We all do things differently in life, and parenting is no exception. I’m one of those people who find’s it fascinating what other’s do. I take inspiration from all things in life, and the way someone parents their child is one of those things.
A lot of my own parenting style is derived from how my parents did it. Of course, my children are different from how I was as a kid, so I have to adapt to suit their needs.
I’ve been sharing a few of my sayings, and the way that I do things, on my Snapchat (happymumnz); and the response I got was positive: it’s really interesting to know what someone else does!
Now you might not agree with how I do it, but that’s what the amazing thing about life is: we are all different. You can read my list and agree, or disagree, it doesn’t bother me.
Here are some of the way we do things in our household:
- No playing with doors (slamming them is apparently a fun thing to do)
- If you want to play with another set of toys, you must tidy up the first set
- No TV in the mornings before school
- If you think food is yuck, you still have to try 2 bites before I’ll consider letting it go
- If you don’t finish your dinner, no dessert
- Dessert is often an apple or piece of fruit
- If you’re hungry, have a piece of fruit: that weeds out the fakers from the actually hungry
- No playing on war memorials (out of respect for the war veterans)
- When we cross the road you MUST hold my hand
- When we are walking together there is no running, screaming or having a race : to stop the fights
- Swearing is reserved for adults only
- You must stay in your bedroom in the morning, until your sleep clock tells you it’s time to get up
- No iPad until after the bath at night, and it’s only for 30 minutes
- If you don’t finish a meal, then there’s nothing else to eat (within reason)
- If you don’t want to have a nap, you still have to go into your bedroom for a short while: we all need a break from each other at some point
- No toys at the dinner table
- We each take turns talking about our day at dinner time
- No talking while someone else is talking
- If you want to talk to me, and I’m in the middle of a conversation with someone else, place your hand on my arm to let me know and once I finish talking you’re next
- You don’t have to like people, but you do have to be kind to them
- Each time we do the grocery shop, our kids get a treat
- If our kids are naughty or don’t follow the rules: no treat
- If I say “STOP” they must stop doing what they’re doing: running, walking, talking, chewing. If I say stop, they must stop (this one is a definite work in progress)
- Sometimes I am a Mum first, and a friend second
- It’s ok to cry and be upset: never ever think that it’s not ok
- We communicate with our kids EVERY second of the day about our rules, because kids forget so easily
These are like our ground rules. Depending on the day some of them change (the no-tv in the morning rule, or the device rule) because of my mental state.
Like I said above, kids forget really easily, so I spend a huge chunk of my day reminding them of the rules. When we get in the car: rules. Before we leave the car: rules. As we are walking: rules.
Kids are also kids. They’re still learning about this world and our expectations of them. So they push us. They test us. And it is our job as a parent to guide them.
Sometimes we get it wrong. Sometimes we make mistakes. Heck as parents even we are learning. Sometimes WE have no idea what we are doing.
Rules and guidelines are NEVER ENDING.