But, what can I say? I'm judgmental and opinionated. At least I'm honest.
I was reading the May '08 issue of Parenting magazine one morning over coffee and came across a short, funny excerpt from Stephanie Wilder-Taylor's new book Naptime is the New Happy Hour.
"Ever been around a parent who starts off every sentence by whining, 'He won't let me'- as in, he won't let me put him down, cut his toenails, mix a martini, etc.? Um, last time I checked, you outweigh him by at least a hundred pounds. Man up."
I laughed because 1) I agree wholeheartedly and 2) it reminded of something that happened at the outlet mall last week. I was in one of the kid stores looking for a birthday present. When I first walked in, I noticed a mom and her toddler girl. I'm guessing she was 3. Said girl was getting a talking to about the display mannequins that went something like this:
Mommy: No, no. We can't play with that. See the nice lady over there (points to store employee)? She's working very hard on these to make them look nice and we don't want to mess them up.
Girl: Mmphf mmp scherpy (couldn't understand her with the pacifier in her mouth. what? I already said I'm judgmental)
Mommy: Now put the dolly back.
I browsed for a bit then went back to a cute outfit in the front of the store. Girl still had the mannequin, and was sitting in the front window undressing it. Mommy was
More eavesdropping by me:
Mommy: Come on honey follow me.
Girl: No response
Mommy: Sweetie come here please, put that down.
Girl: Crickets chirping
Mommy: Put the dolly down and come with me.
Girl: Makes eyes contact, totally blows Mommy off
Mommy to Friend: Just leave it there, she's not coming with me and I don't want to leave her here.
WT? By now I'm ready to take "dolly," get right in Girl's face and tell her to straighten up or there will be no organic, agave sweetened soy treats for you when you get home missy!
Come on folks. It's time for real discipline to make a comeback. I'm not talking about going out in the yard and cutting a switch, but stop negotiating. Say no, mean no, and move on.
I've read the same articles as you have about behavior and positive reinforcement and not focusing on the negative to better your child's self esteem. Most of that is horse pucky. My parents didn't sit me down and make "I statements" when I misbehaved, they told me (not asked me) to knock that s**t off or else (I'm paraphrasing).
Saying no and being negative all day long is a drag. I feel you. But bending over for your kids may make today go by more smoothly, but what about tomorrow and next week? IMHO, If Mommy doesn't let Girl know right now who's in charge, they're in for a heap of trouble later on.
I can see it now: Girl and my DS meet at school. She's a sophomore, he's a senior and he's tutoring her in Algebra 2.I invite her to stay for dinner and she takes one look at my starchy, carby meal and says, "like, I can't eat this, " and I'll have to bitch slap her.
Granted, maybe I caught Mommy on a bad day. But I don't think so. Feel free to follow me and DS around and post anything you might see or hear on your own blog.