Parenting 101

I have this two-year old, his name is Mercer and he is a stinker.  His new favorite thing to do is challenge me.  Case in point, Wednesday night he was crumbling graham crackers onto my living room floor, I said to him, “Moose, stop crunching those on the floor you’re making a mess.” He looked at me and kept crumbling, “Mercer, stop crunching the crackers, please listen to me, or I am going to have to give you a spank,” ( I know that this is going to open all sorts of doors for critcism, but I can stand my ground.)  Yes I spank my children, but only in two situations: deliberate defiance, or if their saftey is an issue and they are not listening.  In this case it was deliberate defiance. 

After I told him that I was going to swat him if he continued, I fully expected him to stop crunching the graham crackers, instead he looked at me and said, “Do It.”  I was shocked, my sweet little guy was changing right before my eyes into a toddler with a mind of his own and his own ideas about how our household should run.  So I got up, and gave him two quick taps on his rear end.  He was shocked, that was maybe the 2nd time I have ever had to swat him, ususally he is compliant and easy to discipline. He’s kind of a pleaser and thrives on praise, so in most cases diversion or a stern word will work wonders.  Not Wednesday, that night he needed a reminder of who was the parent and who was the child.

Too often, I watch parents try to reason with their children, I find that difficult if not impossible to do. For one thing, I have lived a little bit longer, and hopefully have knowledge and wisdom that will help teach them a life lesson, or something that will make them think twice before making the same mistakes again.  Another reason that it is so hard to rationalize, is that they just don’t get it….at least for my kids.  They live in a world of instant gratification. I want it now, and I am going to do it my way. Unfortunately I see alot of myself in the previous comment, just another thing to add to my list of things to work on.

For some reason I think some parents fail to realize that their number one responsibilty is to parent their children, not to be their best buddy.  Sure I want my kids to like me, but in the broad scheme of things, I think they will benefit more when I set limits and expectations that they can achieve.  This world doesn’t always play fair, and it seems to me like I should be showing them how to make wise choices and decisions in this world, and to prepare them for the reality that life doesn’t always give us what we think we deserve.  I am not

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