Thanks for taking the time! I always value your opinion which is why I ask of it often! :)
Answer: I don’t ever purposeful overlook bad behavior. With that said, I am very patient and definitely allow my children to do things others don’t. Here’s some real life moments in my home of things I do and don’t “overlook”:
- I had a child who was playing in the pantry and opened the Jell-O box. His sweet little handprints were on the wall near the pantry everywhere he touched. After washing him up, we washed the walls together but left one handprint on the wall. I framed it with a 5X7 frame that remained there for several months. It was only 18 inches from the floor so it wasn’t official “decor” however, every day that little one admired his handprint and we would talk about how we don’t get into the pantry. Guests who came for a visit would often ask me questions about it; several even went home and did similar things.
- We don’t ever let children jump off furniture or beds. I am firm in this because I’ve had two children with broken arms when they didn’t listen to this rule.
- I don’t make children eat all their meals but if they don’t eat their meals they don’t get snacks (we have three meals a day and two to three snacks a day). If a child doesn’t like a certain food I do try my best not to make them eat it. Over the years I will continue to introduce the food again and typically they like it. However, if I try to make them eat it they never seem to grow to like it. I take responsibility and make sure that the foods in my home are nutritious so they can’t just eat junk.
- If I have a child that doesn’t put away their toys. I simply tell them you have five minutes to pick up your toys. If mommy has to do it they become mine and I will give them away, your can buy them back from me or I’ll put them in storage. I’ve done this maybe 3 times in 22 years… they learn real fast that momma only says what she means! I also take responsibility in the matter by making sure I have containers and toys separated and only have a limited few out for them to freely get into.
- I never discipline my child for having accidents at night time. I never make a big deal about it. We just change clothes, take a bath, wash the sheets and air the bed. We don’t talk about it just take care of it. I don’t ever want to make them feel bad for something they couldn’t help. I do help them by watching the clock and making sure not to give too many fluids before bed. I also try to make sure they don’t go to bed exhausted to where they can’t wake themselves up.
- I do require them to remain in their seatbelts or car seats.
- I let them dress themselves. I just make sure I only buy things I don’t mind them wearing. If they go to church with two left shoes and two different colored socks that’s okay. I might mention it to them but it doesn’t bother me. However, they must have their underwear on! I don’t know if it’s just my little ones or what but I really have to stay on top of them when their little. They keep trying to get dressed without them!
- I do let children play freely. I’ve had doors with holes in them from a child “hammering”. Mud in the carpet from mud pies that were brought in for me to enjoy, eggs on the sliding glass door from children having an egg toss before mommy woke up. We’ve even had our share of water fights in the house (those were many years ago when I only had two children and squirt guns didn’t hold tanks of water like they do today). A friend of the family came over and started a food fight with the children. That was okay not that I would want it to happen again but I made it through with a gracious smile.
- I encourage my children to talk to me. I don’t mind if they tell me they don’t like something. The rule in our home is you can say anything you want as long as you’re respectful. As soon as you talk to me with disrespect the conversation is over. I don’t ever allow disrespect, even it's "playfully" done.
- I don’t allow “foul” speech. My children actually think that “bad” words are unkind words. So they often think that others say “bad” words because they are words we wouldn’t say in our house. I have to explain that every home has their own rules.
- I don’t overlook my children screaming at me, hitting me or sticking out their tongues at me. I can’t even remember a child ever trying this with me. I sure have seen plenty of children that do it. But it just doesn’t happen here in our home. I believe it’s because we’ve been responsible to make sure to take care of the little details like the tone of voice and rolling of eyes.
You’re a blessing!
With much love,
Mrs. Joseph Wood