15 June 2010

A Little Help from a Friend...

     Most of my blogging friends are NOT my age or stage in life.  Most are younger because they came up with the computer as a household fixture, much as the color TV set and rotary dial phone were for me.  Here is a little something to tuck away for the future.  It may be useless, but it is all I have and if I can give someone else a boost into the lifeboat, that is what I would do.
     My girls have been growing up and going through the pains of being taller than your mom, but still not having the intellect of a baby chick an adult.  An IRL friend has been in the same stage and asked me if I knew anything...  Not one to pass up an opportunity to air my mind on a subject, I don't know if I know anything, but I responded anyway.


     Sorry to take so long to respond, I wasn't quite sure what to say. It has been such a long time and the children have grown so much since we have spent time together.
     For our girls, the loss of a privilege is a big deal. With privilege comes responsibility. The more responsible you are; the more privileges you will have. Americans are very privileged...
  • Take away TV-- yes, I said it. The lesson. Sometimes your behavior affects others(talk about some peace and quiet). 
  • Early bedtime. She might like this one... some doctors believe that sleep deprivation is a major contributor to the behavior problems that are more prevalent among children today. Don't tell her this, just send her to bed(maybe everybody).
  • Remove sugar from the house. 
  • Take away phone, iPod, video games, computer, or social events like ball games, dances, and regularly scheduled hanging out. My girls are really starting to get the picture that if the chores are not done, the bus will not depart. You can do this for a day or a week. It isn't forever, so there is no drama.
  • Sent to room. Message? Your behavior shows you cannot handle life in this big wide world with other people, so you can spend time in this tiny world until you decide you can live by the rules in the real world.  When you can do that, join us. One of mine stayed in there a REALLY long time to see if I would give in and because she really likes being the boss of her own world. She peaced out; we all won.
There are some great books...
 These are only helpful as guides, because my responsibility is to know and understand what works with my girls. What is going to reach one child's heart may not be the same thing that will reach another's.
      Love and consistency are key.  Sometimes all they want is for you to not be affected by their drama. Sometimes I just look at my girls and tell them "this is what you need; like it or don't. But this is not a popularity contest. It is simply going to be done this way."
     Remember they are exhausted just from the rapid growth and development... faster than in infancy. They don't know why they do what they do either. They need rest and good food. I guess you know...people this age can eat. Be sure that they have a balance.
     You may want to start scheduling one on one time with her doing something just girls. Ditch the dudes with someone responsible and go window shopping(mine got all snitty about Goodwill, and that lasted about 3 seconds with me. They are enthusiastic consignment shoppers now.) We have also started getting our hair done at the beauty college. It is so inexpensive both the girls can get shampooed and flat ironed and I can get a shampoo cut and style for $35.  Sometimes, it is fun for them just to do a activity with me like cooking dinner or running to the post office.
     Predictable schedule and consistency bring peace. When we are less consistent and when there is no schedule is when behavior and attitude tend to break down. Keep them busy with something productive.  
     YOU control the tv and movie subject matter(If all the other moms are jumping off the roof does that mean you have to, too?) If they are seeing a lot of craziness, it will come out in a need for you to stand and protect them. Get a filter on the computer if you don't have one.
     Remember. It is less about today's comfort. More about them having a successful life. Some inconvenience for me today will bear fruit for my kids tomorrow. The girls tend to act like EVERY SINGLE THING is the end of the world. It is hard to remember not to get caught up in this "ignorificance". This is not the easiest age, but it is a great opportunity to grow up a woman who can think accurately about herself.

Share the wisdom...  Mom Tip Tuesday...


  1. Love your new header!

    Those are some really practical tips too. Spending time with our children and building relationships is the best discipline. And you're so right: as parents, we are in charge. It's good to remember that!

  2. Thanks!!! The pic is getting a lot of love!!! Once you're outnumbered by people with opinions, it is easy to let the tide of public opinion obscure the truth.

  3. Thanks for the tips. Heaven know I could use a few right now.

  4. I like the title of the book "Have a New Kid by Friday" told my hubby I need to read it, but I thought it is illegal to get new kids that fast!

    Love your tips

  5. I am not a mom yet but this is great advice!:) My parents were pretty strict with me growing up and I definitely agree with you that some inconvenience for me back then made me the person I am today!

  6. Great stuff - really. I have a 26 yr. old son, a 23 yr. old daughter and a 12 yr. old daughter - how much fun do you think my days are? Thanks for visiting and nice to "meet" you.

  7. Great advice, Maggie! I find that taking away privaledges works really well with my older two. Sitting on the step is a great incentive for my younger two. My one in the middle - I am still trying to figure out!!

  8. I am through with this stage of my children's lives, but I do agree with you on these. Great advice.

  9. Added bonus, if you are doing all of those things from the womb, they work even better! I sent my boys to their rooms to cry the moment they came home from the hospital. Kidding! But, at this age, all three of them suffer some version of the consequences you entailed when they make bad choices. They know what to expect now so, hopefully, when they are teens they won't be so surprised when I take their door off to demonstrate that their lack of responsibility leads to decrease in privacy and other crap they might want to have.


What's on your mind? Willing to share?