parenting pregnancy

Thoughts on parenting… Dos, don'ts and inbetween…

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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. 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?
  4. 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?
  5. 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?
  6. 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.

<p>A city girl turned farmer. Yes women do farm ;) Owner and operator of direct to consumer, Ryder Family Farm in Southern Illinois.<br /> Wearing many hats I'm also a mother to 3, a wife, a yogi, a farmer, a 4-H & Girl Scout leader & hospitality manager.</p>

0 thoughts on “Thoughts on parenting… Dos, don'ts and inbetween…

  1. 1. Yes. They’ll never learn acceptable behavior in an environment they are not exposed to. Find your routine, learning when your child is at his/her best, and go during those times. Right after meal, maybe right after nap? Kiddos differ. Hugs and distraction go a LONG way in public, much further than scolding. Always have an extra pacifier, and toy. Always. Bring one for you too!
    2. My boy isn’t allowed to have electronics in his room…how else can I play with him if we’re in different rooms? He must always follow the routine, ie No Xbox unless homework is done. No Xbox while eating. “How can you play Xbox if you haven’t taken your bath yet? I can’t play either, not until I…”
    3. Meals together, at the same time of day. Routine, routine, routine. If they know what to expect, life is good.
    4. Any parent (fathers, I’m looking at you) that cheat themselves out of even changing diapers, is doing just that…cheating themselves. Changing a diaper IS the perfect time to show your kiddo you CAN take care of them, and all without losing your cool…while they keep their cool. Take your time, it’s not a race. Tickle those toes!
    5. I say never let one parent be the heavy. That’s not fair to anyone. Be fair with any type of consequence, and always follow through. If you say no TV for 3 months, you better stick to it (but it’s more affective if you pick a punishment that fits the crime…and then stick to it).
    6. To me, when my child, or your child, or a co-worker’s child is in the room…they are WAY more important (and more fun)(and more interesting) than dishes (or the adults for that matter). There are always limitations, things have to get done, but include your child. Bring them with you where you can talk to them while your hands are in the suds.
    7. Bonus! Give your child heads-up alerts about transitions. Say Jr. is totally engrossed in the DVD, but you know in 40 minutes you’re going to have to stop the movie and go to grandma’s. Pause the movie right there and tell him, “We don’t have to stop NOW, but we won’t have time to finish the movie. You can watch for 20 more minutes.” By letting him know, it’s not a SHOCK when it’s time to leave. You give him a cushion of time and you include him in what’s going on. Why 20 and not 40? You have to take the time to turn it all off, put on shoes, stop at the potty, start the van, get that extra toy (and yours too!) etc…

  2. Yes! I found the transitions heads up was a winner too.
    Natural consequences are just matter of fact. “Oh, you spilled the juice. This is what we do when there is a spill.”
    Outings with children should always include snacks and liquid, and too much stimulation will overwhelm them.

  3. As Mr. Bloggerific Himself’s cousin… I have to agree with everything he has said.

    To my children’s friends that are starting new families of their own, I repeat over and over and over… “!!consistency!!”.

    THINK before YOU speak, you don’t want ‘do over’s’ in that area, you don’t want them to expect ‘do over’s’. It makes things much easier on you down the line.

    There is nothing more annoying to me personally then to listen to a mother/father repeat what they are ‘going’ to do over and over and over and never do anything trying to get a child to quit/do whatever. (most of the time it seems to me that the kid is fine and the parents just like hearing themselves) The parent is WAY more annoying than the child. (I did have to pick my child up and leave a store… funny story and thankfully it only happened once)

    Try to make it all fun! Kids, are SO fun. Every single phase, grow as a parent as they grow. Meaning, keep it on their level. You can’t expect them to act like adults… but you can remember being a kid!

    Also… don’t think you can do this without having mishaps along the way. I still tell my grown children “I’m not perfect, I will make mistakes too”.

    AND… just that your actually THINKING about this, tells me that your WAY ahead of the game (and most of the regular population)!

    Take a breath! Its good for ya.

  4. Thankyou for visiting my blog…am new to blogging!

    Your blog is so simple and easy to read, lovely colours!

    I might not be able to help much, have a 6 year old stepson and a bubby coming in 14 weeks!!!

