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:
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.