to admit I find it very hard to believe that some people write such RUDE things to you!! LIKE DAH if they don't like your blog then DON'T read it!! Sure the heck don't respond to it. I remember one of the lessons my mom taught me was if you have nothing nice to say don't say anything at all.

My heart is just breaking for Mimi and Julian. I have asked for prayers on my site too.

ChandraJoy said...

I've been a lurker for a few months now and I really enjoy your blog. Do the person who left that comment, they showed their ignorance with it. Good luck on your flight and with your trip!

Tami of BrooksGroth said...

I hope you can hear (feel?) my applause from here!!! Awesome post! And I even picked up a few links to check out when I need to check in w/ my own parenting skills (I also love the Love and Logic books).

Come back and read all of the supportive comments when you get those like you gave in the example -- {{{we love you}}} AND you inspire us.

Mom said...

I have a ?? for those who make bad comments.
First off, if you do not like the blog why are you reading it?

My children are behind me now about to drive me into buying bubble wrap and taping to my walls then banging my head against it but I am controlling actually going through with this pricey purchase and letting them run off the energy by setting here ignoring it .Its therapy to me I have another page written in my book !Now if I was on a plane well my kids will have ran the energy off at home and probably be sleeping on the plane !(wink)Its not like they are hurting each other or hurting anyone around them.
Am I a bad parent? What approach would those who do not agree take on this situation? What would it do for me to yell and scream? They will go back and do it again; its what kids do.
Really its not like Dawn is locking her kids in the fridge
or forcing them to stick things in light sockets and telling them its all part of a learning experience or telling them to live and learn from it !



I would love to hear the better way to approach situations like those that you write . I for one love it is taking the approach myself and am writing short stories have to figure out how to make it all fit together at some point, I have shown a few people and they love it. It also is making other parents realize those things they do are not so bad! (Yeah I side track often. It is another craft you learn when raising kids)
I guess what im saying here is you are saving a million mothers from having heart attacks this year and probably stopping many teen pregnancies!
Ok, all jokes aside…
Good luck and ignore the people who just do not understand as some have said they obviously have never raised children.

Lisa said...

Dawn,

You are my hero! I have been reading your blog ever since our local radio station talked about your ebay auction and I must admit that I am hooked! Some people just don't have enough to do in their own lives, that they take the time to read a person's blog, log in and criticize! Like you need that... if I want criticism (which I can barely spell) I just look to my mom's side of the family - they always were so helpful with that. Anyways, I just want to thank you for the many laughs, usually with tears streaming down my face (I now read you blog at home before I go to work - if someone comes up to me and I am crying because I am laughing so hard, I would get in trouble) I hope you enjoy Florida and if you are going to Disney, I am insanely jealous, as I am a total Disney freak! keep it up and I am so glad that you are reaping the rewards of being smart, funny and able to share so many great stories without taking any of the "bad" too seriously! You have a fan in Wisconsin!!!!

Laurie said...

Dawn,
Once again you have made me chuckle and brightened my day. Right on about the discipline stuff. As the mother of four kids myself, I totally agree and am a little creeped out by those parents who are so over-involved with their kids always being successful that they do all the homework and projects themselves. Not such good lessons for life, unless you're planning on going off to college with them and moving in and doing the Alice thing for them when they get married and have kids of their own. No thanks. I just want to thank you for adding a little humor to my life each day. I laughed until tears ran down my face when I read your Pokeman card listing - and they kept running even as I read it out loud to my son and my husband later. Now when I'm at the computer and start laughing, my 12 year old son says, "You're reading that Pokeman Mom again, aren't you." And I am happy to say, "YES!"

Anonymous said...

LMHO at the mean spirited comment! Wow, talk about first time listener syndrome.
Anyhow, Dawn, you keep doing what you're doing---home and here in blog land. I love it! Got you on email updates, so I know when you've struck again! ; )

~Dawn too

Kim said...

I had to laugh reading your post tonight..bravo to you! To the person that commented on traveling with your kids..IT IS PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION! if you don't like the public, don't take PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION!!!! LOL

I am yet again also reminded about judging others..I have been guilty but have really been trying to work on it. The Mormon comment was way out of hand and just plain rude! I swear some people have nothing better to do than judge others and be nasty..get a life!

