Other People’s Children

Noah on board Freedom of the Seas

Now I am under no illusion that Noah is the perfect child, he has tantrums, likes to scream when he does not get his own way, has been known to lob the odd toy across the room out of pure anger / frustration / damn right stubbornness, and has a decent right hook. But I like to think that I discipline him, I correct his behaviour. There are things that I deem as not acceptable.

Now what about other peoples children? I know we all parent differently, in fact, I whole heartedly agree with different styles of parenting, as those of you who read my blog regularly will know. But I do think there are some fundamental rules. We do live in a world where there are laws and there are consequences to breaking those laws. It took Mr Grump and I a while to discuss these rules, and it has been through trial and error that we have come to agree on the five listed below.

Noah enjoying the last of his three courses!!!

Noah enjoying the last of his three courses!!!

These are the Golden Rules in our house.

1. The dinner table is a place where you sit, eat, drink, talk, and find out about each others day, share concerns and achievements. It is NOT a place where you spit, throw food, shout, scream, demand or act like an animal.

2. Adults do not like to be shouted at, bitten, kicked, smacked or hit, neither do children for that matter, therefore, when the situation arises, which it does, Noah finds himself on the naughty step or in the corner, having time out, until he can calm down and apologise. Mr Grump and I find ourselves counting to ten in the utility room!

Mr Grump, Noah and our adorable nephew Pothos!

Mr Grump, Noah and our adorable nephew Pothos!

3.Sharing is Caring (thank you Mrs H-F) this goes for everything, even mummy and daddy’s chocolate, especially when friends are around.

4. Please and Thank you, really are the magic words!

5. If mummy or daddy says NO, it is for a good reason! The answer will not change no matter how many times you ask.

I am trying to teach Noah that these rules are universal, that if he learns them in his own house, sees his parents and grandparents displaying the same principles. I hope, and pray, that when he is at nursery, at friends houses or at Sunday school, he is able to behaviour in a way that we as parents deem appropriate.

Now all this is fine, and if we live in a world where everyone shared the same five basic principles I am pretty sure it would solve the majority of crisis’s that happen in the world. But how do I go about disciplining other people’s children? Do I even discipline them? Is it ever appropriate to talk to mummies about their little darling’s behaviour? Or even put them on the naughty step? I say “my house my rules”. If I serve up food, you are expected to try it, and just because you are allowed to watch / say / play with something at your house does not mean you can do it at mine! But am I right in thinking and saying this?

I am not for one minute some regimental militant; I pride myself on being loving, fun, and most of all present in the moment. However, please all you mummies out there who think it is acceptable to allow for your children to learn by their own mistakes, make their own rules up, I have something to tell you, life is not like that, every action has a consequence, and if your little darling is allowed to swear at you, kick and punch you with no form of discipline, no word on what is appropriate and what is not, there is little wonder when they end up not listening to you, not respecting you, after all, everything our children become is learnt, not only from the actions of those around them but what they watch, what they play and how they are treated! Rant well and truly over!

(please do not take offence I have had a day working with people who are reluctant to take any ownership over their behaviour, and some day’s I can see their point, other days I want to scream)

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13 thoughts on “Other People’s Children

  1. MikesFilmTalk February 11, 2013 at 6:03 pm Reply

    You state your case very well and I salute you for attempting to parent (although that sounds facetious it really is not) and I thank you for the pingback. Cheers mate. 😀

    • Bianca Tarbet-Keeble February 11, 2013 at 6:37 pm Reply

      Thank You 🙂 I think I am the first to admit I am attempting to parent, the first to try new things, but also the first to say, whoops I got that wrong! Loved reading your “lack of parenting” Brilliant and well thought out!
      B 🙂

      • MikesFilmTalk February 11, 2013 at 6:41 pm

        Well, thank you…back! LOL I’ve had a lot of time to think about and met too many children who grew up with no limits set by their parents. A lot of them wind up in the kid’s version of jail aka prison and it’s devastating when you see them later (after they’ve left) and they are excited and pleased to see you. After chatting for a few minutes, I always think, how sad that you’re pleased to see me, someone who made you adhere to the rules while you were in prison; what must your life be like?

