Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Non-negotiables

There are certain non-negotiables when it comes to my children.
You may not feed them sugar before bedtime, unless you are willing for them to spend the night at your house.
You may not allow Josh to watch all the Thomas the Tank Engine he wants.
You must be an appropriate adult role model, exhibiting appropriate adult behavior, at all times, regardless of your relationship to my children or how you are related to them.  I'm not saying you can't lose your temper once in a while, but you need to show how to get it back under control, and then explain that it was wrong of you do so.

We do not yell in my house.  We do not throw things. We do not swear(well, at least usually).  We do not kick things when we get mad.  We do not hit.  
These are not just my expectations for Joshua and my other future children, but my expectations for anyone who comes through the door.
These are my expectations for Josh's father and I.

Fortunately, it's rarely been an issue.  Only once have I told someone that they were acting inappropriately in front my child, and there was the door until they could learn to act like a responsible adult.

Yes. I am kind of a nasty person sometimes.  When it comes to my kids, I really, really do not care.(Okay. Honestly. I don't care anyway.)

I think...I hope...this will, over time, teach certain things to my children.
Such as, I expect them to be kind, considerate, and respectful of others at all times.
Such as, you can be all of that, and firm at the same time.  You can draw the line.  You can stand up for yourself, and your family, and say, "This is not acceptable behavior.  You are choosing to not be a part of our lives by acting this way. You know where we are when you make different choices."  I hope this teaches them that excusing someone else's bad behavior isn't acceptable.  That if that bad behavior just continues, that they need to simply walk away.
I hope that teaches my children that walking away is perfectly fine. 

Is that rude?  I don't know.  I honestly, frankly, just really don't care.  Eventually my children will be old enough that we can discuss why people choose to act the way that they do, and that there is no justification, ever, to treat someone else badly.  But my children aren't there yet, and until then, I consider it my job to simply say, No. This is not how you are allowed to act in front of my kids.
And I stick to it.

1 comments:

Persuaded said...

Definitely not rude. It's called responsible parenting in my book;-)

The elderly lady that I sit with has dementia and sometimes she becomes really angry and nasty and foul mouthed. I understand she's unhappy and disoriented and so I just let it roll off my back... most of the time. However once Noah was there and she was having a hard day and well, it wasn't pretty. After the dust cleared and Noah had gone home, I sat down, took her by the hand and very very clearly told her that it was unacceptable for her to use that kind of language while in the presence of my child. She apologized and although I would not have expected her to remember anything about the incident or our discussion, she has been on her very best behavior ever since.

People respond best to boundaries, I think. And even if it's uncomfortable to maintain them, we are respected more in the end.
So yeah, good work mommy:)