Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Parenting Pet Peeves - My Own Little Rant

If you are reading this, then I’m probably not talking about you.

I don’t get it. I really don’t get it.
I just read a blog about a woman who took her 5 year old twins to GOOD GRAVY (not the real name of the store).
She complained that there were displays of soccer balls for sale everywhere. She told her boys not to touch them….don’t touch the display by the cargo shorts. Don’t touch the display by the panties. Don't touch the display by the sweaters. Don’t touch!
One of the five year olds just could NOT stand the temptation. While the mom was checking out, a ball arced over her head, above 5 registers and toward the exit.
The store manager glared and proclaimed: “Those balls are not for kicking.”
While seeing the manager’s point, she sided with her child and said, “Well then, what are they there for?”
I’ll answer. TO BUY! They are for someone to buy.
When I was little, there were a few phrases that meant something.
Don’t touch!
Stay right by me!
They meant exactly what they say. A bunch of ONE syllable words linked together with an understood threat that death was nigh.
Although both complex and mysterious, I taught my own three children these lines. And I meant it. Yeah, sometimes they had to be repeated. And they were slightly more effective is they were HISSED into the ear of a three year old while gripping the underside of their upper arm with a witch claw.
I know this sounds mean and extreme to expect a small child to listen and obey. And I know that I am making a big deal out of touching soccer balls.

Touching the soccer ball or kicking it across the store for that matter is NOT that big of a deal. It won’t hurt anyone (probably).

But you are going to get down the road and you are going to say “No!”, “Don’t Touch” and “Stay right by me!” and it WILL matter.
Obedience is a learned behavior. Right now, you, as a parent are teaching and they are learning a way more important underlying lesson for later:
1. I have been called to be your parent
2. Part of my job is to protect, teach, and prepare you for the future…whether it’s to protect you from yourself, strangers, death or help shape you into a productive, likeable teenager who can make good choices on his own.
3. I love you and have your best interest at heart.
4. Sometimes I will ask you to DO or NOT DO things that might not make sense to you, but you will need to trust me.
5. Even if you do not agree with me, you should respect me.
6. When you make a choice to OBEY or DISOBEY, there will be consequences and you don’t get to CHOOSE those.
If your children have not learned that you mean business when they are 2 or 4, what makes you think they will believe you mean business when they are 12 or 14 and the stakes are higher?
And sometimes, when you say, “No!” or “Don’t Touch” it’s not just “No!” or “Don’t Touch!” There’s more to it.
When they are 2, you say “Don’t touch the electrical outlet.” When they are 5, you say “Don’t touch stuff that isn’t yours.” When they are 10, you say “Don’t touch the beer.” When they are 14, you say “Don’t touch the girls……..”
The stakes are higher: the consequences bigger than a ticked off store manager. It’s GAME TIME!


Guymons said...

wow, that was good. REALLY good. Hope everyone reads it!

Thanks for your blog. I read it every day. I love you. You are very wise. You are a great mom and you have a great husband and 3 great sons (I shouldn't use that word so much, but I just think you all are GREAT.)

I thought you were going to rant about me letting Andrew climb the football goal post....BAD MOM, I should have stopped him. I bet there were some women in the stands who went home and blogged (ranted) about it! lol.

H.K. said...

AMEN! I wish my sister with her 5 kids could read your post! I stopped taking Moe to the store because he had a trouble with touching and he knew if he wanted to go with me again he was not allowed to touch anything. He hated not going with me and learned to keep his hands to himself.

Amy Pickledpigsfeet said...

Lane used to have problems touching everything at the store. Then I put the child leash back on him when we went to the store, he was 6. He stopped touching everything. Now if I could only get him to stop asking me to buy him stuff. Yesterday at the store he didn't ask for anything because I told him if he asked for ANYTHING I'd throw away a toy of his for each time he asked. Mean maybe, but I'm tired of hearing him ask for me to buy him things every time we go to the store.

Brenda said...

I read your blog sometimes and just love it. I totally agree with this. It seems like such a simple concept that ALOT of parents dont get. You are not just teaching your kids "Stop" "No" "Don't Touch". You are teaching them to make choices. I don't want the first choices my children make in life to be the big ones. Great post!

KelliSue Kolz said...

Amen! My bonus children's biological mother once returned them to me early on a visitation day. She complained that while in Walmart getting a RX refilled with her 3 biological children, that the toddler wandered away and the 6 year old ran around like a lunatic. She had the one year old in her carseat.

So she was *SO done with this*. I nodded and smiled sympathetically. I had a newborn, and 4 other children including those two *lunatics*. I took them to the grocery store without incident each week. But I put the toddler in the cart, wore the baby in a sling and reminded them before we went in that I expected good behavior.

Maybe I just taught them and reminded them, because they are my forever kids not just little ones I abandoned and visit when I think of it. That was 3 years ago - she hasn't visited them since. Hmm.

Patty Edwards said...

AMEN. You know... the funny thing is that I was at a retreat this weekend with the ladies from my church and the message I got from God was that perhaps *I* was that undisciplined child. Hmmmmm.

The Crazy Coxes said...

Thanks for leaving comments ladies!

KS - you've hit on a couple of other blogging topics -don't want to give them away ;) But funny how 2 moms with the same kids can get different results!

Brenda - Amen sista! Thanks for stopping by!

AA- I love the tough love!

Patty - I love your insight! Yes, you are 100% correct. We're all naughty children sometimes. I admit - sometimes I have ignored the "no," "Don't touch," etc. counsel from God!