        Sorry, I got on the soap box for a minute. Again, great post. Cheers mate. 😀

      • Bianca Tarbet-Keeble February 11, 2013 at 6:46 pm

        Love a soap box rant, and could not agree with you more! I come across people everyday who are stuck in the drug / crime cycle. They long for discipline, rules and structure, yet it is the one thing that society at the moment does not deem important. I see to many young males get involved with gangs, as they are searching for a father figure, who will tell them right from wrong (even if it is a warped perception of right and wrong)

      • MikesFilmTalk February 11, 2013 at 6:57 pm

        You hit the nail on the head. It saddens me to see young people in the position of feeling like a group of their peers are more of a family than their real one. Gang violence and behaviour is getting worse and until the groups in charge of juvenile reform get their act together it is only going to get worse.

        Whew! Okay rant over…again. lol 🙂

  2. natalee February 11, 2013 at 6:18 pm Reply

    I’m a working single parent. Because of that I also have rule and boundaries to make our way of life easier. With them my child knows what is expected of him and where he stands, the house functions better. Other people’s children. Whenever my son has a friend to play or stay over I treat them the same as I do my child. If the child takes out toys I expect the child to put them away, clear away their dishes as my son does etc. If my child is at another family’s house, I expect him to follow the rules too. This said I am choosy as to which children come round and vice versa so it is very unlikely I would feel the need to discipline someone child. I talk to my child wgen his behaviour requires attention and I would take the same approach with someone else’s child.

    • Bianca Tarbet-Keeble February 11, 2013 at 6:34 pm Reply

      i agree! I have found as Noah gets older, I am beginning to become choosy about who Noah plays with and how often! Thank you for taking the time to read and comment! I think it is right what you say that rules and boundaries make life easier too!x

  3. Susan Claydon February 11, 2013 at 7:58 pm Reply

    As a mother I was a shouter and dare I say it a smacker if I thought the evil deed demanded such punishment. Fast forward twenty odd years and as a grandmother to four I would stick pins in my eyes rather than smack them. That’s not to say they receive no discipline, they do. In my home nanny’s rules apply, pretty much the same as yours Bianca and for the most part they can be stopped by ‘one of my looks’.

    I am now a pre-school practitioner and have learned the art of diversion before the melt down happens, if I say no there is always a reason, “we do not hurt our friends and make them sad, being sad is not nice”. Praise, praise and more praise when an achievement is made or kindness extended. We all like to think we are being rewarded for good behaviour, don’t we?

  4. Writer / Mummy February 11, 2013 at 8:15 pm Reply

    Thankfully most of the kids we spend time with we’ve known since they were born and I admit I will ‘parent’ them as required, even when it’s something I know they’re allowed to do at home (I love all my friends but not always their parenting). The hardest part is when we’re in a park or somewhere where I don’t know the child. I tend to use “We” and, yes, I still parent. I often wonder if their parents are watching but so far no one has challenged me for saying to a strange child “we don’t push, that isn’t nice behaviour.” Mind you, I live in a nice middle-class world. I have been told off by a parent for my own behaviour before but that’s something different (and I got that out of my system on my own blog!)
    Adults? Now that’s a whole different kettle of fish.

  5. tina February 11, 2013 at 8:25 pm Reply

    I agree with you and your five principles and that not every parent agrees but then not every parent has been brought up with the very basic principle to respect others. However, you cannot choose who your children play with although you can choose who they have over for tea, inviting those you dont really want over helps everyone, trust me as one who knows this from experience x

    • Bianca Tarbet-Keeble February 11, 2013 at 8:32 pm Reply

      Love this Tina! It’s so true! In fact most children love coming for supper at ours and I think it is because they know, understand and like the rules!x

  6. angelanowak February 13, 2013 at 11:44 am Reply

    Thank you, Bianca! This post is contagious & inspirational. I feel like I want to go away and write some more about the topic. One thing I never succeeded is to make other people’s children eat my food is they didn’t wanted to. I just leave them to it, they can go home and be fed. If a child never even seen a brown rice, it is hard for him/her to appreciated it. One of Daniel’s friends came when we had chicken soup for dinner. He said he never had it before. I hope he never had my version, not the chicken soup full stop. =)

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