Have a great trip and I hope you don't end up getting sick for it!(I can see the post now.."My families great time at Disney World" LOL

Anne said...

CHANGING THE WORLD ONE MOTHER AT A TIME! I am one the people that loves kids, every child! I went to school for teaching pre-school because that's where it all starts. Then I became a mother. No parent can ever follow a book to the T (unless the book happens to be written by you- allowing all the mistakes it takes to be a mom!). Okay I don't want to go on and on beacause I realize you have plenty of these to read, so here is a huge THANK YOU and a hug for educating all the moms who took the time to read this! We will make a better world starting with our children.
BLESS YOU!

Nancy72 said...

I totally agree with your parenting choices...my kiddos now range from age 50 down to 43...;o)

I believe too many problems in this world of today stem from individuals not taking responsibility for their own actions.

Long ago I came to know that I am NOT responsible for my children's bad choices...if I was, then I would also need to be given credit for all their GOOD choices which I also knew I didn't deserve...;o)

Maggie said...

I have never left you a comment before but for some reason felt compelled to do so tonight. I love your writing and hope that I can find my voice someday in order to inspire others to voice their opinions or thoughts. I am going to look into the books that you referenced as I think it is a great way to parent. I try so hard not to yell at my 14-month old as I know that it doesn't really do much good for either of us. I think I do a pretty good job. But, lately he has been hitting and giving me the raspberries, both of which I hate. I read an article in Parents Magazine this month and am getting tips from that. I love this style of parenting and hope I can benefit from the books you referenced. Thank you so much for putting yourself out there. I read your blog every day and laugh most of the time.

Aileen (Pronounced A-Leen) said...

Dawn as usual you rock! Sorry that you have to put up with negative people on your blog. Hope you get feeling better and sending good thoughts and prayers for Julian. Keep that awesome sense of humor of yours!

Anonymous said...

Dawn ~ You are truly an amazing person. Usually your blog just makes me laugh, but tonight I learned some important parenting advice, or reminders. I had an especially poor parenting/screaming evening with my exceptionally dramatic/loving/challenging 11 year old daughter. I NEED to read that book! Thanks for all of your help! You are the best!

Anonymous said...

Hope you are feeling better.....
That person needs to get a life!!!!! I wonder if he watched Oprah on Tuesday????? How precious life is and he is judging you????? Have a great DAY!!!!!!!!

Amy said...

Great job, Dawn!! As a mom of 4, I am constantly getting the dirty looks and the "Are they all yours?" comments. I'm sure you have gotten the "Boy, you sure have your hands full!!". A fellow mom of 4 told me once, that it may be crazy now, but when the kids are grown and have kids of their own, it will be such a blessing to have a house FULL of children laughing, smiling, singing and yes, probably fighting, but they will appreciate family. That is what makes the craziness tolerable when it is the worst! God Bless!

PS Hope you feel better

Colleen said...

I am basically a sream free parent of seven. Every once in a while though my dear sweet 8 year old son is capable of helping me strain my neck muscles with a scream or two in the morning when I am trying to pack five lunches and backpacks while he lays on the couch with his shoes untied. Good luck on the plane controlling your children. Ha Ha!!
crazysoccermom.blogspot.com

mommafar said...

I now have 3 grown children, but when the kids were young, my friend called my 2 boys nitro and glycerin! I love being a mom, and love your blog. One of my favorite books when raising kids was 'Developing Capable Young People', which seems a lot like Hal's. It was great for me, and I still use the ideas with my family and I used it with my clients when I was a probation officer. They were just grown up kids, really. Keep up the good work!

TPDesign said...

Well said!
It amazes me how narrow-minded some people are and how quickly they are to judge others for things they don't understand or don't care to get the whole story on. You are one in a million and I enjoy all your stories.

Hope you feel better soon! Get some rest.

Kila said...

I agree with you 100%.

This method has worked very well, for example, with how the kids eat. I believe in putting out a few healthy choices, and letting them decide which ones and how much to eat. No battles over food. That led to them all being very good eaters who eat almost anything, and especially fruits and vegetables. They have no idea they are supposed to hate vegatables, LOL. I, on the other hand, grew up being forced to eat vegetables at every meal, and therefore hated them, and most other foods, until about age 30.

