Monday, June 22, 2009


When kids are young (1-5ish), there are plenty of things to “fight” over.
There are about 500 little power struggle possibilities everyday, but not all are equal, nor do we have enough energy to fight EVERY battle.

Bedtime, Naptime, Meals, Clothing, Carseats, Temper tantrums…just to name a few.
Which ones were worth your energy and why?
Which ones did you just let go and why?

As for me and my house,
our bywords for 0-10 years old were “Listen and Obey.”

We had firm rules on bedtime, taking responsibility for actions, and consequences for poor behavior.

We didn’t battle over mealtimes. You ate what was served…or ate nothing. I figured you could eat tomorrow if you missed today. And everyone at least tried the food. As a result, kids will eat just about anything.

From 10-20, our bywords are “Is that Kind and Loving?” My childrens’ friends have all heard me ask this question. I even hear them joke with each other and say, "Hey, is that kind and loving?"

We don’t battle over much, but showing respect to parents, teachers, coaches, church leaders is expected.

Church attendance has never been questioned but is an expectation. People assume that I woke my children up and dragged them to seminary since I was the teacher, when in fact, I have never mentioned it to my kids…….although if they weren’t coming, I’d drag them out of bed. I think in this case, maybe actions spoke louder than words.

Going on family outings and working around the house are also expectations, but no one has ever challenged those either.

We don’t battle over bedrooms, hairstyles (but no one has done anything dramatic), or clothing (but my boys are preppy).

What about you?

What do you value?

How do you let your kids know that it is a family value?

Comment away!


siobhan said...

my kids are still very young, so we're just starting out on all of this. friends with kids the same age think i'm a tyrant when it comes to food, but i'm just really laid-back about it... i'm not a short-order cook and if you don't like what we're eating, i guess you'll have to suck it up and eat it or wait till the next meal. our 4yo decides that there's something new she doesn't like in each meal, and thus asks for something else. too bad! i was always a picky eater and i do NOT want my kids to be that way.

a classmate of our oldest's eats poptarts every morning because she "doesn't like" any healthy breakfast foods. because she eats them, now her 3yo and 1yo sister do. every morning, poptarts. kills me.

we're pretty flexible on a lot of things, but we're hard-nosed on everything else. um... respect, taking care of ourselves and our belongings, carseats (all are still in five-point harnesses), caring for the members of our family. if it's something that will form a life-long habit or relates to safety, we stick to it. everything else is up for grabs.

"is that the hill you want to die on?" is a frequently asked question around here, as we call each other into check over insignificant things.

Shirley said...

I answered under the original post - so I'm moving my answer. : )

When my kids were growing up, several things were set in stone - Church attendance, manners, doing their best in school, bedtime : )

Doors are put on bedrooms so mothers don't have to look at messes.

I did not run a restaurant. Everyone ate what was on the menu for the night - except for tomatoes. My husband wouldn't eat them so it was hard to make the kids. Once a year, they had to try them. Now everyone eats them, even my husband.

Biggest problem with clothes was getting older son to wear jeans and younger son to wear a color besides gray. : ) Girls were happy to wear anything I bought them.

The girls weren't that into makeup because I don't wear much. When they did want to wear some, I just made sure they knew how to apply it so they didn't look like clowns.

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

I think I am going to snag your 0-20 code words and hope they work for my kids. I let my kids away with stuff sometimes when I know I shouldn't but sometimes I don't have it in me to fight with them.
My oldest most likely has Aspergers so getting him to listen and obey is a challenge. Plus since he's smart as a whip and talks like he's an adult (I mean the word choices he uses are not of an average kid!) sometimes I actually can't argue with his logic.
The youngest doesn't speak (at all) so she presents her own challenges at three yrs old.

So, anyone want to raise my kids? ;) (kidding of course)

Guymons said...

My husband goes to battle and war over everything with our kids. I don't....I'm more of the kind of mom who wants to be their friend (I know that is sometimes REALLY bad). So you can probably see that there is a lot of conflict in our house about child raising policy......but I guess that is better than both of us wanting to be their friends or both of us wanting to go to war. (right?)

My parenting golden rule was known WELL by the older two kids growing up- DON'T MAKE ME LOOK BAD. The little 2 sometimes don't abide by that rule, but they get reminded by the big kids (and me) when something happens...haha.

I have good kids. I'm lucky, I think they are just naturally good, not good because of anything I've done as a parent.

Andrew, the 7 year old, is the only picky eater. He would live on Top Ramen if I would let him have it every time he asks....YUCK!

You really do have to pick your battles, but remember---WE are the PARENTS, they are the KIDS. Parents Rule, Kids Drool. (just kidding)....When they get older (Melanee is 18, William 16), they aren't afraid to CHALLENGE our authority and tell us that they think they know more than us.

William's pants sag too far and it's a battle, Scott has even taken them and hidden them before. Melanee talks on her cell phone too much, Scott has taken that away.

PMS is a bad time, the big kids HAVE LEARNED not to push me, Scott hasn't figured it out....I think I am a different person for a few days...the kids get in a lot more trouble those few days, and I think it's my rationality at that time more than them being bad, which causes them to get into more trouble.

I better end this rambling reply.

valerie said...

Ahhhh. Picking your battles is so much fun. As others have stated "I'm not a resturaunt!" I serve, you eat. I promise I won't serve lima beans. EWWWW! I don't make them lick their plates clean or anything but they are required to eat most. Tyler has texture issues so that has been the biggest battle during dinners where I do try and accomadate him some. He still eats what we have but I can leave off sauce or I don't mind cooking him a baked potato when I'm doing mashed.

Bedrooms are another one of those battles. I like what Shirley said "that's what doors are for". I ask them to put their clothes away NICELY and make their bed. Hopefully toys and other stuff are put away too. It happens most of the time. I'll take that.

The biggest thing lately is them battling amongst themselves. Ha Ha

Guymons said...

Here's a funny messy room story. We just had our house appraised. Scott asked them to send us a copy of the report. When we recieved it, it was pretty full of info and PHOTOS.... The yard looked nice, the front room, kitchen, bath, etc...looked nice....Melanee's room- DISASTER. And it's all right there on paper for all the bankers, everyone to see.

Amy Pickledpigsfeet said...

I think our biggest battle has been food, but I stopped battling with that about a year ago. The policy is now you have to eat everything I put on your plate or you go to bed. I only put a few teaspoons on his plate of each item. After he eats it he can get more of what he likes or if there's nothing he's free to make himself a peanut butter sandwich. I always make a vegetable that he likes to go with meals. I think if I want him to eat veggies I should have ones I know he'll eat even when we're trying something new or that I know he doesn't enjoy.