    1. Young Children in public – Jordon I usually tell twice or 3 times before threatening to go and sit in the car or even take him home. I dont usually bribe him unless it is something he knows he is already getting, which I will take away if he doesnt behave. I try to encourage him to be a ‘good boy’ and sometimes quietly compare him to other children around the place who may be well behaved or very naughty.

    2. Electronics and parenting – Jordon has a tv in his room and is not allowed to use the computer at all. At night he sits with us to watch tv or sits in his room to watch a dvd on his tv. He is not allowed to turn it on himself, but he has no problems with this.

    3. Dinnertime – We have Jordon every second weekend so dinnertimes arent usually set on weekends and we usually have takeaway on one day for a treat. During weekdays Nath and I sit down to dinner whenever he gets home and its cooked and depends on which one of us cooks it. We eat at the table or on the couch and baby will fit into this routine, sometimes a quick tea is easier to eat on the couch than setting the table.

    4. Parents time with kids – always equal, always in the car together and going somewhere together with Jordon. Nearly always at home together too. When baby comes I plan to have ‘family time’ ont he weekends Jordon comes and go out somewhere on one of the days together.

    5. Good Cop/Bad Cop – With baby it will be equal but with Jordon we are equal amounts of verbal discipline or encouragement but I leave the harsher discipline to Nath as I dont feel I have the right with a stepson.

    6. Housekkeping/Quality time – Not sure yet!!!!

  5. That Mr. Bloggerific Himself is very very smart! I agree with all that was said but will add that as far as chores go…. they will wait. Your child will grow way too fast! But making a game out of the chores will get them done and you will get to spend time with her and teach her skills at the same time. I am one, though, that if there is something I can do with the kids, the chores will just have to wait or go undone for that day.

    maiden53s last blog post..Valentines and Scottsdale

  6. Positive re-enforcement goes along way. I used to constantly praise her for her good behaviour in public, and when she did act up, I would remind her of how much fun we had when she wasn’t acting up/acting out. At the same time, every child is different. I had a friend with a daughter that LOVED car rides, and shopping. Mine, on the other hand, hated both, from the time she was a baby she hated being restrained in car seats/strollers/shopping carts.

    We couldn’t afford an extra tv for her room back then, but if it was now, it wouldn’t bother me unless she holed herself up in there to much. I sat through so many Disney movies that I remember at the time wishing she had another room to watch them in,, lol.

    Dinner time, always together at the table, and as soon as she was old enough she took part in setting the table etc. She used to get very creative with the napkins,, haha, then get upset when you unfolded it.

    Parenting time didnt really come into it for me, as I was a single parent by the time she was two, but in a perfect world, I think time together, and special mommy and special daddy time are equally important.

    Good cop/Bad cop, sometimes personallity and jobs can dictate this, but I don’t like to see it when it happens. Then again, within the family dynamics, sometimes it can work.

    Housekeeping can wait! (of course, I still think that without my daughter living here,,lmao)

    Mr. Bloggerific brought up a great point about giving them time warnings, this applies to bedtime, school etc. Consistancy is so important, as is routine. That makes the suprises so much more appreciated I think. That extra half hour on a special night to stay up and finish a movie, or finish your picture your drawing, etc.

    Just my thoughts anywoooo….

    Loris last blog post..A design in the making

  7. I agree with everything said above — you have great commenters!

    So, I’ll just get a bit more specific on a few issues:

    Discipline – depends on the age, of course, but the main thing for the child to understand is that Mommy and Daddy are on the same page and will always back each other up. If you have disagreements about appropriate punishments/rewards, resolve them when the child is napping.

    Mealtime – Of course it’s preferable to have sit-down meals with the entire family, but it’s not going to be possible every day for every meal like it used to be. Make an effort do it whenever possible but don’t guilt yourself when it doesn’t happen.

    Public outings – infants are fairly easy unless you’re breastfeeding, then the timing becomes far more important. I don’t have a problem with breastfeeding in public, but it can’t be as comfortable and comforting for either mother or baby as it is at home in private where much cooing and bonding can take place.

    Public outings – crawlers and toddlers get more interesting and timing becomes even more important. Try never to schedule an outing that interferes with a regular nap. You’ll find most doctor appointments are scheduled during this time 🙂

    Electronics, TV, computers, etc. – age appropriate, of course but never used as merely pacifiers (unless on long car trips where portable CDs can be a lifesaver, but they work better that way if they are also a treat.)