And I absolutely agree about kids controlling themselves, not being controlled.

nomi said...

Holy cow, lady, you're funny! I saw your ebay auction a while back, (THE funniest ebay auction I've ever seen)...tonight I'm bored, so I was going through my favorites deleting sites I don't visit often and I found the auction (I actually added it to my favorites because you are so darn funny that I wanted to share it with my family!) I'm so glad I scrolled to the bottom and saw your blog link! I think I've just found my new morning "newspaper"! Looking forward to getting to know you better, and getting a great ab workout at the same time! Hope you're feeling better soon.
Nomi

Anonymous said...

Well said indeed! i love how you pretty much told the readers who are passing judgement to take a flying leap (if you know what i mean) without saying why don't you just take a flying leap! lol. also i would like to say my family and i are praying for Julian. As for CONTROLLING your children.... i agree it is a bad idea to do this. it is not our job as mothers to control our children but just to guide them through their journey to adult hood, and hope that they do the right thing, sometimes we have more influence on those choices sometimes we do not. i mean yes we control them in the sense of we do punish them when they are wrong, but mostly it's our job to guide them. I LOVE the book Ella Enchanted i still read it today i'm 23 years old! lol. anyways great blog Dawn. this is a first comment from me
:-)

Just call me Lissa C A loyal reader

Nicole said...

This is the first time i found your blog. Thank you for the book suggestion and comment about not controlling your children. It is just what i needed to hear tonight!

CDK said...

What a wonderful post. Your message was just what I needed to hear. I have gotten into the yelling phase lately and feel like I talk to a wall when it comes to my children. Hoping to get more insight from the books!

So sorry to hear about Julian's latest news. My dear friend's son lost his battle with medulloblastoma in 3/06. He was diagnosed at 2 1/2 and battled courageously for over 2 1/2 years. He was my son's best friend and we all still struggle with the loss. Julian and his family will be in our prayers for healing and courage to continue the fight.

Jay's websites are www.caringbridge.org/ga/jay and www.jayshope.org

Thanks again for your humor and reminding us to all stay sane!

Elaine said...

Dear Dawn,
Thanks for taking time to write, especially because you are not feeling well! I hope you will feel
better soon.
Thanks for sharing about Julian and I will most definetly keep him and his family in my prayers.

I'm glad that the majority of the comments left are actually worth reading. Anyone who wants to give you such lame advice ( like the ones you mentioned or criticism) really needs to work on their attitude and wlak a mile in your shoes before they haver a right to make a comment. And to anyone else out there who wants to pick on Dawn,don't even think of it, because we her real friends will pounce on you and give you what for.(That's a southern expression!)
God bless,
Elaine

Kathy said...

A couple of comments:

1. What has surprised me is that there has only been a question about you being mormon - I would have thought that people would assume you were catholic. :) Personally, I have 6 children, ages 10 to 34, and am a non-denominational Christian. There go more assumptions. :) And three of my married children have a total of 10 children (that's two families with 4 and one with 2).

2. We have traveled a lot over the years, usually me alone with children. My daughters have visited 3 foreign countries and 17 states. I always have received compliments on my children's behavior, especially by the flight attendants. And dirty looks if we are sitting in first class when my daughters were little - under 7. When we were flying from Nashville to the west coast, via Newark (you should look at a map for this one) and got bumped in Newark our daughters (then ages 4 and 5) behaved better than most of the adults.

3. I would highly recommend Dr. John Rosemond, in addition to 123 Magic and Love & Logic. He has a great grasp of handling parenting situations.

Have a great trip.

Anonymous said...

Just in case there are any more rude commentators out there

Always remember

IT'S EASY TO CRITICISE
HARD TO SYMPATHISE
SOMETIMES IMPOSSIBLE TO COMPROMISE
TO BE HUMAN IS TO ERR

BUT ITS ALWAYS AN OPTION TO FORGIVE

StampingJoan said...

