31.1.08

On consistency


DISCLAIMER: I write these things to myself. I am not scolding strangers on the internet who happen by my blog. Thank you. Read on.


Be consistent is the mantra they chant at you. What if you're a sucky parent? Don't wanna be consistent at that, do you? I suppose it is blind consistency I'm opposed to. Everyday with the small people is a learning experience. Life just doesn't work by a timetable and rigid rulebook. If I make an off-the-cuff "no" answer to Violet, and she responds with a thoughtful explanation (or occasional screaming fit - depending on the day) of her intent, I reserve the right to change my mind. As a "for instance" from this summer:

Mama: Violet it's time to go get in bed
Violet: Go outside!
Mama: We can't go outside now, it's time for bed and you're all clean and shiny.
Violet: Say goodnight to Mr. Turtle (who lived outside at the time)
Mama: Oooooh. Ok, let's say goodnight to Mr. Turtle

There are those who immediately think that changing my mind (the original woman's prerogative) will eventually result in Violet blocking me from her brain and running headlong into the street (along with the old "you've gotta spank 'em so they learn" argument so often accompanying the "running in the street" scenario)

And again, if I respond "No" to something thoughtlessly, that I'm willing to give in on, I shouldn't have been saying no to begin with. So I learn not to throw nos around like I'm throwing rice at a wedding. I by no means am suggesting that one day you let them redecorate your house with poster paint, and the next smack the crayon out of their hand when they step away from the paper. I'm just suggesting this: Throw out the training manuals. Those are for dogs and beauty queens. Act like they're people. Who have an opinion, who are learning to argue their case to the world. Cause they are.

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds ~ Emerson

5 rubber neckers:

Ɯbermilf said...

As long as you don't CONSISTENTLY act inconsistently.

Is there a book on the proper way to wipe one's ass? I'm not sure I'm doing it correctly.

electric boogaloo said...

http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0743421884/ref=sib_books_pg?ie=UTF8&keywords=proper%20way%20to%20wipe&p=S01U&checkSum=PidTir546qr8RKWTFJD%252F18uK6JzvjUeRaBLqXc94PU0%253D

you knew there would be.

LoryKC said...

Absolutely. Kids are not small adults but they are people--who are most certainly learning to argue their case to the world!!!
(Sometimes I'm sure my daughter will go to law school--she has an argument for everything! She does not always win but I must say, she follows a logical progression most of the time!)

I find a few helpful hints in books but not a perfect plan for parenting. You're right on. It's a balance of establishing a routine and going with the flow.

electric boogaloo said...

I would probably really dig your daughter. I love kids like that. And I don't want to misrepresent, I read parenting books constantly. I guess I just choose books geared toward understanding children more than getting them to do what you want. That's more what I meant by training manuals.

Ann said...

I think that is really great. A lot of times when Hayden or Elliott say no about something that I am trying to get accomplished it's for a really good reason and they just need to go get something really quick. not worth the whole huge ordeal just to be consistent!

 

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