Real Talk Parenting

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I wrote on instagram recently that I’d really like to have more discussion on here about parenting. Lots of hot topics out there and opinions, and I have some things I want to share and discuss!

But FIRST, I must shout my disclaimer from the rooftopsthat I don’t have all the answers! I don’t do things perfectly, I’ve got a lot to learn and practice.  But I am very passionate about creating a loving environment in my home, and a closeness with my family, and so far, we’ve achieved that fairly well, and if I have anything to say that can help others, I want to share. I know people don’t comment much on blogs anymore, but I also want this to be a place that opens up discussion, gets people thinking and talking….but also in sharing with me what has worked for you, as well. Will you join me in this endeavor?

Do you have a parenting topic you'd like discussed? Join the discussion and share your thoughts.

We don’t have it all together, but together we have it all. Love that group up there.

I want to talk about toddlers, tweens and teens and everything inbetween. Ok, and I just like saying that.  Less about toddlers though (unless someone submits a specific dilemma below) because I’m out of that phase!

Let me say that I’m a bit nervous to step into these waters for a few reasons:

  1. As I stated above, I don’t have all the answers
  2. I could say how well something is working and then find in 6 months it’s not working
  3. I don’t want to intrude too much on the privacy of my children, especially the teens
  4. Piggybacking onto the above, I know my teens friends follow me on social media, and not sure how much they come to read here

All that being said, I’ve been thinking about starting this discussion for a while, and I’m ready to tackle them, despite the obstacles that I’ll need to work around.  When I share stories of my children, I’ll tread lightly on details and names if it’s a sticky situation.

I thought it was appropriate to share in my disclaimer post a story of my imperfection, and how I truly don’t have it all together.

Let me start this story with a few points that give an important background:

  • I loathe that one of my jobs as homemaker is going to the grocery store, and keeping up on the food supply. I feel like a dog chasing my tail because it’s inevitable I have to go at least once a week, if not multiple (which is usually the case). We have 1 fridge, and at any given time, can safely fit 2 gallons of milk into, sometimes I can squeeze in a third. I have a hard time keeping up the milk supply for my hungry brood, and have discouraged cereal consumption besides for breakfast.
  • I’ll also preface this story with sharing that generally speaking, I’ll get “boring cereals” but lately with my daughters birthday, and then sending my husband to the store for a trip, we’ve had a handful of “fun cereals” in the house.
  • I will ALSO state that over and over I’ve discussed that after school snacks should be fruit or veggies, especially after 4
  • BECAUSE we always have dinner between 5:30-6:30 and I’d like them to be ready to eat dinner and not be filled up on snacks

You may see where I’m going with this…

I’ve got growing kids, and they always say that teenage boys will “eat you out of house and home” and I expect that, but within reason, especially with the points I mentioned above, rules that have been clearly defined. I’m pretty laid back with most things, I wish I weren’t so laid back about chores (something we are trying to hit home more with the kids, but that’s another post) and I KNOW THEY ARE HUNGRY a lot, I get it!

The other day, I walked into the kitchen to finish up dinner prep, when I see one child diving a spoon into a recently poured bowl of cereal at 5:45 PM!!! Dinner was literally 5 minutes away!

I kinda lost it.

As I reminded this child of all of the key points above, why eating this at that time was against several previously discussed house rules, I was beside myself that it would enter into their mind that this was ok. There may have been some eye bulging and some arms flailing on my part, 100% incredulous confusion.

I asked this child if they remembered these house rules, and they agreed they did. My other 3 children were close by, and stopped in their tracks to watch this tirade playing out before them. I try my best to contain my emotions, and they had wide eyes watching me. I spoke again for all of my kids to see that CEREAL is for breakfast, and I don’t want anyone pouring a bowl unless they ask permission. This cereal eating was getting out of hand (seriously some having 2 bowls after dinner each night). A lot has to do with not being able to keep up with the milk AND cereal enough to have it ready for breakfast!

When I realized I could no longer contain myself, I just walked away, and after I did so, I thought I should have done something dramatic, and dumped the freshly poured bowl of heavenly Apple Jacks into the sink, but it was too late, I already stormed off.

Once in a quiet place, I immediately regretted my reaction….

This isn’t the mom I want to be.

I should have handled that better.

This child is probably feeling awful.

I need to go apologize for my behavior.

Then I heard from the other room, all 4 of my children joking and laughing with each other about a conversation that had nothing to do with that exchange, and I immediately thought, “well dang, they are all already over it!”  The silent stunned reactions were no more, and they had moved on.

There are very few things that my husband and I see as punishable, and for the most part, we don’t “ground” our children. I’d like to think that my disappointment is enough to carry them through making decisions against house rules, but it doesn’t all the time.

As I continued to torture myself in silence, I started thinking about things:

  • this child is so kind and thoughtful, nice to family and reaches out to others
  • this child had straight A’s, doing amazing in school
  • this child is just HUNGRY, and I just went loco
  • my high school best friend Natalie often reminds me that one of her favorite memories of my home growing up was the seemingly unlimited supply of Cinnamon Toast Crunch we ate: bowl after bowl after bowl, and no one was yelling at me for that

In that silence I thought I could adjust my priorities.

I stand behind my frustration to breaking the house rules, but I blew up, and I think a mixture of a few frustrations to those rules built up and I felt like it was a slap in the face, just before a dinner I was preparing. But also the pre-existing frustration of not being able to keep up with the milk/cereal and I feel it’s MY FAULT when we don’t have those staples on hand.

So see…I don’t have all the answers.

I apologized to my child, told them I’d really like to come to a solution that can work for us, and I’m fine with an afternoon/evening bowl of cereal, but within reason, not every day, and not multiple bowls.

I just don’t want to be taken advantage of, and feel our house rules are respected.

So there, my disclaimer with a story!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the eating/snacking/breaking of rules thing. How is it handled in your home? Lets make this a discussion! (Any time you want to leave an anonymous comment below, just make up an email. If you want me to know who you are and reply to you, use your real email, but only I will see that).

ANNNNDDDD, after you leave a comment about the snacking dilemma (because I love to hear back from you when I tell a story) I’d LOVE for you to answer 1 or both of these questions about future parenting discussions. They are anonymous, so you don’t have to worry about people seeing, but I would LOVE to hear stories or examples of something challenging in your home that you would like discussed. I THINK WE CAN ALL BENEFIT FROM EACH OTHER! If it fits, I’ll bring it up to discuss in a future post here or social media, share my point of view, and others can weight in and do the same in the comments, so we are forming more of a community to help each other out and learn.

I’m very excited about this, so please share if you have something in mind!