Parenting: Nothing is By Accident

Today is my daughter’s 18th Birthday. I am no longer the mother of minor children.

I can’t even express the love I feel for my children – it is too much to put into words.

My daughter is one of the most wonderful and amazing beings I have ever met. Part of me knows it was just because of her DNA and whatever star dust she has in her soul. And some of it is her dad and me.

As a parenting blogger, once more I’ll let you in on my parenting philosophy. Nothing is by accident. I parent deliberately. I parent positively. I parent with love.

First rule – and more or less only rule: Don’t just talk at your kids. Engage your children. Make it a two-way conversation.

If you have one of those pesky and annoying tots who asks, “WHY?” all the time, I know it is tempting to drop them off at Grandma’s house forever or feed them to Goblins, but turn it around and ask, “why do you think? Let’s figure this out.” Then again if it gets really bad tell the child to just cut it out.

We cut the tantrums out of our life early. It was never acceptable. Period. I put them on the couch and told them NEVER AGAIN. The only tantrums that should be in your home are Fritz and the Tantrums.

You can fill your kid’s head with visions of God and Hell. You can yell at them. You can threaten them. You can take stuff away. What worked with us? When there was bad behavior at our house, or stupid behavior we discussed the long term social impact of such behavior. If you act stupid everyone will think you’re stupid. If you do stupid things everyone will think badly of you FOREVER because a reputation is a hard thing to get back once you’ve lost it.

Reputation was a long and difficult talk, but as a parent, you have to do it.

Always keep the lines of communication open with your children. Don’t judge until you’ve listened to them. Also let them know that it is alright to speak up and speak the truth. Often children (more often than not) will tell adults what they think the adult wants to hear. You have to dig to get to the truth. If you keep the lines of communication open then kids will talk. Tell them that it is OK to tell the truth.

Spend time with your kids. That doesn’t mean somebody has to stay home full time. I know a lot of working parents who spend a lot more time, and better time, with their kids than a lot of stay at home parents. Don’t even get me started on this argument that can never be won by either side. It isn’t a contest. Every family is different so get over it.

Anyway, spend good quality time with your kids. Engage with them. Talk with them. Teach them things you love, and in turn let them teach YOU things.

Things to do with your children:

Dance

  • Sing
  • Read
  • Talk
  • Discuss
  • Explore
  • Discover
  • Hug
  • Love
  • Love
  • Love
  • Protect
  • Laugh (do this about a hundred times)
  • Be silly
  • Share
  • Listen
  • Love

How hard is that? Get out of your comfort zone. You’ll thank me for it later. Maybe even sooner than later.

And remember, this is for regular folks too – not just Vampires.

Wow. It has been a wonderful and amazing love filled adventure – and this isn’t the end of it. They might be grown but they’re still my babies – always.

xoxxoox

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Venting about parenting and giving it a score

We’re going to talk about MOM stuff today. You know, motherhood, children, babies, and all that kind of, dare I say, Mommy Blogger stuff.

Babies and Toddlers

First let’s all go way back to when our kids were babies. Some of you might even have babies, or will have babies in the future.

I saw a Pampers Diaper commercial recently that absolutely horrified me. Yes, and you’re right – not much horrifies a Vampire…but this did.

A small boy child toddler type is running in a full droopy diaper. Gross.

Then it shows a baby running in a Pampers Diaper. He isn’t all droopy butted. Yes his diaper is full of urine but he is happy. Gross and happy.

Alright, all of you moms out there, raise your hand if you would let your child walk around with half a gallon of pee in his pants because you know he was feeling dry and not drooping.

I want a diaper that keeps a child dry and does not leak. I don’t want to keep my child in that disgusting full diaper while the child happily plays – as the advertisement suggests.

I can’t even imagine leaving any child of mine in a diaper with pee, or heaven forbid, poop in it.

Dear Pampers Marketing Department,

A baby with a diaper full of pee is not cute. You are disgusting.

~ Juliette Kings aka Vampire Maman (parenting expert and internationally known parenting blogger)

Score: Pampers -10 for that one.

 

Nothing says GROW UP like being a PARENT

For parents of Middle School kids and Teens, please remember that YOUR bad behavior influences your kids. They see what you do and who you spend your time with, and I think you know where this is going.

I spent a lot of my youth in a total disaster zone, well not completely, but I made some bad choices. I am no longer making those choices. I am a parent. I am an adult. I have children.

Having a child, no matter your age, you financial circumstances, you education, or your paranormal affiliation, makes you an adult. If you have a child you are an adult, so act like one.

I don’t need to explain the party till you drop behavior, or hanging out with your stoner friends that go way back to high school, or being stupid, or bringing home man after man, or marrying some girl young enough to be your daughter, or doing all sorts of stupid selfish things. If you have children they come first. That is what adults do. Period.

It is your job to teach your children to be responsible adults one day. It is your responsibility to make sure you children are more successful and better adjusted than you ever were. It is your responsibility to make sure your children don’t make half the mistakes you do. Sure they’ll make mistakes, but don’t teach then by example how to do it. For God’s sake be a good example.

Score: Adults 10, Acting Like Kids -10

 

Helicopters Do Not Belong Around Your Kids. They’ll Get Caught in The Blades.

I’m joined to the hip with my kids. We’re close. We’re scary close. BUT I am the parent. And like I’ve said, my job is to prepare my children for adulthood. That does not mean calling the school all the time and micromanaging my high school and college aged children. They need to learn to work out problems on their own.

Parenting is like war. You only bring out the big guns when things are serious. Otherwise be peaceful. Let your kids learn how to figure out their problems.

Your job is to talk to them and help them figure it out. Don’t always just throw advice out – spend time listening to them. Then give them the tools THEY need to take care of the problems. Your job is to drive them to the hospital if they get hurt. Your job is to give out hugs. Your job is to teach them to be adults and solve their own problems.

Yes, if there is a major problem like horrible bullies, sexual predators, violence, bigotry, and other vile matters, by all means be the total wolf mother and step in. But for the everyday crap, stand back and let your kid handle it. Be there for back-up. Be the pit crew. Be the coach.

And whatever you do, don’t be that parent who stands up at school meetings and asks questions just to show everyone how brilliant YOU think YOUR CHILD is. It is so unflattering and does a disservice to your child.

And never go up to the high school office and yell about stupid small stuff because every single teacher and kid in the school will hear about it.

Remember, none of us exists at the center of the universe, especially you and your child.

Score: Rational Parents 10, Helicopter Parents 3.5

 

Conclusion

In the meantime teach your kids not to be an old judgmental, grumpy, obnoxious, and worked up Vampires like me.

I’m working as a polling clerk in tomorrow’s election so I’ll be back on Wednesday. If you’re in a voting state on June 7 make sure you vote (and vote often HA HA HA). But seriously vote, and the nice people at your polling place will give you a sticker. I bet they’ll give your kid a sticker too.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman