Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How to Raise a Sith in Ten Easy Steps....

  Having been asked a number of times by kids and adults alike, how my daughter and I have such a great relationship, I have decided to write down my top ten parenting tips:

10. Respect: Treat them and their friends with respect. It TEACHES a lot and returns TONS.  I always treat/ treated her friends as My guests when they were at my home or out with us, and never like some space intruding imposition.

9.  Learn to say "I'm wrong", "I'm sorry"and "I shouldn't have done that."  by you saying and admitting when you "LOSE IT", you give your child the empowerment to admit when they fall short. 

8.  Always answer their questions. "Go look it up" isn't a good answer.  "Lets go look it up" is, if you don't know.  If they are old enough to ask, they are old enough for an answer on their level.  Never tell a child that they aren't old enough to know "that" or that they wouldn't "understand". You are belittling them and undermining learning.   i.e. Your 3yr old asks how a light bulb works.  You aren't going to give her an Electrical Engineer's definition of electrical transference.   "There are some wires inside the bulb, and when the electricity runs through them (when you turn on the light switch) they glow".  Easy Peasy

7. NEVER EVER EVER EVER purposely humiliate or embarrass your child in public.  Now if they are out of line and treating you like a piece of crap (in public or wherever), make that stop. But name calling, making little boys wear dresses as a punishment, or other socially damning tactics are not acceptable.  Being punished, losing privileges, things, etc. are sometimes necessary, but humiliation never is.

6.  Remember that in as much as it is important to be Consistent in Parenting, it is important to be flexible.  They don't come with manuals.  Thank goodness. So when you have been driving the wrong way for the past 5 years and you get an epiphany, you can totally change course.

5.  Give them responsibility.  Ownership is the key to success, good grades and productivity.  When you stop punishing them for disappointing you (this is their perspective) and start allowing them to have ownership of the responsibility, they will work harder because 1) truly disappointing you is worse than any punishment and 2) it becomes all about them and they work harder.

4.  Always be available, but always let them "try it" without mommy wheels, too.  Always be open to whatever they need to talk to you about.  No matter how embarrassing or trivial.  It is somehow important to them.  Good communication keeps you in the loop when you really need to be or when they really need you and might otherwise be too afraid or ostracized to speak to you.

3. Listen to them.  Being the mom who listens to their incessant 3yr old ramble, turns you into the mom who hears 1) ALL  the drama, when they are older and 2) the contents of their heart and soul as they grow.  You will be their primary counselor.  It is a blessing to be the one they trust to confide in.

2.  Laugh.  Laughter and games and enjoying time together is priceless. 

1. Love.  Love is the primary key.   Love your babies. They will always be your babies, no matter how old they get.   And everyone can use a big ole Mama hug, every once in a while.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


If you are at all a "Designing Women's" fan, you will have seen, and remembered the classic, RAY DON scene where she tears the creep a new one... I have new tears to rent. 

Dear Ray Don:
     As shocking as it may be for you to realize; we brainless, witless, directionless females- who you seem to feel need your direction, guidance, criticism and assistance- manage to EVERYDAY, get ourselves to our jobs, pay our bills, service our autos, raise our children, manage contracts, assist our aging parents, and make other life changing and amazing decisions each and every day without a GLIMMER of your input.
   You like us, Ray Don, for our weaknesses. And you hone in on those in an effort to break us down. You befriend us. You are charming. Kind. Even complimentary and indulgent in your esteem building comments. And then you strike.  Because you want control.
  You, Ray Don, are the problem and not the solution. Bully for the woman who has built herself up enough to meet each and everyday with confidence in spite of the demons her walls keep out. You are a canker, Ray Don, in your sticky sweet infiltration of the walls; in your efforts to dominate and make her let go. And you don't get it Ray Don, in more ways than the vernacular.
  Giving in, to her confidence of control, is the key to her letting go.   Only then will she feel safe, and trust enough to open the the gate, and let down the drawbridge.
  But you won't ever, ever get that Ray Don.   And maybe, that is a very, very good thing.

-JSB, jr.