Before you become a parent, as you observe how families with children are getting on, you go compiling a list of things you would never, never, NEVER let your children do. Then you bear your own children (I’ve got three so far, from half a year to 8 years of age). Then they begin to get at you in earnest. You find that with some things you refuse to budge flatly. But with some others you – inevitably – give in. Here are things (just a few of them!) which I found myself unable to stick to. Would you like to compare the lists?
Maybe with you it’s some other movie that was the greatest scare of your young days. Barney was my private terror. Thought he looked all right, I used to cherish dark suspicions that he was not above gobbling a couple of children after filming was over. So I wasn’t going to expose my kids to this. But once they discovered it it caught on in no time at all. It worked wonders, for my kids (who weren’t three years old at the time) stopped messing about with the phone, clutching at my clothes and get at things – they stayed glued to the screen. Good work, Barney, old terror!
Making disorder all over the place
As I watched the invariable mess of toys and stuff in homes of my friends who have children, I thought they were just being negligent, and it could be seen to with a little care. No I realize my mistake. Kids generate disorder with a force that you can hardly control. Of course, you can go after them setting things right, but is it really what parenthood is about? My decision was not to let order stand in the way of sharing precious moments of life with my dears and spending time with them instead of playing an order fiend.
Playing video games
It’s a veritable plague for the little ones, and I was resolved to prohibit the thing in my house. Yet, just like with Barney, it proved to be ineluctable. My son was five when he fell for video games, and once again it kept him busy. Also, though I never grew to like them, they manifested themselves as an excellent regulating tool: by taking them away or giving more time you can work wonders with your child!
Eating at McDonald’s
Personally I find no pleasure in visiting McDonald’s. The food is hardly something you can crave for. The play area seems to be always rather soiled and smelly. Afterwards you keep finding fries and toys in the car. This is a habit that you can avoid, but in my case my hubby’s mom did me a bad turn and repeatedly took my elder son to the awful place. He took to Happy Meals and soon began giving me hell if I ever drove past the place. Frankly, I caved in, and now my both sons use everything in their power (which isn’t little!) for us to go there to eat.
Messing up the car
The backseats of the cars belonging to families with children used to make me shudder. Now I’ve grown to realize that the car means nothing for kids. They won’t think twice about messing up the backseat, and sometimes you don’t have it in you to clean up after them.
Acting up in public places
When you are only approaching family life, you believe that parents ought to be able to control their kids who throw tantrums in stores and other public places. Now I am aware that you can’t very well get round the problem. When you begin to restrain them, they can kick or punch you coolly as if it was the way you treated them – somehow they teach themselves how to put their parents down. It’s years and patience that does the trick finally, before that you have to bear it and try your best. Unfortunately you people who become witnesses to these outbursts also have to play your part in the process.
Dressing up out of style
It looks really awful when you see children dressed in mismatching clothes in the street. But when your children start dressing themselves and want you to admire their motley outfit, you begin to wonder whether it is worth it to undermine their developing independence. I made up my mind to begin teaching kids fashion not by taking them down for the way they dress, but by taking them to clothes stores and discussing choices.