Searching for parenting cliches

I drew this before the Internet was a staple. It is so much easier to Google a good cliché now. A few that caught my eye were…

When I was a kid, I swore I would never use some of the clichés my parents used on me. That promise lasted until my first-born was old enough to talk. My favorite cliché became, “Someday, when you’re older, you’ll understand.” The problem with that one is I’m still waiting to be old enough to understand what’s going on. Who wants to admit that to your child? Not me!

Clichés are so useful because they deal with universal problems. They’re just too easy to use. What are some clichés you’ve caught yourself saying?

Should you spy on your kids?

Cartoon of a drone following two boys. One boy says, "My mom doesn't trust us!"Drones are making it easier to take pictures whether people are wanting it or not. I saw a drone hovering the other day and wondered what it would be like if a parent used one to continually keep track of his children.

So if you had the ability to continually spy on your kids, would you do it? When does it become an issue of trust vs. safety?

Seven keys to tell if you’re pushing your kids too hard

Cartoon of someone stuck in a tree. A swing is moving. A guy below shouts, "Am I pushing too hard?"

There’s plenty of pressure when it comes to being the perfect parent. If you’re not having your kid involved in that sport, she’s missing out, right? What about the science fair? And then you must be sure every minute is filled with meaningful activities, right? How do you know when you’ve pushed your child too far?

  1. In kindergarten, your child has participated in enough sports to earn his letter jacket.
  2. When you watch a movie together, your child whines, “You won’t make me write a review about this, will you?
  3. Your Twitter followers complain they haven’t received a recent update about your soccer mom exploits.
  4. You look into getting your child a special license so she can drive herself to softball practice.
  5. Your kids refer to the playground as a basic training obstacle course.
  6. Your family sits  down for dinner and your child asks why everyone is eating at his study desk.
  7. Your child’s science fair project attracts the attention of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

There is a lot of pressure to measure up. There is even more pressure to make sure your child isn’t missing out on something. Parents, relax a little! You and the kids need some down time. If they’re involved in too many activities, kids will begin to think they can never measure up to expectations.

Kids need downtime in order to be kids. They’ll have to compete as adults soon enough. Let them have a little of their childhood back! It will give you a chance to exhale too.

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How do you know when criticism isn’t working?

Cartoon of a dog washing dishes and a man
Cartoon of a dog washing dishes. A man says to him, “You missed a spot.”

Criticism is the most popular way to teach someone something, isn’t it? When we someone who isn’t doing things the way we think they should, the most natural way to teach is to correct the individual.

So why do we hate criticism?

  • Because it can tear down a person if we’re not careful.
  • A small problem magnifies a huge problem.
  • Without some tact, we sound brutish and hurtful.
  • The receiver of criticism interprets it through the lens of past experiences.
    • Experience with the one who is criticizing
    • Experience with the task they’re being criticized for.

How can we correct a problem if criticism doesn’t work?

  • Be vulnerable. No one likes to receive criticism if the one sending it displays an air of perfection. People are much more receptive to criticism if we are honest about our own faults.
  • Choose your battles. Is it really worth pointing out that little spot when ninety-nine percent of the job was perfectly?
  • Point out the good more than the bad. It is easy to focus on the bad news, but who likes to hear it? A critical point goes further if most of the time we her positive comments.

How do you effectively use criticism in your business or with your kids?

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But Why Won’t Kids Stop Nagging?

Spear Cartoon 3756

 

Cartoon of a son and his mother at breakfast. The son says, “I want something different for breakfast. What about seven-layer bean dip?”

Amy McCready has some great advice on Positive Parenting Solutions about child nagging and negotiating. Her solution is to say three simple words: “Ask and Answered.”

It can be hard to stand firm when you are pummeled with the “Why can’t I’s?” and the “but ple-e-e-e-e-ases?” But it’s so important to stand firm, especially when a child asks for something unreasonable.

Another solution that has worked for me is think first before you say “no.” Consider your answer before you give it. Sometimes, we say no because it is inconvenient for us as a parent. If the request is reasonable, and can even become a shared experience with your child, consider the request before you give them a nay.

But once you made your answer known, don’t be wishy-washy. That is only leads to misery when they are persistent at the next request.

Be strong and courageous (and consider your no’s before you make them!).