    Being old-fashioned, I don’t see a need for a TV in anyone’s bedroom, but definitely not a child. You want to train your children to go to bed and go to sleep!

    Computers are a whole different ball ‘o wax. You want your children to able to use them and there are great games out there for toddlers. Also, online conversations with faraway grandparents are a treat for everybody.

    I’d be much more likely to allow a child to have a computer in their room than a TV.

    Housekeeping – Basically, clean enough it won’t make you sick and uncluttered enough you can walk safely through it without turning all the lights on. You’ll find your comfort level. I don’t see you saying no to a hug, a kiss, or some other kind of wonderful moment because you’re dusting or something.

    Last, but not least — When you see a stranger’s child misbehaving in public, don’t even think, much less say aloud, that your child will never do that. Because they will. It’s like tempting fate or something.

    Donna B.s last blog post..In Promotion And Defense Of The Arts

  8. 1. 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?

    We do take our boys out with us, but this is some thing that we just started doing. Liam gets over stimulated very easily. So we have to make sure we have his “Baby” (his blanket) and we go either before rush time or after, that way its not to loud.
    If either of the boys starts to act up, C or I will take that kid outside a walk around for a few minutes to get them to calm down. If things get really bad one of us will take them to the car while the other one boxes food up and pays. We dont think that our kids should make others annoyed when we are out eating. I mean they are paying for their food too. But we always bring a toy, and I always have a Dumdum in my purse! Those things make all fussy kids happy! We dont do time outs when were out eating or in public. It makes not sense to me to do so.

    1. 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?

    The boys do have a TV in their room. They get to watch 15mins of a movie at night to help them snuggle down into bed. All our gaming systems are in the living room. When the time come for them to play on the computer, it will be in a room where we can see what they’re doing. Aidan is into playing games on but I have to help him with it, so I can see whats going on.

    1. 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?

    We try to eat as a family as much as possible. But sometimes C doesnt get home till after 8pm, on those days I make dinner and eat with them and set C a plate in the fridge. Its important to me that we eat together. I can see how much they have eaten that way, plus we get to sit a talk about anything and everything! Its just a nice feeling to come together at the end of the day as a family!

    1. 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?

    Well, seeing that C is the bread winner in our family, he works 2 jobs. A 40+hr job at Wells Fargo and then he drives Limos on the weekends, I do most of the parenting. To us it about how you spend the time out have with the kids, not how much time you spend with them. C makes sure they get lots of snuggles everyday. He plays and reads to them. We I do more of the day to day stuff with them.

    1. 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?
    We do this equally as we can. Seeing that Im home more, I do a lot of the disciplining. But if its been a rough day, C will come home and talk with them about whats happened and whats you have to do to be “good”. You find the balance in time with that kind of stuff.

    1. 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?
    Well, Im OCD, sooo I have to have a clean house. lol. The toys get all over the place during the day. I let that slid. Its when the cat litter is all over the floor, dishes are in the sink, laundry is pilled high, dusting needs to get done and the floors need to be cleaned. The great thing about little kids is that they love to help! So its kind of a learning experience for them! Yes my house is clean, but I play with the kids for a while, then dust, play, fold laundry, play, vacuums, play unload dishwasher. You find your own grove with how you like your house once your baby is here. I cant stand waking up with two hungry little boys and a messy house. That alone will make my day bad and send me into a panic attack. Not a good thing when your husband cant come home to take care of the kids while you go to the doc for a chill pill. Now I just have a bottle of them for when I have days like that! lol

  9. I have not had any children yet. But I can found some nice parenting thoughts here. I’m sure this will be very useful for me and my husband in the future.

  10. It’s great that you’re thinking about this now. Be aware that the reality of parenting will cause you to make changes to what you plan now, but even so it’s good to talk about it in advance.

    1. My kids aren’t perfect at home, but when we take them out they are angels. They’ve never thrown tantrums or anything. I’m not sure why, if they’re just naturally good or if I’m doing something right. It’s strange though, when we’re at home I have a hard time with their table manners, but in a restaurant they are just perfect. If they did misbehave I would probably just pick them up and leave immediately. Such behavior should not be rewarded.