Don't you just love those people who find fault with you and have to comment. For Pete's sake, no one is forcing them to read your blog. Unless they are being tied to a chair, eyes propped open, and a huge computer screen mounted in front of them. The computer automatically pages down as their hands are tied behind their back as well. They cannot control a thing. hmmmmmmmmmm.........

An English Mum said...

Clap clap clap clap clap! Brilliant!
I'm sure everything else possible has been said in the other 200+ comments, so I'll just add, all of the above!

Kim H. said...

OKAY - MEAN PEOPLE SUCK! (I know - that's not nice, but seriously - to read someone's blog and then call them "irresponsible" - come on - it's not like you're asking for public assistance to raise your six children. Oh that just makes me crazy!!!!

The movie - Airplane! Hilarous - what a vision - although I pictured little tropical guitars that you'd bring back from vacation.

Have fun on that trip - and you know it makes me happy to see families take their kids on vacation - seeing parents who know how to parent and kids being happy and just being kids and discovering new things! How wonderful! :)

kim

Dede said...

WOW at all the coments. I left one yesterday, but wanted to add I ordered the ScreamFree parent online yesterday and it should arrive at my house in the next couple of days. I am praying it will help. I lived in a scream house and I am carrying on the tradition. LOL... Hopefully not anymore. Thanks for all the help, I'll keep reading. PS. I only have three kids and wished I would have had four. I think it evens it out.

emily said...

I'm a Mormon and you're right, passing judgment isn't what we believe in. Sorry for the insensitive comment. I love your blog and hope I can be a mom like you someday! My two kids are more than I can handle for now!

Annette said...

Dawn, I so agree. The poor misguided person who commented about having more kids than you can control!! Oh my stars! I have seen 2 parents with 1 kid that was running their lives and making everything within a 50 foot radius miserable, and I have seen 1 parent with 5 kids well behaved and helpful. According to that opinionated "sage", the first 2 parents should have what, drowned the poor kid when he/she started to get out of control? And according to them, perhaps the other parent should continue to have kids until they lose control? How do you know which child is going to be the one that is "too much"? They are all SO individual and amazing and different. Some can understand consequences the first time and learn the dance, and others seem surprised by the consequence everytime. All I can say, is good luck to them and their children.

Remember to drink plenty of fluids and eat lots of fruits and vegetables. I will pray for some wonderful help for you so you can get rest and feel better soon.

Steph said...

I found your blog because I read abcnews.com everyday. I have finally finished reading all of the blog. I will probably get into trouble because while reading it I tend to laugh out loud! Trouble, you may ask, well I am at work and really shouldn't be reading this! Thank you for letting us all into your life and for the reassurance that our children are not the only little devils and angels out there!

Anonymous said...

I appreciated your comments and the comments others have posted as a result. It's so interesting to read the perspective of others. I do not believe in the kind of rude commenting that has been so heavily discussed. Those who choose to take offense or who simply don't like what you have to say should find their own forum to comment and not yours.

On another note...there are many misconceptions about Mormons that have been stated here. There are obviously a lot of Mormons who agree with a lot of what you have to say...you have many Mormon readers. Obviously your values and ours (I'm a Mormon too) are very similar.

Let me just say one thing about the coffee comment to those who might be reading who don't know or understand Mormons. Caffeine is not prohibited by our health code, Coffee is. Many Mormons avoid caffeine, but there is nothing in our doctrine which suggests that we cannnot eat chocolate or other products that contain caffeine. Our health code is called the Word of Wisdom. There are certain foods and substances which we are "prohibited" from eating (I added the quotation marks because we all have free agency, Mormon or not). We ARE encouraged to eat in a healthy manner maintaining a balanced, moderated diet. Obeying the Word of Wisdom is very important in our religion. However, the most important part of our religion is following the example and teachings of Jesus Christ. I hope this will clear up at least some of the misconceptions for some of your readers!

I do hope you feel well soon (hopefully you already do) & that the flight went/goes well.

DomesticGDS said...

