The other day I was going through a lot of papers I have as we are making a move from Australia back to the US very soon. I came across a folder of papers I was just going to toss out because they aren't relevant to my situation anymore but they were too helpful to just throw out to never been seen again. They are papers I found helpful as a young mother. I gleaned ideas of fun things to do with my children. I found them particularly helpful during the long breaks from school.
With that in mind I have decided to transfer the information to my blog in hopes that others will find it useful.
The first paper I pulled out to share with you was an article by the dear Erma Bombeck.
Treat Friends, Kids The Same
On TV the other day, a leading child psychologist said parents should treat their children as they would treat their best friend...with courtesy, dignity and diplomacy.
"I have never treated my children any other ways," I told myself. But later that night, I thought about it. Did I really talk to my best friends like I talked to my children? Just suppose.....our good friends, Fred and Eleanor, came to dinner one night and......
"Well, it's about time you two got here! What have you been doing? Dawdling? Leave those shoes outside, Fred. They've got mud on them. And shut the door. Were you born in a barn?
"So Eleanor, how have you been? I've been meaning to have you over for such a long time. Fred! Take it easy on the chip dip or you'll ruin your dinner. I didn't work over a hot stove all day long to have you nibble like some bird."
"Heard from any of the gang lately? Got a card from the Martins. Yes, they're in Lauderdale again. They go every year to the same spot. What's the matter with you, Fred? You're fidgeting. Of course you have to go. It's down the hall, first door on the left. And I don't want to see a towel in the middle of the floor when you're finished.
"Did you wash your face before you came, Eleanor? I see a dark spot around your mouth. I guess it's a shadow. Do, how are your children? If you ask me I think summer school is great for them. Is everybody hungry? Then, why don't we go into dinner? You all wash up and I'll take up the food. Don't tell me your hands are clean, Eleanor. I saw you playing with the dog.
"Fred, you sit over there and Eleanor you can sit with the half glass of milk. You know you're all elbows with it comes to milk. There now, your host will say grace.
"Fred, I don't see any cauliflower on your plate. Have you ever tried it? Well, try a spoonful. If you don't like it I won't make you finish it, but if you don't try it, you can just forget dessert. And sit up straight or your spine will grow that way. Now, what were we talking about? Oh yes, the Gerbers. They sold their house. I mean they took a beating but....Eleanore, don't talk with food in your mouth. I can't understand a word you're saying. And use your napkin."
At that moment in my fantasy, my son walked into the room. "How nice of you to come," I said pleasantly.
"Now what did I do?" he sighed.
How close to the mark is she? Do we really speak to our children as we should?
Of course we need to teach our children not to speak with food in their mouth and to leave muddy shoes outside, but can't we do it in such a way as to not crush their spirit at the same time?