I had so much fun writing my eBook on Mountain Notes to Grant-writing, that I have decided to make it a series. Mountain Notes is an off-shoot of Cliff Notes, designed to give you a brief synopsis of the facts. Of course, I started it with something that I know how to do and so the next book will also be in my realm of experience. The next volume in the series will be Mountain Notes to Parenting and catered to us mountain folk. Now, I don’t claim to know it all, but I have learned a thing or two.
This blog post will preview the first chapter of this book and focus on Lowering Your Standards. After a decade in the field of parenting, I can truthfully say that this is the most important step in good parenting….or at least in surviving parenting. I have broken down this chapter into five key sections that will help you in the key areas to lower your standards.
First, we will address schedules and the need to throw them out the nearest window. Preferably into the eye of a tornado that will take them far, far away from your lifestyle. From inception on, we are told to stick to rigid schedules in feeding, sleeping, meals and other nonsense areas. My advice: figure out what your kid is going to do and acclimate the best as you can. If your kid wants to sleep all day, then nap when you can and plan some productive things to get done in the wee hours of the night. If your kid is crying for a meal, give it to him. Why not? Is the schedule so important that you would give up sleep, cleaning or whatever and wait to feed him at a more appropriate hour? Who wins in this scenario? Our kids will dominate our every area of our lives for the next twenty years. Any resistant is futile. We might as well start training ourselves to be at their beckon call. Again, this may be the easier path to travel, but let’s be honest. We are essentially too tired to care.
As for bedtime and all of the nonsense spread by our elders, it’s just another part of the day that we can adhere to the schedules of our real masters. We can spend endless hours hearing the screams of our children, only to fall asleep with one eye open. What if they choke? What if they get hungry? What if they get kidnapped? What if they get their adorable little heads caught between the cribbing? What if they have a bad dream? The only thing certain in this scenario is that you are not sleeping. Sleeping is good. Sleeping is necessary. Sleeping helps us be better parents. If co-sleeping works for you, then do it. The end. Seriously, this one needs to be above argument. Eventually, I PROMISE that your child will want his or her privacy and will not be spooning with you when they are teenagers.
Rules. Obviously, there are rules that should be enforced if the child’s safety is at risk. Other than that, who gives a big shit? You may have sworn to limit TV time before you were a parent, but who has time to entertain their child 24/7? TV becomes a godsend for those of us that have other shit that needs to be done – like sleep, cooking, cleaning, decompressing,etc.
Humor. I realize that kids do the darndest things and we should be ready and willing to correct, as necessary. But if it’s funny – laugh. Who cares?! You can address the issue before or after your hysterics. I can promise you that if God didn’t have a sense of humor, he wouldn’t have allowed procreation. Just as I can promise you that if Pixar and Disney didn’t have a sense of humor, they wouldn’t name their leading men, Woody. When your son is running around in his new big boy underwear and screaming look my woody…laugh. That shit is funny.
Punishment. I know that some of us may have sworn on a stack of Bibles that we wouldn’t whip our child….but if that is the only thing that gets his attention. Do it, and do it often. My sticklers are unsafe issues and manners. If my boys violate either of these, they get deft punishment, without quarter. However, all other offenses may or may not elicit exact punishment. In a way, this keeps them on their toes. They never know when I’m going to blow!
So it all comes down to these ridiculous standards that we shared with others and ourselves about how we were going to parent and how we were going to ensure that our kids turned out perfectly. Myth!! Not happening, no matter what methods you employ. Why not have a little fun in the raising of our children? My personal goal is that if my children end up in front of therapists that their therapist have to bite their tongues to keep from laughing. Yes, we may warp our kids. However, we have to option of doing it with style.