Dawn, I swear, we must excrete the same pheramone that intoxicates people into telling us the rudest things. I have had people ask if my children had different fathers because one is blonde and one is a brunette. I have had people ask if I now felt it was "a little ambitious to adopt them so close in age". Or when I was pregnant and a woman was insistant that I was having twins, no matter how much I told her no. And my favorite, the woman who recently swiped the pacifier out of my almost asleep son's mouth and handed it to my husband and told him that "this baby is too old for a pacifier." How I have not been arrested for battery after one of these situations I'm not quite sure.

On the up side, I am an actress and have found that my children behave like angels when I speak in a British dialect. They just can't seem to disobey. Of course at first they looked at me like I lost it, but now they request it. Now we all know why that "Super Nanny" show works so well. ; )

Hope you are feeling better soon.

Crazy Mama From California said...

Hey Dawn!I have been reading your blog for a while now and just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate it! I have never commmented on a blog but just had to give you applaud on this last one. Since when did it become a law in this country that in order to have more than 2 children you have to sign up for the mormon faith? Seriously, how many times are you going to have to clarify that you are not morman? I also appreciated the book mention, it sounds like one I'd like. I wanted to recommend a couple to you as well, Grace Based Parenting and Love and Logic are good ones with similar principals. I wish you all the best and pray for a smooth flight for you and your family!

KansasFan said...

I took my son to a classical music concert when he was about 10, and I couldn't believe the people around us who were whispering and glancing at him like he was going to scream through the entire concert. In fact, he loves music and sat on the edge of his seat the whole concert, loving every moment of it! I felt sorry for him because he knew those people were talking about him, and I told him later that he was great and I'll be they changed their minds after the concert!

I read the love and logic for teens book and it was helpful. I'm a great believer in logical consequences, and I think people who believe they have to control their children are sadly misinformed.

Have fun at Disney! I've never been, so tell all about it!

Mauzy Fam said...

Way to go!! You're right if they don't like it, don't read it!

I really love your thoughts on "controlling" our kids. I'm sure every parent stuggles with not controlling themselves. I know I do. Keep up with the advice because I need it and the more I read things like this it empowers me and reminds me to be better. I really want to have that "sorry, that's the consequence" attitude. Keep helping us moms that need help!

erinve said...

I am so glad I read this post! I'm new to this mom thing - just have a 3 month old - and I've been reading the blog since the ebay auction. Your comments really sum up how I feel about discipline, which I haven't done yet but will in the future I'm sure! I appreciate your insight and including the books for reference. I'm going to get them so my husband and I can get ready for what lies ahead!

Tisha Copeland said...

When traveling with children and faced with rude people who direct comments to you (or under their breath) do what I always do...Shift your eyes from side to side, look as confused as you can (this isn't too difficult for me) and tell them with a straight face, "the voices in my head said it was okay for them to act like that". They usually back away pretty quickly clearing the way for me to walk down the aisle.
I love you blog. Keeps me laughing.

laughing my head off said...

I was fortunate to learn this lesson as a teacher BEFORE I had kids:

You can't make ANYONE do ANYTHING.

You can motivate them, scare them, teach them, inspire them, abuse them, make them want to be like you, whatever...and the means tell you more about yourself than the other person. But kids(surprise surprise) are people, same as adults, and cannot be forced to do anything. Thanks for couching the lesson in humor, and for using your platform to remind us!!!

Anonymous said...

You are so right about controlling kids. Love & Logic talks about a choices, control and natural consequences also. As far as your trip goes good luck! I just traveled on four planes with my four kids. It wasn't so hard. I packed lots of snacks and treats that they never get to keep them busy.

Robin said...

Isn't is amazing how some people feel entitled to leave such rude comments! I think your blogs are GREAT! They make me laugh, make me think....make me thank GOD I don't have 6 kids!! = ) Just kidding! I only have 2 but think having a larger family would be so fun. I have a good friend who has 10 brothers and sisters, so growing up hanging around that family was always so much fun...never a dull moment! Keep on blogging!!!

mommysmiles said...

I am so new to this blogging thing that I didn't even know I was a lurker! In fact I was only turned to the blogging world when I got an email with the ebay sale link. (I know, where have I been right?)Since then I have read every day and I LOVE it. It is my laugh break. I have 2 kids (3 and 6 mos) and it is so fun to read your adventures.