    2. We don’t watch TV at all. My kids have a TV/DVD player in their room for videos, but it is mounted high up on the wall, so they can only watch something if we turn it on for them. They spend maybe 2 hours a week watching videos. Since we homeschool, the computer is an important tool. Max (5) spends an hour every day doing his lessons on the computer, Jessamine maybe half an hour every other day or so.

    3. We always eat dinner together. Sometimes Brad tries to get me to bring him his dinner at the computer, but I insist he comes to the table. Last night I had a terrible headache and really just wanted to stay in bed, but I went down to the table nonetheless. I think this is an important time, not just for togetherness and conversation, but for discipline and routine.

    4. I definitely spend more time with the kids, but Brad’s time with them is much more intense. For example I may take them to the store or storytime at the library, but today Brad has taken Max to the bus station so he can experience the bus and the train. Just for the experience of it. I follow their routines with them, he breaks the routines and does exciting stuff. So his time with them may well be more memorable for them.

    5. Oy, this is a tough one. I told Brad from the beginning that I didn’t ever want to find myself having to say “just wait until your dad gets home!” I wanted to be respected as a disciplinarian just as much. But he undermines my authority in front of the kids. I tell them to do something, he tells them to do something else. So they’ve learned not to listen to me. I hate that.

    6. I don’t see why they can’t go hand in hand. My kids love helping me cook breakfast, clean the kitchen, turn on the vacuum, etc.

    Memarie Lanes last blog post..Goodbye

  11. Oh I wanted to add, one of my biggest rules is that we NEVER go anywhere with a child that is not well-rested, fed, watered, and has peed. I think a lot of public tantrums are caused by kids who have missed naps or meals.

    Memarie Lanes last blog post..Goodbye

  12. What awesome advice you have gotten here from everyone. As a mom to a 26 year old, a 15(16 in month – yikes!) and a 7 year old, I can give this advice. No child is the same, each one has their own personalities, likes, dislikes, temperament, etc… Pay attention to your child, watch and learn and they will teach you what they need. My favorite saying is, “Listen to your children, with ears, mind and heart.”

    Then expect of them.

    Then be consistent with discipline and praise.

    Seek advice.


    Just Beachys last blog post..Beginning of OCD?

  13. I’m going to answer these and then go back and read the other comments. First, I think that mom & dad you observed should have been smacked!

    1) We took Wynnie EVERYWHERE. Restaurants, airplanes, vacations, EVERYWHERE. She just had that personality. We take Mack NOWHERE. After the first 2 times I got up and walked out of a restaurant with him crying (so he wouldn’t bother other patrons) and missed my own meal, we stopped going out to eat. IF we go out (like ONCE a year), we go early afternoon when he’s in a decent mood and freshly napped. We only go to a very family friendly restaurant that’s quick and close to home. That is just his personality. Before I had 2 so polar opposite kids, I’d have said it was how the kids are raised. Nosiree! It’s how they come. You can fight it, or work with it. Fighting it will make you go insane. Be open to changing your expectations.

    2) This is a good one! Wynnie is 5 1/2. When she’s sick, I move a portable DVD player into her room. I did this out of selfishness when she had rotavirus and threw up for 10 solid days. I sat with her for the first 5 straight days, on the 6th night I gave her a dvd to watch between bouts of vomiting so I could get some sleep. The dvd player comes out when she’s not ill (OR if I’m sick and I just need to get to bed at 5pm, I’ll put it in her room so she can be safely confined to one place while I’m sick–again, it’s purely selfish). BUT we just got her a Leapster for stopping sucking her thumb. It was her Grand Prize. It helps her spell and count and do some math. She freakin’ loves it. On nights when she’s good, I’ll let her take it to bed. I know she’s up around 6am and I don’t want to hear from her until 7, so she’ll play it.

    3)This is tough in our house with Mr H being gone most evenings. We don’t eat in the big diningroom, but I found that both my kids were more receptive to eating if they’d sit at the bar in a seat and eat. I often times sit right next to them, and sometimes I’m up running around getting more of this or that. Breakfast is (yes, I’ll go to hell for this!) in front of PBS at the coffee table while I run around getting everybody ready to take Wynnie to preschool. Lunch is usually at the coffee table. Dinner is seated at the bar.

