September 12, 2011

Parenting 101 - Picking Your Battles

This is the sixth in a seemingly never ending series on parenting survival skills. So far we have covered......

Now,  I am not one to follow the advice of parenting experts,  as they do not know my kids.  My theories are based on practical, hands on research mixed in with bitching with my mates who then offer me some lame ass advice or some eye rolling and shoulder shrugging,  which is generally shared after several bottles of wine. 

Picking your battles when it comes to parenting is a skill learned over time.  It is not really something suitable for under 2's.  as they have not learnt the art of tantrums yet.  Sure they may be starting to show the first few signs,  but really,  it is nothing compared to what you will be facing down the track.

Encouraging battles usually starts with a lovely parent who gives their kids plenty of choices.  We used to be like that. "What would you like on your sandwich sweetheart?" is an all too familiar cue to start a battle,  which "I do not want a sandwich!!!" will be the next step.

Try making the sandwich and putting it in front of the child.  You are not inviting discussion or debate. You could even smile and just say "Enjoy your lunch my darling."

Time after time I see parents go into intense and lengthy negotiations with their kids,  and it takes all my energy not to intervene with a stinging slap and yell "Who is the boss?..... YOU ARE THE BOSS!".

Mind you, having said all that, I find the mornings at WoogsWorld particularly taxing. And I was irate when the school sent this book home with Jack last week for the home reading program.

Which I am tempted to take to with a black marker before sending it back.

My kids know that there is no TV in the mornings unless they are totally ready for school. But they get up so ridiculously early at the moment (Daylight Savings..... I am ready!) that I turn a blind eye to the fact that I know the TV is on while I lie in bed for a bit.  I deliberately make a fair bit of noise when I get up,  so the Woogettes spring up and turn it off before I enter the lounge room. A clear example of choosing my battles.

The morning then extends to eating breakfast while Jack sits there for an eternity pushing cereal around. Make the lunches with no suggestions or input from them. Teeth brushing is mandatory.  The list of things that need to be done in the morning is small,  but takes a fucking eternity.

Where are my shoes?

One is usually in the car and the other is usually under the trampoline.

Where is my bag?

If Mr Woog has collected them from school,  it is usually still at school. Or it is in the car.

Where is my library bag?

I have not seen your library bag since week one of term one. I have no idea.

Get dressed, Get dressed, Get dressed, Get dressed............ (unpack the dishwasher) GET DRESSED!

The getting dressed seems to be the hardest bit. It can take the small one up to an hour to roll around on the floor in the nude with his bum in the air as he sings Lady Gaga.  This warmer weather not not help things.  And just as I am about to explode with frustration,  he will appear in front of me fully dressed.  But always with a twist. Like this morning.

By this stage I am battle weary,  so I let it slide.  After all,  if he is happy to go off to school working his own style,  who am I to stop him.

I will continue to pick my battles when it comes to parenting my kids,  but I recognise the ones that are not worth the drama.

Who is the boss at your place?

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