Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Parenting 1-oh-1

Many times when I'm on the phone I have to explain the racket in the background. It's Enoch taking apart my kitchen. Of course as soon as I whip out the camera he stops to survey the damage, he must have thought it was sufficient.

Now I'm going to share some of my wisdom with you - pay close attention! I really shouldn't brag...but I'm going to anyway. I was able to get two of my children to hate me inside of 45 minutes for two completely different reasons. I know, someday maybe you can learn these skills if you practice really really hard and learn at the feet of the master (me).

First: check your child's grades, always fun. Now I must preface this with setting up some general standards for what is expected (nothing below a 'B') and then later lowering those standards when it seemed necessary to keep some semblance of peace (nothing below a 'C'). Then you must wade through an entire year of flimsy excuses about stupid teachers and stupid tests and stupid Obama (not sure how that makes grades worse...).

Second: Explain to child that he/she has only so many weeks to actually bring these grades up and even with getting nothing but 100% for the remainder some grades are still iffy.

Third: Take away all extra curricular activities including his/her chance to run for StuCo pres and facebook (still not sure which one is worse...)

Fourth: Don't let tears, excuses, or declarations of how terrible a parent you are change your mind.

That should do it. You should have your child screaming that he/she hates you, if that doesn't work, then try this one;

First: Notice that all through Family Night one particular child was not participating willingly and was glaring daggers at siblings throughout.

Second: Approach him/her in a calm and collected manner (even though you had just sent one out the door screaming at you just 10 minutes before) and ask if he/she could possibly try to smile more and not be so grumpy towards siblings.

Third: Keep calm veneer as you listen to how unfair it is that you're asking him/her and not anyone else in the family to be nice.

Fourth: Point out that you're talking to them at the moment and was concerned for them.

Then the conversation may go like this,

Child, "What good will it do me to be happy if you're not asking anyone else to be?"

You, "Maybe you being happy will help everyone else be happy too, just by your example."

Child, "Why does it have to be me? Why can't someone else try to be happy first?"

You, "Well, because you seem to be giving off a lot of negative energy lately and maybe if you try others will see a difference and follow."

Child, "I've tried before, it didn't work."

You (still mostly calm), "I'm asking you to try again."

Child, "I don't want to."

You, "You don't want to be happy?"

Child (with tears and frustration building and a roll of the eyes to demonstrate how stupid you are), "I don't want to try to be happy!"

You, "But that's what we're supposed to do, It's not just me saying it, it's the commandments!"

Child, " " (nothing said, just looks of hatred)

You,"OK, you have a choice, you can try to be happy or you can loose all your privileges, your MP3 player, computer time, movies, everything."

Child, "Fine!" and he/she chucks his/her MP3 player at you.

Now this might seem easy to you, but that's only because you got examples from a pro and all pros make things look easy. I might start some online classes, so if you want to sign up hurry! (while I'm still sane)


devri said...

woah~~~ I don't know If I would have been calm about the mp3 being chucked~~

Good to know, thanks

TheQueen@TerrorsInTiaras said...

I think I've got the first one down. Been there, done that. the second one, though, I'll have to sign up for that class.

JoEllen said...

whoa - I'm so looking forward to this in like 10 years or so! :)

Great post!

cate said...

Great job! Only the truest of parents can accomplish that in such a short time.



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