The HAIL NAHs and Yes Pleases

My friend Randi sent me a request:
“I request a baby post on what lessons you vow to teach your children. Like something that growing up you were like ‘I will never do that to my child’ or ‘I will make sure my child knows to always to that’ or whatever.”

As per my her request, I’ve been thinking of things I currently am thinking “No way in Hell” are my kids doing ___.

#1 The leash. I love custom collars and leashes for my dog but for humans… If my kids are so bad that they need a leash I’m leaving them at home.
#2 The portable toilet. Ok, maybe it’s not that bad, but it’s NOT going in the living room or kitchen (trust me people, I’ve heard of this). The poop stays in the BATHROOM!
#3 I’m not going to make my oldest child babysit the younger ones often. The words “Take your sister with you” still haunt me from my childhood.
#4 Cell phones. What is up with the recent epidemic? My 11-year old sister has a cell phone, what does an 11 year old need a cell phone for? My kids won’t be getting a cell phone (unless their paying the bill) until they’re AT LEAST 16.

Some things I want to do:
#1 Teach them how to swim. I can’t swim, not well at least. I suppose I could swim to save my life if it was in water no more than 6 feet deep and within 10 feet of land. Other than that, without a life jacket… I’d probably drown. I want my kids to like the water and be able to swim (to save their mom if they have to)
#2 Teach them manners. But not just that, I want to teach my kids to say “yes ma’am and sir” and “no ma’am and no sir.”
#3 Teach them self sufficiently. I want to help my children as much as I can but I don’t want freeloaders. I know a lot of people who say “It’ll be great if I have kids young because they’ll be out of the house when I’m in my 40sand then we can do stuff together” Yes, but that’s only if they actually go away: like to college, on missions, whatever. But even then they’ll probably be paying for their child’s college, missions, weddings, and then the grandchildren come… It’s a never ending cycle I’m not sure I’m ready to begin. I want to encourage my kids to save and pay their way through college like I did. Don’t get me wrong, I want to help, but I don’t want to just hand it to them.
#4 Spankings: I don’t really think there’s anything wrong with spankings. Obviously I’ll have to see what works for our kids, but I never really believed that “time out” did the trick.

That’s all I can think of right now. I’ll add more as I think of it.

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  1. I feel ya on your list. I used to feel the same way about baby leashes, but now… I am probably going to buy one. The little guy is just too heavy and too squirmy, but he runs away if you put him down. So I think I have succumbed to the leashes!

  2. So far you are off to a good start. And then the baby comes, they start growing up and then everything that you promised goes right out the door. But I’m not here to discourage a sista. Your so cute. :):)

  3. I can’t agree with you more. No leashes, no pooh in the kitchen, no cell phones – I mean come on! I survived fine and they can too. In fact I still don’t own one. A house phone is incredibly cheaper and more than efficient. Plus I don’t have people calling me every ten minutes when I’m away from home. I would be so excited for my kids to learn to swim. I still don’t know how. I love hearing kids say please and thank you especially when they aren’t reminded to do so. I honestly think it’s a dumb idea to pay for everything for your kids. My parents have made me and my siblings pay for everything on our own and I’m glad they have. The economy is terrible right now and if I didn’t have to struggle finacially through my teenage years I don’t know how I’d be handling things now. You’re off to a great start! It won’t be easy but every day the kids remind you why it’s worth it.

  4. Hi, here from sits..I commend you for planning out so far in advance! Nay on the leashes and porta potties here too! And my girls didn’t get cell phones til they were in 8th grade. I tried to hold out as long as I could. You’ll make a fine parent someday!

  5. I laughed outright at your #1 don’t. I thought the same thing when I was in your shoes. Then I had twins. Smart twins. Twins who quickly learned that if they each ran a different direction I couldn’t chase them both. Leaving them home alone wasn’t an option and our family required groceries to live.

    I never did do a leash with them but that’s only because I couldn’t find them. Keeping a child buckled in and immobile in a stroller is exactly like a leash- except they don’t get any ‘exercise’ or exploration at all. It’s actually meaner to keep them THAT confined I think and yet completely socially acceptable.

  6. If there’s one thing I have learned baout motherhood, it’s that actually having the kid changes everything. I had lists like this before I had kids. Some of them are still on the list, but some have changed. Havings kids changes a lot!

  7. I have found that my perspectives have changed with time…I used to think there was a time and place for spanking, but I no longer do–I’ve reached the conclusion that it is not Christlike. I’ve tried to model my parenting after the ways that Christ teaches (and disciplines) us, and hitting/spanking isn’t in it. Now have I done it–yes. Old habits die hard. But I’m working on it–and I think that’s the real point–that I keep working.
    With that said, I’m not convinced that ‘time out’ is Christlike either–putting someone in a corner and ignoring them?? Mmm, no. We usually do “time-in”–I sit him on a chair (near me) and we talk through things.

    And I’ve got to say, “out of control” is not the same as “very curious and energetic”…most little kids are energetic and curious, and it doesn’t mean that they are bad, they’re just normal kids. My hubby wsa very anti-leash until the day our son tried to jump into Bryce Canyon. When my oldest was 4 I gave him the choice of holding hands in a crowd or wearing the leash. I explained that I needed him near me, and that I knew there were lots of interesting things to look at and that it was easy to be distracted, but that I needed him to be safe–so he could hold my hand, or we could make a harness. He asked for the harness–so we went to a climbing store and I let him pick out the webbing color he wanted and I sewed up a little harness. He preferred the wider range of movement as opposed to having to hold hands. I always gave him the choice, and he certainly didn’t wear it when we were just going grocery shopping or whatever…but for those big-crowd situations, we did use it a few times. 🙂

    I’m an oldest child–I did lots of babysitting, but my parents paid me just as they would have paid any other sitter. I think that’s entirely fair. They also paid my car insurance so long as I was willing to chauffeur little siblings–worked for me!

    I agree with you on cell phones (I didn’t get one till college, and don’t plan to provide them to my kids), and manners, and having decent living skills–my girls will be able to change tires and my boys will be able to cook and do laundry too.

    I enjoyed your list…I’ll have to write up one, LOL!

  8. Oh, and I confess that I let little bear bring his potty wherever he wants to…it’s better than having a stream of peepee all the way down the hall as he’s running for the bathroom! He’ll get the hang of going earlier, but for now we’re focusing on going in the appropriate place!

  9. #1 – don’t criticize until you’ve had to live it. Safer is a child on a tether than running into traffic. It’s easy to say “train your child” some kids are easy, some are very difficult. I’m a mama of 6. I have had to keep one on a tether at a certain point, I was a mama with three under 4, and my middle would take off. You can’t just drop the other two and run.. and you can’t run with a baby in your arms.. so..the middle one got tethered.. it was a short period, about 6 months, but he’s a fabulous 15 year old now.

    Don’t criticize.. there may come a day when you’ll have to change your mind on that one. It’s really hard being the mother trying everything to manage – and then have some 16 year old come and jump in her face about treating her child like a dog – it was an ugly scene started by this young girl, her friends had to pull her off me. Fortunately I was encouraged to keep going by some lovely older women who could see I was doing the best given my circumstances.

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