I said something so profound to Hana yesterday I MUST record it in my blog. Because you see, in my bi-lingual, third-cultural world my English just ain't so good anymore, and I rarely say anything profound. and don't any of you who know me comment on how profound I might have been before my brain started tangling up two languages, two kiddos and a whole slew of others life things that require brain cells and their working capacity, or lack there-of...
Anyways, back to my profound statement. It has to do with parenting and I thought what I said made SO much sense, yet it was so simple. Let me start from the beginning...
When Hana came to us, I was determined to use a pacifier if she wanted something to sooth her, because I didn't want to deal with all the issues that come with thumb sucking. And then at 3 months of age I caught her sucking on her thumb in her crib and it was so darn cute, I forgot to take it out and tie it behind her back for the next 6 months so she'd never do it again. And wallah! We had ourselves a thumb sucker. I told myself it was easier than getting up three times (or maybe 300 times) in the night to put the plug back in. And many many mothers told me success stories of how their children quite at 2, 3 or 4 years of age. So I decided not to worry about it.
Then we got past the age of 4 and 5 rolled in and she seemed to be sucking it more rather than less. And her bite, well lets just say braces will probably be in her future. There is no way on God's green earth that her front teeth will ever meet, there is a huge gap there and I can't imagine it will correct itself...
There is no exhibit B, I just always wanted to say that -- "Exhibit A" (I momentarily at some point in my life thought about being a lawyer, for 3 or 4 seconds).
Anyhooo, this brings me to our current delimma. She is a month away from her 6th birthday and still sucking her thumb. So I am currently trying to figure out how to come up with some sort of contraption to keep it out of her mouth at night, and also trying to teach her self control during the day. She often sucks her thumb while she is watching TV. So the rule is, if she does that the TV goes off for the rest of the day and she can not have any movies or computer time or iPod or anything.
Yesterday morning, I caught her AGAIN sitting and watching Anne of Green Gables, sucking her thumb. So the TV went off again (for the fourth day in a row, or maybe even more). And as she was vehemently promising not to do it anymore and begging to have the TV turned back on I said...
"You know the rule, and Mommy has to follow the rules too, or you NEVER will!"
And then as I went about the rest of my morning those words kept going through my head and I kept realizing the deep truth behind them.
I think one of the major issues with parenting today, is this very thing. It isn't only that the children won't follow the rules, it is that the parents don't either. And I don't mean just that you set an example for your kids if you break rules, and they see that and will copy your behavior, which is true. I mean that, when you set a rule, YOU as the parent must follow it.
If I set up a rule for behavior and do not enforce it, then I am essentially not even giving my child a chance to follow the rules! The rule is two part, she sucks her thumb, I turn off the TV. I have an obligation in this rule as well. This just reinforces one of my biggest beliefs about parenting, raising children is as much about the discipline and training of the parents as it is the child, if not more!
How many times have I seen parents tell their children no about a toy or something they want in a public place only to allow it when the child whines and cries or throws a big horrible crying fit?
This should be the second rule of parentings...
*In the voice of the Genie from Alladin*
Rule #2, YOU as the parent, follow the rules!
And I am preaching to myself here, by the way because I am in no way perfect when it comes to this.
Okay, my profoundness has been recording for posterior, ahhmmmmm posterity! You may continue with your lives!!!