Now that N and I are a only a few months away from being new parents we’ve been thinking and talking lots about parenting as I am sure most first time parents-to-be do. We’re trying to figure out how we’ll make it all work, what we hope to do or not do and we are really tuned in to observing the way others are doing things.
Just the other day we were having breakfast at IHOP and there was this huge party of what seemed like a family gathering of sorts. There were small children, parents, grandparents and all… We are talking about 12 people all sitting together.
There was this small boy who got pretty fussy when placed in the high chair once they arrived. His mom was clearly annoyed and overwhelmed with him and she gave him things to play with, he was also sitting right next to another small child, a girl who was not fussy.
The little boy cried and threw his crayons and paper to the floor and proceeded to make a fuss. His mom scolded him, shushed him and even lightly smacked him on the arm in an attempt to stop the crying and fussing.
This went on for quite some time, mom even took the little boys high chair and faced it away from everyone sort of “timeout style” thinking this might quiet him. Both mom and dad took turns dragging said boy in to the bathroom where he no doubtidly got smacked or yelled at in private. Each time the boy returned to the high chair he continued to fuss and cry, mom repeated the above techniques over and over with no result.
The boy cried through our entire meal and nobody in the family other than mom and dad paid him any attention. Mom and dad were only providing negative attention and eventually an IHOP server came out with some to go cups and a trinket that she placed under the to go cups. She played with him and he quieted right down!
The whole situation was just another thing for us to observe and learn from as soon to be parents. We’ve gotten lots of ideas about what to do and what not to do thanks to being able to learn from other parents and I wanted to take this a step further. I want to know what your take is on the following things and why they do or do not work:
- Young children in public. Do you take yours out and do they behave the way you want them to? How do you avoid bad outing experiences and also allow the child to be a child while still enjoying yourself?
- Electronics and parenting. Do you allow children to have a TV, computer, video game system, etc in their room? Do you limit the time spent on electronics, why or why not? How do you know your little ones aren’t being exposed to the wrong stuff via the electronics?
- Dinnertime. How is dinner time done in your house and why? Do you make sitting down for family meals a priority or does everyone eat at different times, why or why not?
- Parents time with kids. Do you and your spouse/ partner share equal time with the children or does one parent do more than the other, do you think this is important? Do you worry about children not bonding enough with one parent, if so how do you remedy this?
- Good cop/ bad cop. Does one parent get to be the good cop all the time or is disciplining done equally by both? Do you worry that this impacts one parents relationship with the child?
- Housekeeping vs. Quality time. Are you concerned about making sure your child lives in and is exposed to a clean orderly house? Or, are you more concerned about spending quality time with the kiddos even if the dirty dishes pile up and the pet hair covers the floor?
Also, if you have some advise on something I haven’t brought up yet share that too! I am in an advice getting mood.