As a Mom, there are things you find yourself doing time and time again, no matter what your experience tells you. I don’t know if it’s forgetfulness or the blind hope that THIS time, things will be different and your children will finally just get it. The “it” you are hoping they “get” varies, but it always ends up the same for you, and you realize that you are probably the one who needs to “get it.”
Here are some of the things you should have learned by now, and you won’t find any of them in parenting books.
-Don’t tell your kids that you are doing something or going anywhere until you are in the car ready to do or go. If you tell them ahead of time, that is ALL you will hear about from that moment until you do that thing or go to that place.
-Don’t have your kids “help” pack their bags before going on a trip unless that trip is to the dump to get rid of half of their toys…. because that is what they pack.
–Don’t ever say “maybe” when you really mean “no.” Sure, it gets the kids to stop asking you for things for a little while, and you hope that perhaps they’ll just forget about whatever it is they wanted. But they don’t. No, they don’t forget. Then they realize that your “maybe” was really a “no” but they clearly heard “Yes, yes! A thousand times yes!”
-Never, under any circumstance, laugh when your child says something inappropriate.
-Do not suggest an arts and crafts project unless you are ready and willing to assist. In other words, don’t suggest arts and crafts projects.
-Never let your kids see you packing snacks when you’re getting ready to go out for the day. If they see food, they will magically become “starving” as soon as you get in the car, no matter how much they just ate for breakfast.
-Don’t bribe your children with false prizes too often. They catch on pretty quickly.
-Don’t introduce information to your kids if you are not willing to answer the barrage of questions that it will trigger . For example, don’t say, “Look at that boat,” because then you will be bombarded with questions like, “Where is it going?” “How do boats float?” “Will the boat sink?” “Who is on it?” “Are they pirates?” “Are pirates real?” “Are pirates bad guys?” “What do pirates do?” And then a lot more questions about pirates.
I’m sure there are many more things I should have learned by now, and even more things I will “should have learned” in the future. It doesn’t really matter, though. I’ll keep doing them because one day, some day, my kids will just get it…. won’t they?