Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I am not...to bad

Last week there was a casting call for a reality show. A co-worker/friend told me I should go, I would be perfect.

The show?

World's Strictest Parents

I don't know if I should be hurt or proud.

I must admit that I have watched this show, and think that some of these parents are worse than me. MUCH WORSE when it comes to rules and expectations.

We have standards, rules in our house. We don't allow certain things, and some things we just turn our backs on. We pick our battles, and the ones we do pick we feel are important.

Don't hit, and that is without the clause I had as a kid (don't hit, in the head...lol). Hunter is 5 years older, and much MUCH stronger than Boo. No hitting.

Watch your language. My least favorite phrase that my kids have learned in school "What the...". They leave it open like that, but it can lead to so much more. Watch what you say and we will be good.

Chores. Oh we love chores in our house. The kids have three during the summer that they do EVERY SINGLE DAY, and a couple that are once a week chores. Do I tie their allowance into chores? Heck no. It is their house too, they need to help take care of it. HOWEVER, if a chore does NOT get done, they pay me. It's like a rent sort of thing. Hasn't happened yet, but it will...Do your chores and we will be square!

Lunch and Dinner MUST consist of a meat/protein, veggie and fruit. Anything else is a bonus. If you don't like it...see the next rule.

You get what you get, and you don't have a fit. I am not a waitress, I do not make meals to order. I (more like Hubby, but still) make the meals, and I don't care if it takes you two hours you will eat it. If you don't want to eat, you go without. Plain and simple. When my kids were little, it was the same rule. You eat when we do, and eat what you are given. I do NOT give into picky eater, not even my friends kids get away with it when they are at my house. I also do not allow grazing. You eat with us or you don't at all.

Hubby and I are the BOSS. Anyone else that is over/around is NOT in charge, we are. You ask us, or the answer will be some lovely time away from anyone else. We give this reminder every time we go to a party or gathering, even to Hunter who is 12. We had an incident when Hunter was 5 that caused this rule to be put into place. At a family function (ok...our wedding reception) Hunter went somewhere with someone (who shall remain nameless) and didn't ask/tell us. We had some huge moments of panic because we couldn't find him. Now, they are not allowed to go anywhere at a gathering/party/reception etc...without talking to us first.

Your room is your room. Your brother/sister does NOT belong in your room...EVER. This is a privacy thing, and a comfort level thing. One does not go into the other's room. It is not allowed.

Hubby and I have the final say in wardrobe choices. Please see this post for general rules on that. **I must say that swim suits are a huge inner-debate for me. Boo does have a two piece, but also a one piece. She must wear the one piece in certain situations (swim lessons, pool parties etc) but when we are at the cabin or at our Friends pool she can wear her two piece. Don't stone me.

Those aren't to bad, and that isn't all of them by any means, but enough to show you that I do mean business.

We have expectations, and those will be the same no matter what kid it is. I don't find that changing what we want is the answer, children will adapt no matter what is going on. They are smart resilient creatures, ones that understand change a lot better then we give them credit for. Many of these rules we have had since Hunter was 3, and they work for us.

Plus, you have no idea how many compliments we get on how well behaved our children are. We had someone at IKEA say "I can't believe how well behaved your daughter is. It is amazing compared to many of the other children we see each day" (insert my beaming smile, and Boo's shy smile here). We work hard to have fun, lively children that also know how to act in public. My kids are often at work with me, and most of the time my Manager forgets they are here. They sit, read, watch movies or play on their DS. They don't run around like crazy people, and they don't yell. We go over the rules each time before they enter the building, as a refresher.

Boo was also voted the "Most Helpful" in the entire 1st grade last year, and "Most Kind to Everyone" (again...beaming pride smile). She is friends with anyone she meets, and that is a reflection on how we are doing. She can make friends everywhere, because we have taught from day one that everyone is equal, everyone deserves a chance. She made a friend in the Target bathroom last week...I kid you not. Even asked me if she could come over. lol

I have heard from many MANY people that we are too "hard" on our kids (I do the "bite me" face behind their backs...it's funny). We take plenty of time to LOVE on our kids. Boo is my favorite snuggle partner, and Hunter is still a great debate adversary. There isn't a moment of hugs, snuggles or debates that I would trade back. Our kids are spoiled in many ways, but not in the way most people would think.

Strict...maybe. But SO worth it.


AmyG said...

We follow a lot of the same rules. We don't follow the bedroom rule, because they have to share a room right now, but they know OUR room is off limits. And I get the same compliments, about how well behaved my kids are. I even had one woman compliment them on how well they behaved while I was on the phone. It's not always like that, but I'm glad it was noticed that day, because they were very good.

I like to see parents being parents & not the kids being the parent. ;o)

Katie said...

I don't think that you are strict by having those rules in your house. It just means that you're a great mom and you want your kids to be the best they can be. I want the same things for my kids---and yes, I am taking notes on your rules b/c they will be the same rules in our house pretty soon!! :)

Amelia Sprout said...

I wish everyone had those rules. We do nearly all of those. Some aren't age appropriate at 2 though. The one that gets me the most is food. You will eat healthy food that we do or you do not eat. I am not a cafe. Wish more parents did that.

Susan said...

I have about the same rules, too, except the bedroom one, as the 2 girls have to share theirs, although, I am working on a plan to let one of them have a spot of her own in another room someday when she is old enough (she's only 1). I wish, too, a lot of other parents wouldn't let their kids rule the roost-then they wonder why their kids get into trouble later on.

Megan (mommyesquire) said...

I am impressed! I'll have to keep these rules in mind as A grows older - especially the one about me being the boss!
I struggle with girl's clothing too. Some of the things are just too grown up for my little girl. I know that it will only get worse!

Julie From Inmates said...

I always say that people are either going to talk about how strict I am or how bratty my kids are, SO, I'd much rather them talk about me. I am one of the strictest parents I know, but, my kids know they are loved and admired. Not sure about the bedroom thing though, my boys love to play together in the other's room, usually tools and worker kind of stuff in Stevie's where the tool benches and tools are and usually cars and Thomas stuff in Alex's room where the "town road / train track rug" are.

Courtney said...

Three cheers for your rules! None seem overly harsh at all. In fact they all seem to make perfect sense. Enforcing rules, consistently, every day is, I imagine, one of the hardest parts about parenting. Kudos to you for doing such a great job and for sticking to your guns! It seems you are reaping the rewards - well behaved kids RULE! :)