There are a few things I swore I'd never do to my own kids before I had them. Mostly things that I remember being done to me as a child, and looking back they just seem like, well, bad parenting. Boy, did my kids get lucky today. I think they suffered through all of the above.
1. Try to get my kids to eat foods that they don't want by bribing them with sweets, or something that they would rather eat instead. (As in: if you just even try that one little bite of broccoli, then you can have this entire ice cream cone!) So the message here is that some food that might be really, really good for you doesn't always taste so great, but if you eat it you can reward yourself with this other food that tastes really, really good but isn't really good for you. I see eating disorders in their futures.
2. Bribe my kids to do anything with something. Our latest kick is gum. Dylan used to chew gum occasionally, like when he'd be around his older cousins and wanted to know what it was all about. Sadie recently asked for gum when Dylan got some. The timing was perfect with potty training and it became her reward when she was able to do all of her business in its proper place. Now it's just how I get them to do what I need them to do, like get in the car in the morning so I can get to work on time. They have gum now all. the. time. Soon it's novelty will wear off and I will have to come up with the next great thing. Do I really want them to learn that they should only do something that should be done anyway just because there might be something in it for them? And really, what am I going to do when they just don't want another piece of gum? Mom really needs to get to work, little people!
3. Tell them, "Okay, well I'm leaving now so I guess I'll see you later!" Wrong on so many levels. Just wrong. First of all, do I really want my kids to think that I am the kind of person who would actually leave them behind, should they choose not to follow me when it's time to go? And also, would I really, ever follow through on that threat? Yes, I do believe my children trust me, why do you ask?
So chalk this one up as a stellar day of parenting in our household. Nothing that a few years in therapy can't take care of.
What I really want to know is: When did my mom start teaching parenting classes and why did I think it would be a good idea to sign up for them?