Thursday, May 14, 2009

Strictly After the "Poopy"

I think my last post was a bit misconstrued. I thought it was funny that the Bean struggled to tell me what he had done wrong, because in doing so he would have to use the word that got him into trouble in the first place. But in your comments, some of you fixated on the fact that we have banned him from using the word "poopy" (outside of anything along the lines of, "I have to make a poopy" or "the poopy is coming"). I guess the post unintentionally illuminated the fact that WonderWife™ and I have a tendency to lean towards strictness.

I am aware that I am somewhat of a strict parent and truthfully, this is something that surprises me. I was not raised by strict parents. The only rule I can really recall is having my TV time monitored and cut back. But this only lasted for a little while before I was back spending every afternoon and evening glazed over at Bugs Bunny cartoons.

It's not that WonderWife™ and I are taskmasters, but we have rules and we expect our kids to obey, even if it's something nominal like using like using a rather innocuous word. By comparison, we seem to have more rules for our kids than our friends do with theirs. But so far I think it's working. The Bean is a really good kid and very well behaved kid. He's happy and seemingly well adjusted. But he can also be kind of oblivious, and doesn't really question the world around him. The whole thing is probably going to blow up in our faces when Sprout can walk and talk. That girl is and is going to be a handful.

So the point of yesterday's post kinda got lost in translation. But at the end of the day, it doesn't matter at all because it wasn't true.

After reading the post, WonderWife™ revealed to me that the Bean lied. Yes, he did get a story taken away that night, but it had nothing to do with what he told me. So while the conversation between me and the Bean happened as written, his part of it was a total fabrication.

Unfortunately, this isn't the first time she's exposed one of his lies.


SciFi Dad said...

Yeah, we're pretty stringent with rules over here too. I think ultimately though, we'll have to ease off, because as you and I both know, the more you tighten your grip, the more they will slip through your fingers.

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

My mom (of all people) is always telling me I'm too strict with my kids. I don't really think so. Yes I make them hold my hand in a parking lot, they do not get to talk back or be rude and they must say please/thank you. Pretty basic I thought.

I'm thinking truth bending might be the next one you'll be needing to tackle with the Bean :)

Multi-tasking Mommy said...

I think rules and boundaries are important!

Youngblood4ever said...

I think I am a pretty strict parent, but it really is only because I don't want my chillins to turn out like a spoiled brat who never had any type of limitations or resposibilities- which is why most teens and young people are so irresponsible and disrespectful these days. Way to go on being a good parent.

BTW- I have a couple kids who like to bend/stretch the truth or flat out lie to me and it urks me to no end!

Sadie said...

You guys don't sound strict at all. It sounds more like reasonable parenting of preschoolers. When our kids were preschoolers we had a zero tolerance rule against swearing, which to them meant they couldn't say "Hate", "stupid", "shut up", etc. They didn't even know any of those other bad words existed. I once broke my toe in front of a two-year-old Ri and didn't utter one bad word because she was standing right beside me when it happened. They're just little parrots who will say anything they hear...over and over even.

My tale of the strange morning conversation wasn't to judge you as strict, it was meant as a big fat sigh as if to say, Oh I remember those days when we'd have to have talks about "poopy". Now they are about all sorts of difficult subjects because my kid asks some tough questions, I'm weird, and we have a firm policy of never lying to the kids - especially about the tough stuff.

RHW said...

Hrm - guess I'm feeling opinionated today, so here goes... :)

I think rules are overrated.

I think that too many rules are actually bad for kids because of the mindset it can create in parents. It can be too black and white. Having a lot of rules means children are either "good" because they've have done what they're told or "bad" because they haven't. It leads to kids being trained to be approval seekers, needing to be right, or becoming very good liars. Behaviours should be evaluated, not kids.

What I want to teach Geekling can't be accomplished through rules. For example, insisting that she says "I'm sorry" doesn't teach empathy. Punishment doesn't teach much either, other than to not to get caught, more is required of me as a parent. Being strict does not seem like the proper way to not have spoiled child - it seems like the other extreme of a spectrum and equally undesirable.

I realize actually following my views are going to mean a lot more effort, explanation and engagement on my part as a Mom, but I think it's important. I know exactly what it's like to be raised with lots of rules, being the good and well behaved kid, being an approval seeker, and all the problems that actually causes.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

To all of you who leave comments...I love you all. I do not or have not taken any comments as judgmental. You guys rule.

RHW...I hear what you're saying loud and clear and I agree. There is a difference between having too many rules and having structure. We all know that kids, especially toddlers and pre-schoolers, need structure. I think that some rules can provide that. For instance, we have a rule that the Bean must clear his dishes after eating. It teaches him responsibility and helps keep our house clean.

We're also enforcing rules that will (hopefully) breed politeness. We're sticklers for "pleases" and "thank yous". I want my kids to say "excuse me" after they burp.

You're totally right that you need to go beyond just teaching a kid to say "sorry" that we need to teach them why they should be sorry.

Being strict doesn't mean you get an unspoiled child. SciFi Dad is right on in his comment. It's all a balancing act. There needs to be some rules. There needs to be some freedom. I want to provide my kids with great food and fun toys, but that doesn't mean I'm taking them out for ice cream every day or buying something from every gift shop we pass.

I think at the end of the day, we are approaching parenting in a similar way. The only difference is that my kid likes to lie a lot.

Lady Mama said...

I don't think you were overly strict. You set boundaries as a parent and you stick to them - I think that's a good thing.

I'm finding I'm pretty strict as a parent too. I want to raise our boys a certain way and with that comes a certain amount of strictness (is that a word?), so I'm okay with it.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Lady Mama...I don't think I'm overly strict. But I'm a lot more strict than I thought I would be as a parent.

Gwen said...

I wish I were a strict parent. My husband is more strict than I am about a lot of things. I grew up in a fairly strict home and I think I'm just trying to avoid giving my daughter the same upbringing. But I do think that kids thrive in strict environments in a lot of ways. The consistency makes them feel safe.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Gwen...if your husband is more strict and you're not, you probably have a good balance. Thanks for reading and thank you even more for commenting.