Thursday, January 10, 2013

Old School

We've all seen it.  We've probably all been there.  Let me set the scene.

Child- "Mom, can I have this.  I will absolutely die without it and little Johnny down the street has one just like it and I need it now! Please, please, please!!"
Mom- "No."
Child- "Pleeeease?"
Mom- "No!"
Child- "PLEEEEEEEASE!!!"
Mom- "Oh all right then!"

Child 1- Parent 0.

Finally I got sick of replaying this scenario every time my kids wanted a sweet, treat or small toy. Their bedroom is crammed full of crap that they don't play with and do not need to add anything else to the pile.  Even one more Moshi Monster.  Now, no means no.  And?  "Because I said so." is a completely valid reason.  As are "Because I'm the parent", "Would you jump off a bridge if Suzy did?" and "You'll rot your teeth out".  Things I swore I would never say.

However, I have figured out, old school parenting WORKS for me and my kids.  I know that they won't be damaged because they already have good self esteem from being told on a regular basis that they are smart, loved and capable of anything they set their mind to (other than getting that particular treat that they see while standing in the supermarket check out queue).  They know that my love is not dependent on the amount of crap that I buy for them. The word "no" also isn't going to kill them.

Of course they still ask for things.  That's fine.  They're kids.  But now I have a handy answer.  "You can buy it with your pocket money if you have it with you."  You see, both my kids have a set list of chores that they are responsible for doing each week.  If they get most of their stars, they each get $5 or 3 quid (depending on where they want to spend their money).  If they have their money, they can buy whatever they would like as long as they can afford it.  I don't spot them money and let them pay me back when they get home.  I wised up to that little trick quickly.

I guess our grandparents might have known a little bit about raising children after all.  Even without books and psychology and all that mumbo jumbo.  Who knew?



I think they look pretty well adjusted.