Parenting Advice I Do Not And Will Not Follow

9.03.2018

A child! On a boat! Without a life jacket! CALL THE AUTHORITIES! 

Well meaning people always like to give parenting advice. The most well meaning ones are usually those who don't have any children. Thems the ones I like to refer to as "shut the f*#k uppers."

Still, even those with fifteen kids want to tell you how to raise yours. As if they would know. I'd like to walk up to one of thems and say, "quick, tell me the names of all your kids, first and middle, hurry hurry you only have 60 seconds!" Yeah take that Mrs. Dugger.

Anyway, what I'm basically saying is just about everyone has some kind of parenting advice they want to dole out. Young, old, left, right, Earth-dwelling or space alien. Everyone's got a dang opinion!

And now, ahem, I'm going to dispense mine.

Or rather, I'm going to rebut some of the most God-awful, nonsensical, incredibly laughable "parenting advice" I've ever heard in my life.

- The viral Facebook post making the rounds telling all mothers alike that "Yelling Is Not An Effective Means of Parenting." There are more than a few of these types of articles, but all essentially say the same thing, which is that yelling is ineffective and potentially harmful to your childs wittle psychy and it's much more effective to get down on their level, and in a soft and respectful manner let them know what the issue is.

Let them know what the issue is!?!?! I'VE BEEN YELLING AT THEM FOR THE PAST TWO HOURS TELLING THEM WHAT THE ISSUE IS! THAT'S WHY I'M YELLING! BECAUSE THEY AREN'T GETTING IT!

Listen. I've tried the "get down on their level and talk quietly in a polite manner" gig, and coming from a mom of two boys, it don't work. It don't even almost work. I've had more luck with running my garbage can to the opposite side of the road in the morning when I forgot to put it out the night before, in hopes that the garbage man would pick it up on his way back down the street. Half the time, he passes right on by with an "ain't my stop chump be more prepared next month" but sometimes when he's having a particularly good day he stops and empties the trash. THAT RIGHT THERE gives me more hope for humanity than "getting down on my childs level and patiently explaining to him why whacking his brother in the face with a snow shovel" is a bad idea.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!

Not only that, but have you ever been blantanly ignored? Imagine you are standing in the middle of a packed grocery store, and have a very pressing question...like, where to find the chickpeas. Imagine asking in a quiet and respectful voice to every person that walks by where you can find the chickpeas. Now imagine that every single person you ask not only ignores you completely, but acts like you don't even exist. They don't even give you a courteous glance in your general direction before they ignore you.

THAT is what "getting down on their level and talking in a quiet and polite manner" is like as a parent.

Another popular article discouraged the yelling method by stating that "yelling at your kids triggers a fight-or-flight response in their brain."

Shoot I sure hope so! I ain't yelling at him to come and get some freshly baked cookies, I'm yelling at him to STOP STAPLING YOUR BROTHERS EYEBROWS TOGETHER! When I'm THAT angry, he best be running in the direction opposite, far far away from my wrath, leaving behind hundreds of unused staples in his wake.

The ones who say "yelling is ineffective! Don't yell at your kids! It's unkind!" and such forth rubbish should have to come over and babysit mine for two hours. You'll be singing a different tune, let me tell you what.

Yelling serves many purposes, the least of which is that it makes me instantly feel better. And I'm hard pressed to feel like I'm alone in this thinking.

Mothers unite.

- Just say no to screen time in cars. I'm pretty new to this advice, although it's been more and more frequently unsolicitedly given in my direction. Why? No clue. I assume because it's unsolicited parenting advice and that's just what people like to do, nonetheless, it's come up quite a few times recently.

Now, I've made no secret of the fact that I think severely limited screen time is what is best for kids (see, there I go, giving my unsolicited parenting advice out again) but I truly believe it's so (and many, many, many studies prove it's true), but we aren't talking about screen time in general, no no, we are here to discuss screen time in moving vehicles. Aka cars, which is something most of us parents have to operate quite frequently in order to transport our children to their much needed destinations.

