My Parenting Pet Peeve: "If You Do That One More Time..."

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I'm a people watcher. I always have been, and I absolutely love it. You can learn so much about people by just sitting back and watching them, how they interact, their mannerisms, etc.

In a non-stalker way, thank you. I have no restraining orders... yet.

I took the kids to the pool last night, and while they enjoyed the pool fun, I sat on the sidelines with a book and relaxed. I quickly found that the book was a decoy for the people watching that was about to go down. There was only one family at the pool with us, but between trying to figure out the dynamics of the family and just simply watching their curious ways, an hour had quickly gone by, and I had enough ammo data for today's post. This family preyed on the biggest pet peeve I have of parenting -- the biggest.

keep cool on the swimming pool

The dynamics (I think), were an older mother with her daughter, who had just had a baby maybe about 3 months ago. The little 3 month old was there, and then a 2 year old boy, who, to be entirely honest, I'm not quite sure whose kid he was -- the grandmother or the mother (as he kept calling the younger woman "Sissy"). This little boy was about 2, and like most 2-year-old kids, an absolute hellion... but to the extreme, which in my opinion, was directly due to the parenting I was watching.

The 2-year-old was in the pool with a life jacket on (surprising, based on what else I saw), and had one of those squirty water toys that you fill with water, push the plunger down and water shoots out. He was shooting his sister/mom (like I said, not sure what the hell was going on; the younger woman) with the water shooter, and also shooting it into the empty parts of the pool... also known as... being a 2-year-old.

That's when it started -- my biggest parenting pet peeve ever.

The little boy shot the water in the direction of the older woman, who was holding the 3-month-old.

"Billy Bob, (not his name, but we're going with it for the post) you better stop doing that or we are getting out of this pool and you are going to your room!"

The little hellion laughs and does it again.

"Billy Bob, I told you to cut that out. If you do it again, you're going to your room."

The little boy thinks about it for a second, swims to a different spot, fills up his shooter toy, and does it again.

"Billy Bob, STOP IT! If you do that one more time, you're going to your room."

Hold up, didn't they just tell him that? Didn't they tell him if he did it one more time he was going to his room, so he swam a little further away from them and did it again? Shouldn't he be going to his room right now?

The younger woman swam over to Billy Bob and said, "Billy Bob, that's it. Give me the toy" and she motioned to take the toy from the child. He yelled out "NO!" and she backed off. "Fine, Billy Bob, but if you shoot the water at the baby one more time, you are going to your room."

What in the hell was going on here? I still wasn't sure if the younger woman was the sister or the mom, but either way, she was, or should have been, in control of that child (it takes a village, right?). And yet she goes over to the little boy, does a half-assed attempt at reprimanding, backs away at the first sign of him resisting, then gives him another chance when he should have been taken to his room a few chances ago.

Oh hell no. Not in my house. If that was my kid, he would have gotten one of the "Hey, Ginger, that's not nice to shoot the baby with water, it hurts her. If you do it again, you are getting out of the pool for a time out, and if you continue to misbehave, we'll go back to the apartment and you'll go to your room. Got it?" and I would have waited for a reply, to make sure he understood. Then, if he did it again, his ass would have been ripped out of the pool and put into time out right then, right there. If he threw a temper tantrum, we would have packed up and gone home.

Why on earth do some parents allow their children to dictate what's happening, what's going to happen, and how things are going to be? They are the parent, and the little munchkin that's 1/3 your size is the child.

It's not a hard concept -- parents have the control, children do not. You keep the control. It's that simple.

I know some of you reading now may not think it's that simple. Seriously, it is. Yes, I have seen hellion kids. Yes, I have read a million different ways to raise hellion kids. What every single method boils down to is the parent taking control of the situation, remaining in control even when the child screams, yells, kicks, hits, etc, and never giving in.

Take my example above of how I would have handled the situation. Notice the differences between my style of parenting and the sister/mom. When my kids were younger, I started with showing them that I was in control, and who was boss. My technique was developed from watching nanny shows, reading parenting books, and good ol' trial and error. It is pretty damn simple:


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