Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Parenting Baby G: Dos and Don'ts (Originally written 8/9/2011)

Because my husband and I talk EVERYTHING out ahead of time, we already knew how we planned to raise our Baby G before we even knew about Baby G's existence. I decided I wanted to jot it down as sort of a "promise note" to Baby G because it's harder to break your promises once they're out there for everyone to see. I wrote this list when Baby G was about 6 months old.

I got to thinking recently about all of the things I want to do and not do as a parent. I'm sure my list will grow as time goes by, but I had to jot down a few things that popped into my head before they fell out and rolled under the furniture I don't have time to clean under anymore.

Baby G, here are things I WILL DO my best at as a parent:

*First and foremost, I will love you fully and wholly no matter what you do, don't do, say, or don't say. There may be times that I am frustrated with you or times that I am disappointed in the choices you make, but I will never EVER fail to love you with every fiber of my being.

*I will absolutely discipline you. I will warn you the first time you do something uncitizen-like, and if it happens again I will chose a discipline that is appropriate for the transgression which warranted the discipline. I will do this with consistency and regularity and you will learn to respect your surroundings and the people who reside in your surroundings. I want you to be the kind of child people enjoy being around and I want to model proper behaviors for you so you can take those skills with you as you move through life. I want you to learn early and often that I will tell you NO when it serves to protect you from something and when it protects something from you. I will never raise a hand to you because I won't need to if I do my job correctly. I will not hit you or spank you to prove my point, but you WILL respect me.

*I will bring praises down upon you freely and openly for good decisions you make. I will do my best to let you know often the things you are doing that make me proud. I will encourage your curiosity and your creativity and help you focus those desires into things that will make you proud of yourself and boost your self-esteem. I will do whatever I can to help you foster your talents and interests and be open to helping you pursue things that interest you even if it isn't something I necessarily wanted you to do. (That being said, learning to play piano/guitar and doing a martial art is still non-negotiable!)

*I will involve myself in your education. I will know when things are assigned and when those things are due because I will ask you. I will do what I can to assist you with school work, but I will not do the work for you. I will help guide you to the tools to discover the answers on your own. I will also let you fail an assignment if you are unwilling to put the effort into your work. You need to learn the consequences of your actions. I will celebrate successes and help you re-assess the things that do not turn out as well as you want. While I am willing to let you fail on an assignment here and there to teach you a lesson, I will watch you closely to determine if something else is going on other than laziness and get you the help you need to resolve those problems before it is too late. I will always encourage you to take risks and step outside of your comfort zone if you feel strongly in doing so. I want you to tackle controversial topics in school and take harder classes. I want you to learn the curriculum, but apply your own critical thinking to what you've learned. I will answer your questions to the best of my abilities and if that isn't good enough, I will get you to someone who CAN answer those questions. I will always answer your questions honestly so you trust me enough to come to me at a later date.

Baby G, here are things I WILL NOT DO as a parent:

*As I stated previously, I will not raise my hand to you. I don’t want to teach you that resorting to acting out physically in response to frustration is an acceptable way to deal with your emotions. Having not been spanked more than a handful of times, I still feel (some 20+ years later) that some of the things I was spanked for were not warranted. I was spanked out of anger when words or other forms of discipline would have been much more effective. I will not use words that are hurtful when I discipline you. I will explain how your actions have consequences in a way that you are able to understand at your current age. I will take things away from you as a means of punishment if you are unable to respect those items or listen to me when I tell you something. I will come up with creative ways of getting my point across that NEVER result in laying my hands upon you in anger.

*I will not laugh at your frustration or pain. This may sound obvious, but I remember many times as a child being frustrated with something and having the adults around me laugh. Yes, children do have a funny way of dealing with things at the time, but I remember how it felt to have the people who were supposed to help me, who I was supposed to trust, laughing while I struggled. It’s a very sad feeling and I do not ever want to betray your trust in me. If you are struggling, I will help you in seriousness.

*This goes along with discipline, but I feel that it needs to be said separately. I will NOT allow you to act up in public. We will absolutely leave if you are unable to control yourself or if you do not allow us to help you control yourself. Tantrums will not be tolerated. Conversely, if you get so wound up and overly-excited that you attempt to run hog wild you will also be reined in and expected to calm down. If you do not do so, you will be punished.

To be continued….


  1. Hi I'm a new follower from Letters to Mo. This is such a sweet letter to your little one. I'd like to write something like this for my daughter, Cupcakes sometime. :o)

    I just so happen to be doing a Building our Blogs Challenge - your first week of blogging - and put the first post up today! Feel free to stop by any time!

    For Love of Cupcakes

  2. Thanks for stopping by Jamie! I will add your blog to my list (assuming I can figure out how to do that... heh... new here!)

  3. Yay, I can comment!! This is an absolutely fantastic post. So well said. :)

  4. YAY! I changed my preferences to allow anonymous posts, but did the CAPCHA thing to weed out the spams. Hope it works!

  5. It should. :) I added you to my blog roll today!

  6. Hi! I am a new poster who is also familiar with the Artist Currently Known As Amy. She referred me here. I loved your post and I think this is such a great idea to give this to your little girl someday. She will love it :)