    4)We don’t parent equally. My husband is gone a lot. That’s how it is. BUT he’s a really great dad and bonded instantly with Wynnie (as in OH MY GOD watch a man when his daughter is born and you’ll die how heart breaking it is). My kids play the “I want Daddy!” card when he’s gone, but when I’m out they “want Mommy!” It’ll always feel like they want whomever isn’t home.

    5)We somehow have come to an unspoken “if you see me getting into trouble back me up” rule. It’s rarely good cop/bad cop. SOMETIMES (and it’s because I’m the one who is here all the time and I may have created a rule that Daddy just doesn’t know about) I’ll step in and let Daddy know that we’ve changed something and that he’s going by the old rule, but now we have a new one. We haven’t had a problem yet of running over each other’s authority. We back each other up–then hash it out later if we need to, so the kids don’t see our disagreement.

    6)I’ve mentioned before that I vacuum EVERY DAY. Not because I’m a clean freak, but because I realized one day as Wynnie was on the floor (maybe 7 or 8 months old) that she and her little jammies were covered COVERED in dog hair. It was so disgusting and the guilt killed me. This sweet baby covered in hair! So, since then, I make a very concerted effort to keep the pet hair cleaned. The dishes are washed every other day when Mr H is gone. The tv needs to be dusted, the furniture needs to be dusted… I don’t care. I have a wool duster I get out once a week and go over what I can see. I deep clean when I get the chance. To me, it’s about the kids. They won’t remember the counter tops needing to be wiped, or the pink ring in the toilet… they’ll remember the bike ride you went on, or the time at the park. I try to keep my house so that I won’t be completely mortified if a neighbor stops by, but I’ve stopped being a neat freak because I can only control so much in a few hours a day.

    You may have deep seated notions of how you want to parent, or think of how you were parented and want to do things differently….but be open to changing those notions as time goes by. You might find that 5 or 6 years down the road you understand WHY your mom did things the way she did and it worked.

    Blogging is great, because there are so many of us who have lived it before and are willing to share our experiences so you can weigh differing opinions.

    You’re going to be so great!

    Hyphen Mamas last blog post..Bullet Point Saturday (Sorry folks, it’s all I’ve got in me today)

  14. Young children in public. Yes, I take them out, I have five and one on the way, it’s unavoidable. I set boundaries, my children DO NOT get a treat or toy for being in the store, and they know if they ask for something, and whine, they’ll get in trouble. All in all, they are pretty well behaved when in public, because if they aren’t, they’ll be in a lot of trouble when we aren’t in public!

    Electronics and parenting. We do not have video games in our home and never will, We do not have cable tv. We do not play computer games. We watch movies, but not everyday. Instead, we live on five acreas, we play outside, we read books, we craft. One thing I have noticed, is my children are creative. Electronics do the thinking for people, that is why they aren’t a big thing in our home. I also think one problem with our society, is our dependance on electronics for entertainment.

    Dinnertime. How is dinner time done in your house and why? We all help prepare, set the table, clean up, and yes, we eat together, no fast food, processed food… we make about everything homemade. This is important.

    Parents time with kids. As a parent, you just do your best. I homeschool, so I spend most of the time, but my husband is good at spending time as well. It’s hard to have that bonding time when you have a lot of kids, but we are a relatively happy family and make do, it all works out in the end, as long as you make the effort.

    Good cop/ bad cop. My children listen more to dad, so sometimes we get dad involved. No biggie, we are a partnership, the kids know that, we stick by one another in our parenting

    Housekeeping vs. Quality time. I have five kids like I said, and a baby due in 6 weeks, and I homeschool, my house is not a filthy pigsty, sure, it gets cluttered, it’s never “good enough” for me. But it isn’t a place where we are grossed out. It’s important that children learn to work, and we all do chores everyday. It’s a lot of work to keep this house running, so we try to stay on top of it, we also do a lot of quality time as well, this is because we all do the cleaning and we do it daily so it doesn’t get too out of hand. I think it’s important that a home be somewhat decent to live in, it makes it happier. And when we go to a dirty house, my kids thank me for wanting to keep ours clean.

    I think you just have to find what works for you, and your family 🙂 oh, found your blog through hotbelly mama if you are wondering- was waiting for a phone call so this gave me something to do!

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