Sunday, January 25, 2009

Parenting In Public

In the November 3rd edition of Newsweek there is a story about how parents, well, parent differently in public versus private. The article relates the story of Heidi Lewis who has two sons -- one is six and one is ten. At dinner time her youngest son was refusing to eat his vegetables. He was even refusing to take just one bite. She writes: "All of the sudden, I heard the words come out of my mouth, screaming: I don't care which orifice you put the broccoli in, just shove it in." As she was calming down, her 10 year old son pointed out how nutritionally useless some of the options might be. "If my husband had been there," she said "he would have been mortified."

Recently I have had my own experience with public v. private. You see, Macey is stubborn. She is STUBBORN. So to get her to be serious about potty training, we ignored the "experts" and went extreme. When she had an accident she lost her lovey blanket and she was spanked.

It was horrible! She would try to cover her little bottom with her hands and ask that we not spank her and tears would run down her face as she handed over her lovey. Oh, it was heartbreaking!

But then, I started wondering what she would do if she had an accident at preschool! Would she cover her little bottom and beg her teacher not to spank her?? Then they would realize that I was spanking her for having accidents! And that is SO against everything the experts say to do. How horrifying to make my private parenting public!

Needless to say, now we only take away lovey.


Browne Towne said...

You could tell her that if she has an accident she doesn't get to sing at music time in nursery!! That would make any kid want to do what they are supposed to, don't cha think???

The GruCru said...

my kids are mostly bad for me-if they were on they're best behavior in private, then so would I

Margaret said...

I think most people wouldn't believe that I can totally lose my temper with my kids and turn into a scary mom. When I'm around other people I can be calm because I've got emotional support/backup. I would not survive as a single mom.