So why am I off the lurker wagon? Well I just thought since there were so many "mormon" comments that I would let everyone know where they could get more info. www.mormon.org is a great place to answer any questions you have on our doctorine.

Keep up the great work! I love my laugh break! Thanks!

Rae said...

I agree with you on the not fighting with the kids about eating dinner... My kids get told, "This is what we are having. You don't want it, don't eat it, but that's the ONLY thing you are getting". They eat with us every night. Guess the thought of eating that "yucky" broccoli is more appealing then going to bed hungry!

I do however, disagree with the homework situation. I for one feel that while there are more and more parents NOT getting involved with their child/children's education, this is one issue where we (as the adult) have to stand firm. I would hate to know that 1 (or all 3) of my kids dropped out of school (for example) bcs they had the choice to do so and I stood idly-by and let it happen.

The Tomlin Family said...

Dawn,
I TOTALLY agree with you! I have 4 kids and I have to say, I LOVE your blog. It's my life. I am so with you on the homework issue! They can't and won't learn to be responsible and hold accountability if they don't take charge of their assignments. It's not my job to teach them the ABC's. That is what I pay the educational system to do. You are great! I love your parenting techniques and totally am on the same level that you are! You keep it up girl! YOU ROCK!!!!!

JenH said...

I love this post! You made some great points! I'm actually in college at the moment and last semester in my psychology class the instructor said that the children that you need to worry about the most are the ones that behave and do everything you tell them all the time. Just like you said, if they obey everything you say without question what's to stop them from obeying when their peers want them to do drugs or smoke or otherwise break the law. Or worse yet... what's to stop a predator from convincing them from doing even worse things? The children you don't need to worry about as much are the ones that fight you sometimes and question what you tell them. My oldest questions EVERYTHING. She ALWAYS has to know the reason for everything. It drives me downright insane sometimes, especially when I am not in the mood and want to shut her up with a generic "because I said so" type answer. I tried it once when she was 3 and she seriously told me "That's not a REASON, mommy." As much as she makes my life difficult at times, I know that she'll never be a follower. She will always have the strength to stand on her own two feet and stand up for what she feels is right. There is and never will be a question about how she feels about things. My other child is the opposite. He is such an easy child right now. Always does whatever you ask of him without question. So eager to please. It's a dream sometimes but even though he is only 4 I am already having problems because his sister talks him into everything. He refuses to stand up for himself and just follows along. I shudder to think what it will be like a decade from now.

Canadian Mrs. said...

I think I love you LOL!

I love the statement "not responsible FOR them, responsible TO them". How right Mr. Hal is! I feel like I have two personalities - the one begging to just act and react, and the "MOM' one, filtering everything I say and do with "hmmmm...how will the kids see this?" Glad to see I am heading in the right direction by using my own self-control to demonstrate to them how they need to take a situation in hand. I am not going nuts, YAY! (Oh, wait...insanity comes with parenting...guess I shouldn't break into song quite yet...)

As for the homework issue, I will help my kids learn what resources they can use to find answers but beyond that...sorry, I did my 19 years in school. I am done. And I won't force anyone to do their homework...after dd missed a couple of recesses for not completing her assignments, she learned the lesson of 'cause and effect' quite well.

We had a discussion on "Ella Enchanted" last night. My 8 yr old is reading it and she was quite enthralled by the idea of obedience ("When someone does what you want, that is obedience."). We talked about how Ella may not see it the same way and how being made to do all the things she was, made her feel. Here's hoping some of the conversation rubbed off on dd.....especially when it comes to her little brother and sister LOL!

Anyhow, excellent blog, excellent points and thanks for being out there!

Anonymous said...

Always a pleasure to read your blog. You are a modern day Erma Bombeck.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say I am a recent newcomer to your blog and have almost caught up. While I have been very entertained (read looking forward to your book), this is the first post I have felt the need to comment on. I feel that you have it right when it comes to parenting in this way. The one thing I think is wrong with most parents now days is they just do not feel the need to impart common sense and logic in their children. This is a vital part of a child's education and something they cannot learn in school, from their friends, or on their own. And while I realize there are a lot of constraints on parents now with our full schedules, there is no excuse not to teach your children this vital lesson. This parenting technique is the best one I have found so far for teaching it. I am a single parent who works full-time, attends college, and is raising my daughter and I have found the time to teach her this vital lesson, so why can't you? It is our duty to raise a responsible, logical, and well-rounded generation. That's the whole point of being a parent, to make the next generation better and wiser from all we have learned, isn't it? Okay, I am through venting now. Love your blog, keep up the great work at educating and entertaining the hoardes of parents out there.

