Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Eavesdropping on Awesome Parenting

If you're like me, you sometimes find yourself rolling your eyes at others' parenting skills (or lack thereof). It's all too easy to point fingers and find fault in the hand-smackers, the over-indulgers, the ignorers, the screamers, the baby-talkers.

(All the while, of course, trying to forget the crappy parenting moment I had myself just moments before.)

Lately, I'm trying to find more positive examples of parenting, scenarios to file in my "TO DO" file in my brain.

Yesterday, I stopped in a pharmacy to use the ATM. As I was waiting for my account to decide whether or not I was worthy of my $40 withdrawal, I overheard a little girl, around three or so, ask her dad for a coloring book.

Dad: Do you think you deserve the coloring book based on how you behaved today?
Girl: Um...uh huh?
Dad: Well, let's think. You poked me, you smacked me, and you whined when we had to leave the park. Do you think that's the kind of behavior that earns you a coloring book?
Girl: I don't know.
Dad: We came in here to get some water. Let's get our water, and tomorrow we'll see how you do. If you have a good day, we can come back and get a coloring book.
Girl: But I want it NOW!
Dad: You heard what I said. That's that. Let's get our water and go.

I was so impressed by the dad's cool demeanor, the way he got on her level and spoke to her respectfully and calmly, the way he reminded her of her actions and set consequences for them, and the way he stuck to his guns no matter what. This type of parenting is all too rare, as far as I can tell, and I really want to remember this for future reference. His daughter learned that she can't just behave any way she wants and get whatever she wants, she learned that her actions have consequences, but she also learned that she can have a second chance.

Have you seen any great parenting lately? Have you had any personal successes that you'd like to share lately. I'd love to hear about it, and add it to my mental file!

1 comment:

Martin said...

Not a parent (and frankly feeling like I'm having more crappy moments than good right now) but yesterday I witnessed my employer tell her daughter no, and when the child continued to scream she put her in time out and walked away. Awesome.

And no, that NEVER happened with the firstborn. The woman's making serious progress.