Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Writer's Workshop - 6/29/11

4.) Name a pet peeve you have about how other parents raise their kids. Go on…stir the pot.

Oh, man. Oh man oh man oh man. I could write a book based on this topic. So maybe I'll just narrow it down to my top five pet peeves. I see a lot of different parenting styles from working with families as a teacher. I get to see a lot. Honestly, seeing some examples of not-so-fine parenting has helped me as I parent Raegan. I have thought of specific children from my classroom and it motivates me to not let her get away with x-y-and-z because I know what can come from permissive parenting.
(1) It drives me craaaaaazy when I see people giving their small (I'm talking babies and toddlers here) children soda. I hate it! I have had so many children come through my class with the most horrible cavities, and it usually comes from a combination of sugary drinks and not enforcing brushing their teeth. Raegan to this day has not had a sip of soda (that I'm aware of, and she better not have!!!) and it's going to stay that way for awhile. I am a soda drinker. I drink a looooot of soda. I really need to cut down. But I'm an adult, and I am making that choice, knowing what it does to my teeth and my body (and I do brush my teeth - ha! - and I drink diet, so thats a smidge better). There are plenty of other much healthier alternatives for kids (even school aged kids) if they're thirsty. Raegan loves milk and water. She just doesn't need pop.
(2) Another parenting pet peeve of mine is parents who enroll their child in every activity under the sun, and don't allow their child any downtime. I've read several articles about how it's not healthy for children to play sports non-stop from a young age, because of the damage it can do to their joints and muscles. Sports aside, I think that children need to learn how to entertain themselves. I think that there is a lot of benefit to extracurricular activities and sports. I think children should try out their interests and be introduced to teamwork and fair play. But I don't think that they shoul be going, going, going all day every day. They need time to use their imaginations and learn to just be.
(3) One more would be letting your child stay up all night. I know a lot of parents who keep their child up late at night (11:00, midnight, sometimes even later) so that they will sleep in the next morning so the parent can sleep in too. Kids need sleep. It's how they grow! It's how their minds develop!!!! Raegan goes to bed at 8:00 (sometimes earlier in the school year if she doesn't get a good nap at child care) because (1) she needs her sleep, and (2) I need Mommy time. I think it makes me a better mom to get some time to myself. I can love her and not need to spend every moment of every day with her. And I can be unselfish and an adult and go to bed at a decent hour so that I can get up with her in the morning. Part of the decision to have children, I say.
(4) And my last one (I couldn't really think of a fifth one, at least not a major one). If you know me very well, you should know this one - excessive television. Turn off the dang television and send your child outside! Do you know that the average preschool aged child (meaning ages 2-6) has 32 hours of screen time a week? And the average school aged child is getting about 6 hours a day of screen time (including about an hour and a half daily at school!!!)? And about one fourth of children under the age of two have a television in their room!!!! IN. THEIR. ROOM!!!!!!!! Ludicrous! I think it's nice to watch cartoons all morning on Saturday morning. I certainly laid around in my pajamas doing that when I was a kid. But it wasn't an all day, every day marathon of television, video games and computer. Talk to your child! Read to your child! Have them entertain themselves with their imagination and toys! Ooooooh, it drives me crazy! Can you tell by my excessive use of exclamation points?!!!!!!!! :D
Ahhhh, that feels kind of good just to rant it all out. Good prompt this week!


Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you on all of your pet-peeves!
Good rant!

To answer your question: yes, indeed, that salina mall bathroom was on the bad list. We'd go to penney's or some other bathroom.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why my comment says anonymous.
I think I forgot to sign in.

Olivia said...

Agreed on all accounts! :)

Laurie said...

You feel better? So do I! Good rants Shannon!

Arnebya said...

To #4: I'm w/you! My girls are 10 and 7 and share a room. Daddy and I have a tv in our bedroom and there's one in the basement. Those are the only two. Girls have been clamoring for years to get one in their bedroom. So not gonna happen. I don't think I know another parent (personally) who doesn't let their kid have a bedroom tv set. Oh, well. They claim they're embarrassed. Um, your friends come to play, not watch tv and you play in the basement where there is a tv. Psh.

Jackie said...

Hmmm, let's see, I'm guilty of #1, but definitely not often and he brushes his teeth. I'm guilty of #3 because my son HAS to be on my husband's schedule, which is nights, since he watches him. And, I'm somewhat guilty of #4. I think I provide a good balance. And, even if the tv is on, he tends to entertain himself with other things.

I think #2 is crazy. I only have my kid in one sport, and I think that's enough for both of us to handle.

call_me_ps said...

1) The girls have waaaaaay more soda/sugary drinks than I want them to have. Soda is still more of a treat, so it's typically juice, but still. Technically, Mr. Song and I have a "limit" but he never seems to follow it. Whenever he offers them drinks, it's always juice (or soda if we have it) and they drink soda when we go out to eat (which is way more than we should). So whenever I'm getting drinks for them, I make them choose milk or water. But I'd still rather they had less sugary drinks than they do. Ugh, the compromises involved in parenting. That's one of those "it'd be different if we weren't married" things.

2) Completely agree with you. One at a time in our house.

3) I let Eowyn stay up late before she started school because she was a natural night owl. It worked out better for both of us, but as soon as she started school, we switched her to an early bedtime that, with rare exception, we keep to on the weekend so as not to mess with her internal clock. She'd still stay up late and sleep in late on the weekends, but Inara has ALWAYS been an early bird and LOVES her routine (she set it for me) so I couldn't/can't keep her up late if I try and she's up early no matter how late she stays up (and GRUMPY if she has not gotten enough sleep!) and since I have to get up with her, anyway, there's no point in letting Eowyn sleep in (even if Inara would let her. Which she won't). I think when they are younger, it's whatever works for you but it's ridiculous to keep a kid up late on a regular basis once they start school and have to be up every day no matter what. Drama's mother used to do that to her. It's no wonder she had such a horrible time in kindergarten, she was going to bed at 11 or midnight and getting up by 6:45 the next day!

4) Ugh, couldn't agree more. The girls will NEVER have a TV in their room. It's one of the things I put my foot down on when it came to Drama. We very, very rarely watch TV and I think it's one of the reasons my girls are so good at entertaining themselves. They watch a lot when they go to their grandparents but otherwise, barely at all. And they also very rarely ask to watch, now that the TV is downstairs. Out of sight=out of mind. I see billboards all the time about "unplug your family for a day" and I'm like ummmm....thank GOD getting my kids to play outside is not a fight.