As parents it's our job to make sure our children learn the ways of the world at an appropriate time in their lives. We start off teaching them not to climb on the bookcase and to stay away from the hot stove. But then our kids grow up and we quickly realize that whatever rules we make for them, will also be held against us. Trust me, it's not so fun the other way around.
I can honestly say I would've thought twice before teaching my kids some of these if I knew it was going to come back and bite me in the arse.
Everyone has their own definition of what a "bad word" is. But it's only really effective when you aren't shouting out the forbidden verbiage on a daily basis. Otherwise, your kid will start yelling, "Oh! My! God!" like a girl from the valley every time something surprises her. And she may or may not get sent home with a note from the teacher for teaching the other kindergarteners about "boobies and buttcracks."
There's no Santa
We've told our kids from the beginning there's no Santa. Now, before you start throwing your snow globes at me, we also told them that other kids REALLY believe in him and we shouldn't ruin things for them. Honestly, we told them he isn't real because my oldest was paralyzed with fear at the idea of a man coming into our house through the chimney in the middle of the night to bring us presents. "You said we aren't supposed to get presents from strangers, right Mommy?"
So go ahead and take your "I heart Christmas" panties out of a bunch, because not believing in Santa definitely has it's bad side. It pretty much makes Elf on the Shelf a complete waste of time and money because other than their God-given moral compass which is pretty much non-existent at this point in time they have no incentive to behave. I mean, we can't NOT get them gifts now that they know it's from us, right? Dangit, Santa! I cut you out of our lives too soon, man. Too soon. *sobs*
I've thought about purchasing a set of Halloween eyeballs and leaving them around the house in various places -- kind of like the Elf -- so they know we can see their every move. But that may put a damper on the Christmas spirit altogether.
Rules of the Road
My kids are pretty young and I definitely have to work hard to keep them entertained on long car trips to Nana's house. We practice our ABC's by playing the alphabet game and they've started learning what most of the road signs mean which, on more than one occasion, has come back to bite me in the butt.
I'm driving along the freeway when all of a sudden (out of freakin' nowhere) my five year old yells, "STOP!!! STOP!!!" As I slam on the brakes and test the security of our seatbelts and neck bones, I am wondering what sudden death she just saved us from.
Me: "What? What's the matter? What did you see? Was it Bigfoot?"
Kid: "Nah. I just saw a sign that ducks might be crossing and wanted you to be careful."
Sugar is so, so good -- err, I mean, bad.
We all tell our children the importance of not eating sugar before bedtime, or before a meal (can't spoil that meatloaf!), or that even eating too much candy can be bad for our health.
It's been one of those days and, after being up for sixteen hours, the kids are finally in bed and "me time" has begun. I go into the pantry and grab a handful of the Costo-sized bag of Halloween candy and then plop myself on the couch to catch up on The Good Wife. As soon as I start digging into it like a lioness on a zebra, I look up and see tiny humans in Anna and Elsa pajamas, staring me down with judgment in their eyes.
Kids: "Did you eat your dinner yet?"
Me (cheeks filled with chocolate): "No."
::looks down in shame::
Kids: "So, you lose your dessert tomorrow, right?"
Me: "Yes." ::eye roll::
Importance of Eating Veggies
We make our kids eat at least a few vegetables with their dinner, even if they don't like them. I think it's important they try all the foods they are served since their palettes are still developing. Also, we have an "I made it, you eat it" rule around here. I do try to serve them foods they like but, as any parent knows, that changes on a daily basis.
We took the kids out to dinner one night and I ordered a steak with a side of grilled veggies. When it arrived, I realized they put nasty, slimy, booger-like squash on my plate. My girls know I hate squash so these Cheshire grins spread across their faces, and then stared at me as I attempted to stuff the squash into a napkin. When I notice they're looking at me, I realize I need to be the bigger person and eat my veggies. I did eventually eat it, but I had to plug my nose and drink water right afterwards to avoid dry heaving.
We've all been there. Your kid is acting like a douche pot and it's time to start doling out the discipline. At first it's a timeout. Next you give them extra chores. Finally, when nothing else seems to be working, you THREATEN to take away the tv and other electronics. But they know you're bluffing, that if they really do lose their tv time the rest of your day goes to hell as well. They're not afraid -- so they repeat the offense again and before you can even think, you say, "That's it! No more tv or computer for the week!" And then you walk to your room, shut the door, and curl up in a ball on the bed to cry like a baby.
So, to summarize, choose your rules carefully. They'll hold you to them too. And if anyone sees Santa, please tell him I'm sorry.