We are all destined to parent pretty much the same way we were parented. It's unavoidable- admit it. I mean, although we may try not to sound like our parents, we inevitable end up doing just that. I have come to grips with this fact in my own life. I know that when my son is misbehaving, I will inadvertantly snap my fingers and point- classic "my mom" move. My brother and sister and I used to make fun of my mom by doing just that. I know my son will eventually do the exact same thing. Sorry, kid.
Another thing I never tried consciously to do, but have ended up doing quite frequently, is counting to 3. I give my son until the count of 3 to do something when I've lost my patience with him. (this usually comes after the snapping and pointing, which isn't always effective). If I get to number 3, he knows he is in big trouble, and will end up losing video games, or friends, or something cherished. I find counting to 3 works really well. I did try just skipping one and two all together once, but it really didn't turn up good results, so I stick with the old reliable formula.
Well, now that my little guy is getting older and smarter- (I wouldn't say wiser, because it isn't wise to push your mom's buttons when you are misbehaving)- he is finding out that some rules could be bent if we let them. The counting to three rule, for example. We went to a concert last night to hear my husband sing in a choir. I warned my son to be on his BEST behavior. The first song he was very fidgety, and wanting to whisper to me throughout. I told him repeatedly not to whisper during the song, but he was having trouble obeying. Finally, since I couldn't snap, I went directly to the finger pointing and began holding up one finger, then two, and as the third finger was coming up he finally caught on that I was counting silently. He suddenly got a very panicked look on his face and whispered to me:
"Mom, can't we just make it 4 this time?"
I never in my wildest dreams ever even thought of asking my mom to make it 4! That would have given me one whole other number before I had to stop what I was doing and obey! Gee, my kid is so smart! But, alas, the rule is:
"The number thou shalt count to is 3. Thou shalt begin with 1 and then move upword to 2, wherein thou shalt pause for a brief second to give said child time to realize his impending doom. Then, thou shalt count up to 3. If you go on to 4, you have gone too far. 3 is the number."
He'll catch on someday. I wonder how many other freaky things he'll pick up from his parents. Hmmmmm.....
4 days ago