Melynda

Neshamah said...

I enjoyed learning about your parenting style...you are in control of your choices...including raising your children to be competent participants in an 'independency' focused society such as ours here in america...I work with children and families and often times you don't find parenting styles match our societal expectations...I have also read some of Jim Fay's parenting/disciplining idea books...and think they coincide with the two you mentioned.

Frau_Mahlzahn said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I totally agree -- however, once again, it was just theory for me. In practical terms I just yelled at my son, was totally unfair to my daughter -- and, hey, what's that my baby is chewing on?

*wwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh*!

By the way: do you have any good advice on being on a plane with a baby? What do you do to help her over the take off and the air pressure thing and what do you do, when baby starts to scream and scream and scream and... (She doesn't take a pacifier, won't accept the bottle -- by the way: how would I take baby formula on board?)

So long,
Corinna

Bobbie said...

I cannot wait to look up the books and to read them to my husband. He is a great father, but I sometimes refer to him as "the supper nazi." He is the perfect example of one who talks too much. I sat there trying to interrupt him one evening as he told our 5 year old son that he was tired of throwing money away because he didn't eat all his lunch at school and wasn't finishing his supper. I have a hard time getting my husband to understand that kids can't grasp abstract concepts like that at that age (and there are two younger siblings). I have tried to get him to understand the natural consequences approach, but he just doesn't get it. Sigh... maybe the books will help.

As for the comment from the "Mormon," I have to tell you I was raised Mormon. My childhood wasn't the most stable (mom has been married and divorced five times. Some husbands were Mormon, most were not), and the church was a sanctuary for my siblings and I, especially during one of the not so great marriages. I will always hold the church close to my heart. But it is churches filled with people like that who have caused me to distance myself from religion. People who think they are perfect, yet sit in the pew judging everyone who enters through the door are usually the ones that have the most skeletons hiding in their closets. At least I am honest enough with everyone to admit I have my faults and weaknesses. What a boring world we would be living in if everyone were perfect.

Your blog is great.... Keep up the great work!

Secret Agent Mama said...

I really needed this post. Thank you!!

JenH said...

I didn't get to read all the comments so I don't know if anybody has mentioned this or not...

It is clearly close minded that there are people out there that assume you are Mormon just because you have a lot of children. But I think the comment about the Mormon with the coffee ads was not meant to be mean spirited. I could be wrong but I think it was just amusement because the person closemindedly assumed you were Mormon and Mormons are not supposed to drink anything with caffeine. So a Mormon with coffee ads on their blog would be kind of funny.

andi said...

Right on! Children make choices all day long - it's our job as parents to teach them how make good choices but ultimately the choices they make are theirs. I use the Responsible Thinking Process with my kids. This series of questions are asked in a calm quiet voice. What are you doing? Is that okay? What happens when you choose to break the rules? Is that what you want to happen? What are you going to do now? What will happen the next time you choose to break the rules? (you can shorten it to the first two questions and the last one after the kids are used to the process) It puts the responsibility on their shoulders but allows you to point out that they should be making a better choice at that moment. If you're consistent it works great!

Karen said...

I vividly recall one flight--on a small puddle-jumper--where I am convinced the only reason I was able to get off the plane alive is that one of my children, then 6, was perfectly behaved--sat still, took the offered beverage politely, didn't spill, and only asked me a couple of questions, spending the rest of her time with her Gameboy. The other, a toddler, screeched the entire time--nothing worked, not food, not candy, not her stuffed toy, not cuddling. Without the well-behaved child, I am sure everyone on the plane would have looked at me like I was an unfit parent. Instead I got sympathy.

No, we don't control them, but teach them control. The younger, now 6, takes plane trips like a pro and delights everyone around her.

Karen

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