Which brings me to a subject so painful to bring up I almost want to bypass it completely but in the spirit of #motherhood, I must press on.

Here it is...

Car fighting.

There is nothing, let me repeat NOTHING more aggravating on this earth than car fighting. This is when you are in a confined space — and strapped in no less! — with your children and they are fighting and yelling. You can't very well turn around and give them the appropriate substantial punishment, because you are driving and need to keep your eyes on the road (although I will admit I've been tempted a time or two during the worst of the car fighting to just drive my car straight off a cliff) but you do need to do something — anything! in order to keep your sanity. I've probably done irreparable damage to my car a time or two from shoving the lever into brake mode while going 40 MPH, just so I can properly turn around in my seat and YELL AT THEM TO STOP FIGHTING!

This is where the uninvited, undesired parenting advice comes in. "Don't have your kids watch movies in the car, it's bad enough that they spend too much time on electronics at home. Spend that precious time you have with them talking to them, getting to know them and understanding their deepest utmost feelings and desires."

Fellow moms, all at once now...HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

ha. good one.

What those that don't know, don't know...is that all kids in a car, left to their own devices, will ultimately try and have a ninja competition. Don't matter that they are strapped in with seatbelts and don't matter that they have a peripheral area of two feet by two feet...it does.not.matter.

They will continue to kick and hit and throw — don't leave out kicking the back of your chair violently — until you either a) skid like the 2005 Ice Capades Olympics onto the shoulder of the highway and do something you might highly regret or b) calmly and assuredly pop in a Pixar animation DVD and let them veg out to mind-numbing nothingness while you continue on living and breathing a not-wanting-to-drive-off-a-cliff civilized life.

Car fighting. I'm telling you what, will be the death of us mothers. But screen time in cars just might give us a few extra lifelines, and I'll gladly take 'em.

- Don't fight with your spouse in front of your kids. Thems say if you fight in front of your children, they will become scarred for life and will grow up and live tortured soulless lives. I say mind your own and come speak to me when you and your significant other are perfect specimens.

But in all honestly, what reasonably in love couple never fight in front of their children?! If a couple never fights in front of their children, are they even a couple? A human? Alive?! I understand and completely agree that throwing dishes at each other in the midst of an argument isn't ideal in raising well balanced children, but come on...a little brawl here and there won't damage them for life, it might even help them see how two people in love can have a disagreement, make up and get on with life.

It can even help in serving them a few life lessons, such as if he asks me where his dinner is as I'm simultaneously attempting to pull it out of the oven, he will hear my unpolished and vulgar opinion of exactly where his current dinner is. Momma may be sweet but she ain't no patsy, and my kids need to see that side of me.

We can't all save our fights for private time because if all we did in our private time was fight, children would cease to exist.

So yes, my husband and I occasionally fight in front of our children. I mean, they fight in front of us all the time, so it only seems fair.

- Don't spank your kids, it's abusive. I'm not even going to give an opinion on this one, because I couldn't care less either way. The only reason I don't spank my kids is because it hurts my hand more than it hurts their butt.

Besides, as we have already established, I prefer yelling.

3 comments:

  1. Love! Don’t get me started on the car rides. Sorry, but if I’m traveling eight hours in a car with my 11 and 5 year old boys, they can have whatever damn screen they want. I love them, but conversation runs out real quick on those journeys. Also with the no arguing in front of the kids....stop. Now clearly I’m not going to physically abuse my significant other in front of my children (lmao or in private), but it’s NORMAL for people to disagree. And it’s even more NORMAL for spouses to disagree. If we aren’t teaching them that it’s OK to disagree with those we love and how to respectfully resolve the argument, how else are they going to learn?

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  2. Girl! My daughter is the loudest human on the planet. The only way I can get her to shutty for even a minute in the car is to put on a movie. My one criteria when we bought our car was "must have a tv". I don't care about cup holders or interior. Is there a TV? Yes? Sold!
    My recent favorite was "You shouldn't let your daughter wear her boots with shorts. You know where that will lead." ........Yes, because all children who wear boots with shorts end up on the pole? People can be the worst sometimes.

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