By Jorrie Varney of Close to Classy
I was in the grocery store yesterday, picking up some organic produce, and I witnessed something absolutely horrific.
The mother in front of me in the checkout line had a small child, maybe 2 or 3 years old, and the child was having the worst tantrum I have ever seen. I watched in horror as the mother just stood by while the child threw himself on the floor, crying and screaming hysterically.
I’m really not even sure what the fit was about. It was hard to make out any actual words over all the theatrics, but I think I heard him mention something about Paw Patrol. I can’t be certain, though. I don’t let my children watch TV; creative play is best for a developing mind. I bet that was part of the problem with that child—too much screen time.
It’s really a shame his mother doesn’t know better.
As I drove home, I started thinking about how lazy and uneducated mothers are these days. I have a 3-year-old of my own, and he would never act that way—Aiden knows better—we value discipline and respect in our house.
I’m a natural giver, and I really want to help wayward mothers, like that poor woman at the store. So I’ve decided to write a few pointers on raising respectful children:
1. Just say “no.” You have to tell your child “no.” You can’t just let them run the house. If you don’t give them everything they want, they won’t act out and behave poorly.
2. No screen time. I touched on this earlier, but children need creative play, which screen time doesn’t provide. Using any kind of screen to babysit your child is just lazy. If you need to make dinner, just give them something constructive to do, like playing with Play-doh or painting a picture. My Aiden loves to paint.
3. Teach manners. It was pretty obvious from that display in the store that the little boy had no manners. Start with “please” and “thank you” and build from there.
4. Breastfeed. I know some of you already have kids that weren’t breastfed, and it’s unfortunately too late for them, but if you have any other children, you know now that breast is best. Please don’t worry if you are already raising a child that wasn’t breastfed—there are a lot of special programs to help kids like them. They’ll probably be OK.
5. No pacifiers. If you are any kind of mother at all, you should be able to calm a fussy child without a foreign device. Try bouncing or shushing; that always worked for Aiden.
6. Organic only. I bet that mother from the store took her child to McDonald’s on the way home. I just can’t stress this enough: NO FAST FOOD. Organic is best. I know it can be a little pricey, but if you can’t afford it, just grow a garden, like I did. Aiden loves to help take care of the plants and pick what vegetables we have for each meal. Veggies are his favorite food!
7. Spend time with your kids. I shudder at the thought of mothers working outside the home and letting someone else raise their children. Why would you even have children if you are going to let someone else raise them? You should always be with your child. A child needs his mother.
8. No co-sleeping. Co-sleeping is dangerous and unhealthy. It causes kids to develop dependency issues. If they wake in the night, send them right back to their rooms. (I assume this will work. I honestly don’t know. Aiden has slept through the night since he was a fetus.)
9. Never let your kid out of your sight. A lot of accidents could be avoided if parents just paid attention to their kids. Aiden has never had stitches or any other significant injuries because we keep a close eye on him. If you neglect your children, they will get hurt, and you will have no one to blame but yourself.
10. Be a good mom. This one seems pretty obvious, but then there are moms like the one from the store, so I guess it must be said. Don’t let your children throw fits or talk back. Don’t let them act out aggressively or stay up too late. If they know who is in charge, they won’t behave badly.
I realize I breezed right through that, but please don’t feel overwhelmed. I’ve been a mother for three years and have read all the books—that’s why I’m so good at this, but you’ll get there, too. Everything about motherhood is within your control, you just have to set boundaries. Don’t let anyone tell you that all children are different or have different needs—that’s complete bologna, like Santa Claus or Global Warming.
You can do it!
I’m going to leave you with my email address in case any of you have follow-up questions.
Best of Luck!
A version of this post was first published on Closetoclassy.com
About the Author
Jorrie of Close to Classy is a working mom of two whose parenting style can best be described as Roseanne meets Mary Poppins. She aspires to own furniture without stains and enjoy a shower without an audience. Her writing has appeared on Scary Mommy, Mamapedia, Sammiches and Psych Meds, and Mamalode. She is also a regular contributor for Urban Mommies. You can follow her antics on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.